Lebanese ex-PM assassinated; U.S. recalls ambassador to Syria

From http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/meast/02/15/beirut.explosion/index.html:

Questions:

  1. Why would anybody assassinate an **ex-**Prime Minister?

  2. Why is the Bush Administration reacting this way? Is there any evidence the Syrian government was behind the assassination? If not, is it fair to hold the Syrian government responsible for everything that happens in Lebanon (or, for that matter, in Syria)?

Heads Iran, Tails Syria.

Call it in the air…

Rafik Hariri’s bio in the Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rafiq_Hariri – makes him out to be a pretty good guy, for a billionaire:

Who would have wanted him dead, I wonder? And why would anybody be blaming the Syrians? Hariri built them a new presidential palace in Damascus out of his own pocket, for Allah’s sake!

The BBC world service radio last night was interviewing a Lebanese politician who had no doubt that the Syrians were behind it. That segment also said that Hariri was an outspoken critic of the continued Syrian presence in Lebanon.

He apparently resigned, against the wishes of Syria when the constitutionnal law was changed in order for the pro-syrian president to run for a new term. He seems he since also came closer to opposition groups opposed to the syrian “protectorate” in Lebanon.

I gather that both the american and the french government suspect that the Syrian government choose to turn a blind eye to the preparation of the assasination, or even possibly organized it. Why they believe so, I wouldn’t know.

He has recently been vocal about getting Syrian troops out of Lebanon. There also was a good chance he would run again.

Given the target and the size of the blast, it’s a reasonable suspicion, but I’m not aware of any direct evidence.

The gubnut of Syria nurtured hatred of Jews long after they lost World War II (extended edition). That hatred has just nipped the hand that fed it. Hatred is like that.

It was a big bomb. If I could somehow predict another target, I would get him outathere. ASAP, even. As these tyrants have no remorse for innocents, it is best for all to back off.

With our ambassador no longer a hostage, we now have few outside restrictions on our re-action. This gives Syria reason to run faster than Iran.

Lastly, it is Smart to the Max to discuss intelligence under the Cone of Silence in Washington.
:dubious:

Peace through Liberty

r~

Why would Syria do something like this to someone who is considered a national hero in Lebanon? What threat was Hariri to Syria? In light of the recent flyovers by Israel and the new sanctions by the U.S., Asad thought he’d slip something like this by unnoticed? Hariri’s influence and power was substantially reduced recently when the Lebanese Parliament voted to give Lahoud three more years (resulting in Hariri quiting in protest). So now that he’s out of power, and will remain so for a while, he should be killed? Do the folks pointing the finger at Syria (in this thread and elsewhere) honestly think the Syrians are this stupid?
BrainGlutton, in another thread recently, I mentioned how blacks ops can be made to look like the work of another intelligence agency or group. I have no cites, but I have a feeling this is an example of just such a thing.
There are plenty of people in Lebanon who dislike the Syrian influence and military presence in their country. The feeling was nowhere near as pronounced amongst the populace as it is now. I’m certain Syrian intelligence has enough of a feel for the sentiment amongst the populace to know better than to suggest something like this, let alone Asad authorizing it.
I have no idea who was ultimately behind it, but Asad’s not this crazy or this stupid.

So, do you have even a guesswork hypothesis as to who coughCIAcough might actually be behind this?

I want you to think long and hard about that sentence clause until you realize how utterly ridiculous it is.

I don’t think it was the CIA. Israel has more at stake in this equation and the Americans don’t need another friendly Arab nation turning against them should it ever come to light that they were involved in this.

I am a skeptic. But the US has tried targeted assasination, using a bomb, in Beirut. (Bill Casey’s CIA in 1985, according to the link below).

I present this as an uncritiqued citation. I’m not saying that I support it, I just think it is interesting.
http://rigorousintuition.blogspot.com/2005/02/accidentally-like-martyr.html

I’m posting in this thread, hope it’s ok.

I’m utterly confused by this, and I’ve missed most of the major news (immersed in work). Then, this morning, I caught a snipet on CNN about troops ammasing in Lebanon?

Can someone give a short and sweet explanation of what is going on here, and why Syria is involved?

(/stupid)

Related update.

Iran, Syria ‘form common front’

Look, the contention that an operation cannot be the action of one party, because that would be too obvious, so therefore it must be the action of another party, has an obvious flaw. Yeah, the second party could carry out the action and hope to blame it on the first party. But the first party can also carry out the action, and when blamed for it, blame the second party. Plus people do boneheaded things every day, and not all those people are CIA agents.

Look, there are people throughout the middle east who WANT war. Even if Assad himself doesn’t want war, I’m sure there are people in Syrian intelligence who do.

As for the speculation that the bombing could be CIA, what possible benefit to the US does this bring? I know some people speculate that Bush is just peeing his pants in anticipation of another war in the Middle East, but that makes no sense, unless you contend that Bush acts from no other motive than pure evil, or rather that his controllers act from no other motive than pure evil.

And I also don’t see how the Israelis benefit. They are trying to continue the cease-fire with the PA. How does a war or insurgency in Lebanon against Syria benefit them?

Syria controls Lebanon. They don’t want to leave Lebanon. Hariri, from what I know, seems to have been an obstacle to continued control of Lebanon. Someone removed that obstacle. Just because the obstacle’s removal might potentially cause outrage in various places doesn’t mean it wasn’t deemed worth it. Assad Jr. doesn’t control Syria the same way his dad did.

Anybody else getting a kind of Archduke Ferdinand feeling from this?

What benefit does Syria gain from keeping it’s troops deployed in Lebanon? Is it monetary or tactical?

Hariri was putting together an anti-Syrian coalition between Christian, Druze and Muslim opposition parties for the elections this spring, and there was talk that if they won, he would be Prime Minister.

“Pure evil”? No, I was thinking in terms of a more complicated concatenation of motives – desire for power and glory; desire to provide his “base” (so he called a gathering of corporate CEOs at a banquet that was included in Farenheit 9-11) with opportunities for profits; desire to secure America’s future supply of cheap imported oil by taking over an oil-producing country; and a desire to bring democracy to a dictatorship, and expand American military presence in the ME, in accordance with neocon ideology.

IOW, the same motives that got us into Iraq.

Just so you know, Lebanon doesn’t have any oil, and Syria’s almost out…they’ll probably be a net importer within 10 years.