Sunday, February 26, 2006

A Letter to the Son

A year after and the road is still blocked

The green "Normandy"

Dear Saad,

Your father did not die because he was a Sunni, a billionaire and a friend to the powerful of this world. Your father died because he was a true Lebanese.

Your father was a machine of a man whose life was filled with good deeds and great achievements but also with controversial economic and business decisions.
He was a doer and a positive force in Lebanon's politics and compared to the present leaders, he was great.

Lebanon was like the "Normandy" mountain of rubbish when your father became Prime Minister. Today the greenest grass in Beirut is to be found there and it will soon become a public garden.

You could never be your father, because he was born poor while you were brought up in one of the richest families in the world.

I hope that you do not think that because the Presidents of France and the US are receiving you that you are a leader. Do not forget that they are receiving you because you are your father's son.

Your father has become an icon. You have been chosen to represent this legend. You have a lot of good will both locally and internationally, do not waste it.

Your father had said, according to an interview published for the first time a few weeks ago in Al Hayat newspaper, that spent US$150 million per year. $30 million of which were for personal use and the rest went to "help people" or, as I have understood, went to boost his political influence.

I do not think that you can spend these sums or even a fraction of them, because of several factors, the most important one being that your father knew that he could always win back the millions.

Your father also knew how to win people by a simple gesture, a few simple words or a large smile. His charisma was natural. Your father commanded respect because he achieved more than many in Lebanon. This respect has flowed onto you. And to keep it you will have to find your own way.

Your father was a good man, a giving man who sometimes, due to political or financial circumstances, used dirty tricks to get to his goals. He was a peaceful man who personally never hurt anyone physically or financially, but some people profited greatly from his friendship and trust at the expense of transparency and clean government.

Your father was not a warlord like Walid Jumblat, Nabih Berri, Michel Aoun, Hassan Nasrallah and Samir Geagea. He started off as a sectarian leader with national aspirations and ended as a true Lebanese leader. He died a Lebanese hero.

His death brought about the independence of Lebanon.

He surely "educated [more than 30,000 pupils], built [Solidere, roads, communications etc.] and liberated" but his policies left Lebanon with a debt of US$36 billion.
The Syrian hegemony and the whole Lebanese political and military establishment certainly caused this debt, but Rafic Hariri's credibility and impatience to rebuild Lebanon facilitated the operation.

However, he was the only one who really tried to salvage Lebanon's financial straits with the Paris donor conferences. He worked hard to boost Lebanon's economy again but the same sectarian and military establishment he helped enrich stood in his way.

He was killed because of Lebanon. Because of his dream.

Therefore I urge you Saad not to kill his dream of a great Lebanon. Follow your father's path of economic development.

Surround yourself with intelligent advisors such as the late Basel Fleihan and hold on to PM Fouad Seniora. Sycophants, vultures and yes-men are dangerous and can make you fail. Get rid of them.

Get people who think, work and achieve. Not people who talk hate, are lazy and make you spend useless sums of money.

Be noble, charitable and polite because you were raised by a Lebanese martyr and impose these virtues on all the Members of Parliament, journalists, allies and friends who claim to be on your side.

Do not let your instincts for revenge and glory guide you. Study your father's achievements, understand him but do not copy him and try to accomplish his vision of Lebanon your own way.

Remember that when your father took over there were more than 300,000 victims in Lebanon. Revenge was out of the question, and his message was all about unity and wealth creation.

Lebanon has a chance to begin anew. 4 million Lebanese cannot dwell one more day on the past. Lead the way and start by a symbolic gesture: open the road where your father was killed. Let the traffic flow. Let Lebanon rise.


Anonymous Ralf said...

Dear Zadig,

my comment is not related to this post but rather to your blog in general. I want to complement you on your posts, I enjoy reading them even though I sometimes disagree with your positions and/or style of saying things.

Keep the good work up.

26 February, 2006 20:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saad is definitly after REVENGE.
First Lahoud, Then Bashar.
It remains to be seen where all this will take us all?

27 February, 2006 17:25  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the beginning I had positive impressions when he took the powers of the future movement but more and more I am realizing that he is one of the worst kind of politicians we ever had. I know that many of you are asking why?
Well here is why: First he has no political agenda except finding the truth that he already knows which is very ironic because if you know the truth then why go look for it?
Also he is obsessed with the fact that the assassins behind his father’s death are behind him as well, so he hides himself in the most wonderful capitals of the world. He is coming out with big words these days against the perpetrators in the “Prophet” demonstrations that occurred in Achrafieh but his government did not stop the protesters from throwing rocks and burning the offices of innocent people. It seemed very much that this demonstration was meant to be chaotic to prove to people and especially Christians that it is the fault of Lahoud always who is putting the stick in the wheels of the ‘Future movement’ ‘ready to rob a country near you’…
Well I feel sorry for Lebanon with people like Saad and co. because now their main goal is to get revenge and control over Lebanon.

28 February, 2006 01:02  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is the same old story again. The father rules, dies and his chair is given to his son. When are we going to have a real democracy where people elect ministers and presidents and prime ministers.

I am saying this becuase I am not very happy about the way Saad came to power. I knew nothing about him and I still know nothing about him. In fact, I do not wish to know more about him as long as his political position was inherited and not elected.

People say he represents people from Beirut yet he lived most of life outside Lebanon. How can someone I did not elect represent me. I have been living outside lebanon for the last 25 years because I hate our political system.

I am not here to show any hatred toward Saad but to show my uneasiness about the whole situation. First, we have a killer called (Gaagaa) who spent years in jail for massacres againsts lebanese running for the presidency. Second, another killer who bombed beirut to pieces and ran away to France, came back and also running for presidency. He was calling for the withdrawl of Syrian troops from lebanon and now he is hand in hand with hizballah, as we all know, is run by Syria and Iran.

Third, Why do we have a religious man (nassrallah) be sitting inside the parliment discussing the future of lebanon? Shouldn't he be in a mosque preaching the word of God?

Fourth, why is our current president so adament to stick to the presidency chair? It is greed, money, theft and so on. The same goes to Berri who has been Parliment leader since I could remember.

It is sad to say that as long as these things still happen in Lebanon, we will not succeed. We will have another civil war and now between Christians and Muslims against christians and muslims (Saad, Gaagaa, Jumblatt) against (Aoun, Nassrallah and others).

15 May, 2006 01:45  

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