Monday, September 05, 2005


Suspects arrested in Hariri assassination

Three senior security men and a parliamentarian were named as suspects in connection with the assassination of former Lebanese PM Rafiq Hariri. Or at least, I think that's what it says: Trois anciens chefs des services de renseignements et de sécurité du Liban, le général de brigade Raymond Azar, le général-major Jameel al-Sayeed et Ali al-Hajj et un ancien parlementaire, Nasser Kandil figurent parmi les suspects » dans l'enquête sur l'assassinat de Rafic Hariri Here's the English language translation Massir Kandil is in Syria. Al-Sayeed, Azar, and al-Hajj are in custody. Gen. Mustafa Hamdan was summoned for a second interrogation. I think this means that the UN believes there is a definite connection of Syria to the assassination. In The Steven Emerson Lunatic Asylum, they're absolutely positive. Personally, I have always wondered whether this was not an American operation designed to implicate the Syrians. It has certainly been Bush that benefited, if only temporarily, from the assassination. Syria certainly did not, though observers like Robert Fisk think that they believed they would simply because they were very stupid. The evidence the Fitzgerald Commission had to point to Syria was terribly thin, essentially that the attack was sophisticated. Or maybe not, as I pointed out on this blog. I'm assuming that the UN has better evidence now, but I fear not.
Hmmm. This reminds me of the runup to invading Iraq, when every little sneeze from Saddam was considered "provocation".
If it were just the US, I'd agree, PW. The US has made it plain that it intends to put the squeeze on Syria.

In this case, though, the UN has signed on.

The UN is susceptible to US pressure. The UN presence in Haiti is proof that the US can often force the body to join in doing wrong.

But in assessing it, I make it as, say, 60% likely that the UN sincerely believes that there is Syrian involvement vs. 40% likely that this is purely a US play.
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