Nine years on, the question remains: Why was Rafiq Hariri assassinated?
A closer look at what has become of Beirut and Lebanon can answer part of this question. Nine years after the assassination of Rafiq Hariri, the picture is getting clearer and clearer. At first, the picture was blurry but as the Special Tribunal for Lebanon kicked off, it is getting clearer.
Rafiq Hariri was assassinated because he restored life to Lebanon. He began with Beirut and put Lebanon back on the Middle East map. Some believe he deserved to be killed after all that he did for Lebanon and the Lebanese and after all that he tried to do for every Arab with morals, loyalty and patriotism.
Rafiq Hariri paved the way for Lebanon to become a place for the Lebanese people first and foremost and a place in which all Arabs, Americans, Europeans and anyone who aspires to live in a secure place with their family can come to. Nine years on, it’s become difficult for Arabs and foreigners to come to Lebanon. The aim was to destroy Lebanon and spread misery and displace the rest of its people. The only aim was to make the Lebanese people strangers in their own country and to make them captives of their own sects instead of serving their country.
Iran was a silent partner in the American war on Iraq. It facilitated the American troops’ entry to southern IraqKhairallah Khairallah
As time passes, our understanding of why Rafiq Hariri was assassinated, and why Marwan Hamadeh was targeted before him, grows. We can also better understand what led to the long chain of assassinated martyrs that began with Samir Kassir, George Hawi, Gebran Tueni, Walid Eido, Pierre Gemayel, Antoine Ghanem, Francois al-Hajj, Wissam Eid and Wissam al-Hassan and that ended with Mohammed Chatah.
All these martyrs, including the living martyrs like Elias al-Murr, May Chidiac and Samir Shehadeh narrate a story. It’s the story of Lebanon which there are aims to destroy it, impoverish it and displace its people.
After the Special Tribunal for Lebanon trials began, it’s no longer secret who assassinated Rafiq Hariri, Bassel Falyhan and their comrades on that day. It’s no longer secret who refuses that the defendants stand before court. What’s also no longer secret is that he who assassinated Rafiq Hariri could not act back then - on Feb. 14, 2005 - without the cover of the Syrian-Lebanese security regime that was controlling people. As for he who carried out the assassination, now that’s something else. It’s an issue linked to a regional scheme that formed during the American war on Iraq which was launched in March 2003. Iran emerged as the sole victor of that war.
Iran as a silent partner
Iran was a silent partner in the American war on Iraq. It facilitated the American troops’ entry to southern Iraq and their march towards Baghdad. Iran was the only party that supported the Iraqi governing council which was established on a sectarian and regional basis after the Iraqi regime collapsed. It was a must for Saddam Hussein’s regime to collapse but not in the way it collapsed. IT should not have collapsed at the hands of the Americans with their tanks and jets and it should not have happened with implicit Iranian support.
Rafiq Hariri was killed because he made Lebanon into an Arab fort. He turned Lebanon into a country which its people, the Arabs and the international community believe in. Therefore, it’s not a coincidence that nine years after his assassination, no Arab can come to Lebanon. Every Arab now feels threatened in Lebanon. There’s only a place for the Iranian who is implementing a colonial scheme upon a sectarian basis. He’s implementing this scheme at the expanse of every Lebanese citizen, regardless of his sect. This Iranian scheme of expanding control towards Syria - which was launched a long time ago - resembles Israel’s scheme which is based on settling in Jerusalem and the West Bank and on building more settlements to link them to one another via networks of safe roads.
Nothing happens by coincidence in Lebanon. Rafiq Hariri was an obstacle in the face of this Iranian scheme considering he represented Lebanon as a whole, without propagating any sectarian or religious intolerance. He was a man of parity. This is why he was killed. Sectarianism was restored after Hariri was killed and the Christians in Lebanon were reduced to holding mere ministerial posts.
Orchestrating the crime
He who orchestrated the crime is well-known. The accomplice is the malicious Syrian regime which thought that eliminating Hariri would cement its position in Lebanon. However, the crime in which Syria was complicit stripped it of its ability to remain in Lebanon.
The Syrian regime was forced to militarily withdraw from Lebanon in April 2005. It left Lebanon for Iran and completely placed itself under the mercy of the Iranian regime. This was the direct result of covering up the crime against Hariri and participating in the crimes that followed.
For those who need a proof of that, the question is: would the Syrian regime still control Damascus if it hadn’t been for Iran and for the support of Hezbollah which is a mere brigade in the Iranian Revolutionary Guards?
Before the assassination of Rafiq Hariri, Lebanon had sought to rebuild itself while Syria, even in the shadow of its sectarian regime, had a margin of free maneuverability when dealing with Iran. After Hariri’s death, Lebanon became a captive of Iran and Syria is in the same cage.
The Lebanese and Syrian people’s struggles appear to be joined. They both aim to break free from this new sectarian colonizer that acts upon all sorts of primitive instincts.
This article was first published in al-Rai on Feb. 16, 2014.
Khairallah Khairallah is a Lebanese writer who has previously worked at Lebanon’s Annahar newspaper, he then moved to London and began writing political columns in Arabic language newspapers, including Al-Mustaqbal and Rosa El-Youssef.SHOW MORE