Sunday, December 16, 2012

No, it is not enough!

After being mum for days following Syria’s issuance of arrest warrants against former Prime Minister Saad Hariri and Deputy Okab Sakr, Lebanon’s Prime Minister Najib Mikati finally made a passing comment on the issue this weekend. He described the Syrian action as “completely political” and “void of any legal merit or value".

Anyone who had followed this matter with even a semblance of objectivity had already reached that same conclusion after Mr. Sakr’s dramatic presentation to the press a week earlier. There were many voices from March 14 who were nevertheless critical of Mr. Mikati for not coming out earlier. After all, in politics - as in comedy - timing is everything. Others, however, had a more lenient “better late than never” attitude.

What has escaped most people, however, is that Mr. Mikati’s belated comments didn’t really say anything beside observing an obvious fact – that the Syrian arrest warrants were purely political. He did not take any position on the political move itself. He didn't condemn it, or deplore it, or criticize it or otherwise characterize it in any way. If the Syrian regime actually used a false legal pretext against a former prime minister, as it obviously did, then a sitting Prime Minister should have the courage to criticize that action. If and when Mr. Mikati supplements his clinical comment and say something clearer and  more meaningful on this matter, then I will be ready to join the “better late than never” crowd.

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