Monday, October 1, 2007

The Politics of Assassination

Lebanon and Syria


"The assassination of Lebanese politician Antoine Ghanem on September 19 is likely to be used, predictably, to further US and Israeli interests in the region. Most Western and some Arab media have industriously argued that Syria is the greatest beneficiary from the death of Ghanem, a member of the Phalange party responsible for much of Lebanon's bloodshed during the civil war years between 1975 and 1990. The reasoning provided is that Syria needs to maintain a measure of political control over Lebanon after being pressured to withdraw its troops. This political clout could only be maintained through the purging of anti-Syrian critics in Lebanon, and by ensuring a Lebanese parliament friendly to Syria. And indeed, with the elimination of Ghanem, the anti-Syrian coalition at the fractious Lebanese parliament is now left with an even slimmer majority - 68 MPs in a 128-member assembly.

Case solved.

Or is it?.......

It might also be helpful for those who insist that Syria alone is capable of inflicting such mayhem in Lebanon to remember that Netanyahu recently and unsurprisingly admitted that the 'mysterious' air strike inside Syrian territories on September 6 - clearly an attempt to coerce Syria into a military confrontation - was indeed deliberate. US diplomats scrambled to justify the palpable act of war on the mediocre claim that the Syrian target bombed by Israeli US-supplied F15 jets 'may have had links to North Korean nuclear arms,' according to the British Guardian. Mediocre or not, a case against Syria that involves the US, Israel and their allies in the region is being diligently weaved, and one should not be surprised if the next military confrontation against Hizbollah will widen to include Syrian territories as well.

As media and official efforts have conveniently overlooked all other possible culprits behind the determined efforts to destabilise Lebanon, the region seems headed for another military confrontation and Lebanon for a possible civil war. This will most likely be blamed on Syria, Iran, Hizbollah and Palestinian factions, and Israel will once again be presented as acting in self-defence and the US as defending the cause of Israel, democracy and human rights."

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