Murder in Beirut: Update
Pierre Gemayel Murdered by:
Syrian Dictator Bashar Assad
Is there any doubt the Syrians have brought Lebanon to the brink of destruction. An editorial today in the Wall Street Journal discussed the 2005 asassination of Lebanon's Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and a U.N. tribunal's attempt to affix blame for the deed. All signs point to Syria and Bashar Assad in that case.
.....events in Lebanon are so important. Syria's Lebanese allies are trying to undermine the Hariri investigation from within, and are expected to escalate their efforts very soon, maybe even this week. It makes no sense for the U.S. to hand them more ammunition by prematurely transacting with Mr. Assad before the U.N. completes its task and assigns responsibility for the assassination.
Yes, Syria's agents did escalate their efforts and today murdered the anti-Syrian Industry Minister, 34 year old Pierre Gemayel, son of a former Lebanese president.
....Pierre Gemayel, Lebanon’s Industry Minister and son of a former President, was shot dead yesterday http://beta.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifin his car in a Beirut suburb. It was the first assassination of a leading anti-Syrian figure in almost a year.
Update: Wall Street Journal 11/22/06 - Former Secretary of State James Baker has been saying that, when it comes to diplomacy, you don't "restrict your conversations to your friends"--shorthand for the view that the U.S. should engage Syria and Iran to find solutions in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East. But yesterday's murder of Lebanese Minister Pierre Gemayel might remind even Mr. Baker and his Iraq Study Group what some of those non-friends are all about.
"The hand of Syria is all over" Gemayel's assassination, said Saad Hariri, the leader of the parliamentary bloc that helped evict the Syrian army in the spring of 2005. Mr. Hariri knows whereof he speaks: His father, former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, was blown up with 22 others in February 2005, and the preliminary U.N. investigation offered a trail of evidence pointing to Damascus as the culprit.
A who's who of anti-Syrian Lebanese politicians and journalists have also since been targeted for assassination.....Which brings us back to Mr. Baker and the rest of the U.S. foreign-policy establishment now urging a new entente with Damascus. It's true that every Administration must deal with the world as it is. But when it comes to Syria, do the sages of the Iraq Study Group really want the Bush Administration to seek the benediction of a country that stirs such mayhem in Beirut?