Saad Hariri’s resignation as Prime Minister of Lebanon is not all it seems

FILE PHOTO – Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad al-Hariri reacts at the presidential palace in Baabda, near Beirut, Lebanon November 3, 2016. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir/File Photo

He certainly did not anticipate what happened to him. Indeed, Hariri had scheduled meetings in Beirut on the following Monday – with the IMF, the World Bank and a series of discussions on water quality improvement; not exactly the action of a man who planned to resign his premiership

When Saad Hariri’s jet touched down at Riyadh on the evening of 3 November, the first thing he saw was a group of Saudi policemen surrounding the plane. When they came aboard, they confiscated his mobile phone and those of his bodyguards. Thus was Lebanon’s prime minister silenced.

It was a dramatic moment in tune with the soap-box drama played out across Saudi Arabia this past week: the house arrest of 11 princes – including the immensely wealthy Alwaleed bin Talal – and four ministers and scores of other former government lackeys, not to mention the freezing of up to 1,700 bank accounts. Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman’s “Night of the Long Knives” did indeed begin at night, only hours after Hariri’s arrival in Riyadh. So what on earth is the crown prince up to?

Put bluntly, he is clawing down all his rivals and – so the Lebanese fear – trying to destroy the government in Beirut, force the Shia Hezbollah out of the cabinet and restart a civil war in Lebanon. It won’t work, for the Lebanese – while not as rich – are a lot smarter than the Saudis. Every political group in the country, including Hezbollah, are demanding one thing only: Hariri must come back. As for Saudi Arabia, those who said that the Arab revolution will one day reach Riyadh – not with a minority Shia rising, but with a war inside the Sunni Wahhabi royal family – are watching the events of the past week with both shock and awe.


4 replies

  1. Remember: Robert Fisk has been working out of Beirut for the last 40 years or so. He is the ONE person who knows best what is going on in the region and reports it as neutral and factual as possible (most ‘News’ these days are ‘colored’ with some agenda or the other).

  2. @ Raffiq: better believe in Holy word than other opinion!
    We shold know that Arab tradition as God describe clearly in Al Quran.

    Remember the blessing of Allah upon you: When you were enemies to each other, and He brought your hearts together, so that, you became brothers through His blessing. You were at the brink of a pit of Fire, then He saved you from it. This is how Allah makes His signs clear to you, so that you may take the right path. (103)


    And among those Arab who are around you there are hypocrites, and among the people of Madinah as well. They are adamant on hypocrisy. You do not know them. We know them. We will chastise them twice, then they shall be driven to a terrible punishment (in the Hereafter). QS 9;101.

    No wonder what has happened today in Arab land.

    • To generalize is wrong. The Holy Prophet Mohammad (peace and blessings of Allah be with him) was an Arab. All Arabs are not as you say. All white men are not mass shooters. Please avoid such generalizations.

      • I agree with you. Not all, but genarally”YES”. That is why God sent prophet in Arab land. But after Prophet died, Arab people turn away again from Al Quran and believe in idol ( Hadith ). Hadith say; kill all people until they can say: lahilla hailallah!
        Very sad.. Raffiq.

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