History's End

History will end only when Man does

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  • Monday, February 14, 2005

    Syria's Big Mistake?

    The recent assassination of the former Prime Minister of Lebanon could be a catastrophe for Syria. Even if Syria wasn't involved, which I doubt at this point, they are already being blamed:
    he United States called the attack "a terrible reminder" that Lebanon still must shake free of occupation by Syria — the neighbor that keeps 15,000 troops here and influences virtually all key political decisions.

    Syria denied any role and condemned the assassination. But opposition leaders in Lebanon said they held both the Lebanese and Syrian governments responsible and demanded Syrian troops withdraw.

    A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it was too early in the investigation to know who was responsible, but said any list of suspects "would have to include the Syrians and their surrogates in Lebanon."

    Apparently the former PM was also a friend of Chirac, as well:
    President Jacques Chirac of France, a friend of Hariri, demanded an international investigation, saying Hariri represented "the indefatigable will of independence, freedom and democracy" for Lebanon.
    If Chirac and the US are united in this effort, then I think that Syria is going to be in big trouble. Already the US has been putting pressure on Syria to remove its troops from Lebanon, and this might be the impetus to get the UN to demand a Syrian withdrawal.

    This could also be a move by Hizb'allah, which has ties to Iran, but also to Syria, through Iran. So its possible both nations wanted Rafik Hariri dead. I think its likely Iran will escape "notice" for this, but I don't think Syria will. The next couple of days could give an indication of which way the wind is blowing. If we see a UN resolution demanding Syria's withdrawal, things could come to a head.

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