Thanks Rafik Hariri, you were a great politician too!
As this is my first Blog, I want to quote a friend of mine (Abou Balad) who wrote this about Martyr Hariri in the www.futuremovement.org Forum.
I am not a Future Movement Member; however, I am one of the admirers of Martyr Rafik Hariri.. RIP.
I write this because I am not satisfied of the way the media is giving credit to former PM Rafik Hariri, God bless his soul. I think that they concentrate too much on the human activity and charity of that great man, but they are not giving him the credit he deserves as a politician. So I decided to share my thoughts with you, from the perspective of a humble Lebanese citizen, observing what Rafik Hariri achieved to my country. I think we need to understand this and to discuss it.
PM Rafik Hariri (RIP) was one of the rare men ever, who had a real program and a long-term vision for the country. He worked hard in a very hostile environment where he faced a horrible system that had an opposite program with a different way of thinking. Their program was to suck our blood on the image of our “neighbors”. The approach was to use a scale of 3 steps: “1-Warn, 2-Terrorize, 3-kill”. They used these steps with our Martyr, but he was so special in facing them that they needed to add a new element to their artillery: “systematic confrontation” or “Kaydieh”. They did whatever possible to stop his program, no matter if the result is to send the country to hell. For example, they made Paris-2 fail, and they went so far that they put the country out of electricity just to make people think it is his fault. But just as he said:
“il balad z3hir, ma fi shi byitkhabba. Koullil oumour btin3araf”!!
Our duty, his lovers, exceeds by far the simple repetition of this horrible story. FM is now entitled to continue the program, this is “Amana Fi A3nakena”. As I see it, this program is aiming to achieve the noble goals of democracy, national unity, independence and prosperity.
Despite the hostile activity, Hariri could achieve a lot of his program. Whatever the level of achievement, it is a FACT that today Lebanon is much better than at the day Rafik Hariri came in. Let me try to say the way I see it from a normal citizen point of view.
Independence, he was so near, and achieved it at his death. But the danger is that if we loose it again, it will be final. If we don’t show the world that we are capable of ruling ourselves, the international community will leave us to our destiny, this time for good!
National unity was his permanent occupation right on the top of his agenda, and he proved it with REAL ACTS. He had a clean national program that is above any sectarian consideration. It is a fact that many Hariri followers are Sunna, but it is a fact too that Hariri’s program was a national program with pure national visions and ambitions. He never had any sectarian shadow of thing among his political discourse, his program and his political activity. He has many followers from all Lebanese families, and he cared equally for all Lebanese families. Why Sunna followed him more than others? It is because the sectarian or confessional speech never had any significant success among the Lebanese Sunna community. The history proves that Sunna think “nation” not “sect”, and they will continue to do so. It is one of Hariri’s success stories that he could attract behind him a majority of his sect into a national non-sectarian discourse. Unfortunately, this is so rare in the modern Lebanese history.
Democracy, he always fought for it, and it was the bigger source of headache and issues with the hostile securitish system. He had many redlines, and he crossed them many times and had a big trouble. An example is when he invited Michel Aoun in 2001 to come back home, but the so named “justice” apparatus declared that the General would arrested. Hariri also opposed the closing of MTV and other stuff but unfortunately the justice and the security institutions are outside the constitutional authority of the Prime minister, and moreover they were hostages of the hostile system. Also Future TV building got missiles to terrorize him when he was trying hard to face the atrocities of that system.
Prosperity, that is the dream almost gone with Rafik Hariri. I swear to god that if this man could lead Lebanon for a while after the next elections, under the new independence and without the hold-up of that mafia, it wouldn’t take him more than 3 years to make Lebanon like Switzerland. However, what could Rafik Hariri achieve in the presence of that hostile system? Many people ask this question playing the blinds and saying that all they remember is that wrong number of “40B” debt. According to my numbers, the debt is 34B, of which only 20B where borrowed in the mandates of PM Hariri. Many have analyzed and explained where is the responsibility of this debt. They show clearly that PM Hariri was actually the victim of the corruption, and that his rebuilt project took no more than 6B to 7B, and the result is an extraordinary success story.
Want a witness? the United Nations that gave him the Price of Development in Madrid late 2004 for his "great success of rebuilding Lebanon so well and so fast"...
In my knowledge the growth of the debt increased this way:
Hrawi/Berri/Hariri 1992 -1998: Debt from 6B to 18 B. Yearly economic growth > 7%
Lahoud/Berri/Hoss 1998 -2000: Debt from 18B to 24B. Yearly economic growth <>I invite each one of you to help me complete my list, because I am sure I miss many important things despite its length.
1. Highways: North, South, Ehden, Mountain, Bekaa, internal roads in all cities and departments not only Beirut, and the renewal of the overall transport infrastructure
2. Electricity: the full infrastructure to operate electricity in all the country for 24 hours. Huge. It was achieved and operated perfectly in 1998, until the change of Gov and the hold-up of the mafia on the petroleum issues. The problems we have today with electricity is not due to the infrastructure, but to its operation by an anti-Hariri clan.
3. The Telecom infrastructure: a whole complete and modern infrastructure, based on fiber-optics and the best technologies of that time. But again, you know since 1998 this sector is hostage of Anti-Hariri clan (No3man then Mou3jiza-Korda7i) so they are unable to exploit it well and follow the e-business boom, hence our bad position in this competing economy sector.
4. The water infrastructure and network
5. The airport for 6M travelers. Ironically, many criticized at that time this “huge project” and invented the joke of “building the stone”. Now that the tourism flourished due to this and other efforts of PM Hariri, they are envisaging a further enlargement. But for sure, those criticizers will never change their minds about their jokes, or they will jump to new ones without any revision, they are just born to criticize destructively and they can’t do any better
6. The Beirut downtown, the JEWEL of Lebanon and the symbol of the reconciliation
7. Stabilization of the Lebanese Lira vs dollar at 1500 while it was 3000 and growing up with no limits. He restored the confidence in the national money.
8. Big increase in salaries: “typical” salary grew from $40 to $800.
9. The conference of Paris-2, where more than 100 countries met to help Lebanon overcome its economic difficulties. In one day they gave 5B of aids, more than USA could get for Afghanistan in 3 years! And they were ready to give as much each year according to the reforms progress, but the hostile clan combated the reforms..
10. Extraordinary success stories in the foreign policy: Tafahoum Nissan which was the diplomatic side of the victory against Israel. Arab and Farncophone summits and visits of top-level presidents (Pope, Chirac..). This helped restore the confidence.
11. The Lebanese university: the unified huge complex of Hadath, for which the people of the university dreamed and demonstrated for 4 decades. Another big complex in Fanar.
12. Public education. The number of students in the public university grew from 20.000 to 70.000, and its budget increased from $10M to $110M. The public schools increased in number, stuff and students. I don’t have numbers.
13. Huge improvement in healthcare and social services. Healthcare was drastically improved while it was almost ZERO in 1992.
14. Government hospitals, one in each region.
15. 4 Olympic stadiums that welcomed many very important sportive events including Asia-2000 (prepared at the previous mandate of Hariri)
16. Many developments in the private economic sectors, like hotels, services and modernization of the banking sector. The tourism flourished back in his days.
17. Rebuilt of the army and the “Security services”. This wasn’t Hariri’s job of course, that’s why we see the brilliant result now. However, the army and security costs, since 1992 to current, 2 billion dollars per year in each budget.
18. The parliament, the presidential palace, the speaker palace, the government palace, all official buildings…
19. Computerization of most ministries and administrations. The degree of success in each depends on the competence of the ministers that were named by different political forces…