It is unfortunate that there wasn't a Jacques Chirac in Koraytem yesterday to tell Hariri that he missed a good opportunity to remain silent. Everyone was expecting him to say something regarding the outrageous claims of Hassan Nasrallah. Instead, he decided to use the opportunity to explain why he chooses to remain silent:
The premier highlighted the fact that he had abstained from making statements "throughout the last period."
"I will continue like that because I want calm, because through calm we can talk to and hear each other, but through screaming, no one would be able to hear the other. We want to calmly discuss everything we approach in this country," Hariri added.
Run that by me again? Are you saying we can talk by saying nothing? Or are you saying that the only things you have to say are inflammatory? Can't you reply to screams calmly? More importantly, are you distancing yourself from the few reasonable replies to Nasrallah by your supporters?
The attempt to sabotage the work of the Special Tribunal is a bigger threat to the rule of law than the actual assassination of Rafik Hariri, Basil Fuleihan, Gebran Tueni, Samir Kassir et al. It is also part of a transparent but insidious attempt to break the country's engagement with international efforts created specifically to help Lebanon (such as UNIFIL). If Nasrallah was simply concerned about getting off the hook, he can easily do what Qaddafi/Kadhafi did with Lockerbie and blame it on a few rogue operatives. I am sure there is no shortage of patsies in his "martyr"-generating death machine.
Hariri got it all wrong when he said “I am concerned .... because I am Rafik Hariri’s son." March 14 was triggered by Rafik Hariri's assassination, but was not just about mourning his death. It was about a much bigger issue: establishing a democratic, independent country. Enforcing the rule of law and bringing terrorists to justice is a most critical part of this process. There is no room for silence.
I miss Jacques Chirac.