Editorial

Assailing the firefighter

Hariri attends a ceremony at the Grand Serail in Beirut, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

From the day Saad Hariri became prime minister-designate, orders were given to yellow publications, yellow minds, Syria lackeys and March 8 politicians, to start a gradual campaign of slander, innuendo and lies about anyone or anything related to Hariri and his family.

It was, in fact, a well-studied, planned and financed strategy to break, humiliate and, if necessary, drive to despair the man who stood as an obstacle to a clean takeover of governance by creating facts on the ground and exhausting all means of manipulating the Constitution.

But Hariri’s insistence on using the Constitution as a shield persevered and with outstanding resilience he stood tall and deflected the venomous barrage.

The claim that Hariri was to blame for the dire economic situation has proven to be a flagrant deception, as demonstrated a few days ago when he announced plans to visit London to champion Lebanon’s stance and encourage investment in the country. But the voices of doom mobilized, attacking the trip in order to undermine Hariri and criticize him in the pettiest and most illogical manner.

These orchestrated attacks have lately reached a crescendo, and what we are witnessing is a conspiracy of sorts involving several players, with even some allies jumping on the bandwagon to corner the premier, who has proved that his main concern is the benefit of the country and the welfare of all its citizens.

The conspicuous absentee in all this is respect for the Constitution as efforts are fielded to chip away at the charter using all possible means, with these professional propagandists disseminating lies and treating the Lebanese people like sheep.

It’s time for the president, the ultimate protector of the Constitution, to clearly brief the nation on the reasons behind the deadlock. Hopefully that will set the record straight, vindicate Hariri’s adherence to the Constitution and muzzle the masters of demagoguery and deceit once for all.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on December 11, 2018, on page 1.

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