Tuesday, December 13, 2005

NEIGHBOURS FROM HELL

According to George Galloway, "The Syrian people are fortunate in having Bashar al-Assad as their leader". I'm not so sure that sentiment will be shared by the Lebanese who have to put up with his crooked regime living next door. As neighbours go, he's been long overdue an ASBO: Syria blamed as another critic is murdered in car bombing. (from the Times)
Gebran Tueni, Lebanon’s leading journalist and a prominent politician, was killed by a huge car bomb explosion yesterday, the latest victim of a campaign against anti-Syrian figures.

Mr Tueni’s death, in a suburb of East Beirut, came less than 24 hours after his return from France, where he had based himself for several months because of death threats.

Lebanese politicians blamed Syria. Damascus denied the charge, saying that the killing was designed to smear it.
Aha. Just a coincidence that:
Mr Tueni was one of the foremost figures in the opposition to Syria’s 30-year hegemony over Lebanon. His opinion pieces condemned Syrian interference in Lebanon. In one of his last columns he accused Syria of “crimes against humanity” after mass graves were found near its former intelligence headquarters in Lebanon.
Sadly this is not a one-off: the Times article includes the following rather depressing timeline:
  • October 1, 2004 Marwan Hamade, Druze politician, survived car bomb outside his Beirut home. Bodyguard killed.


  • February 14, 2005 Rafik Hariri, former Lebanese Prime Minister, killed in Beirut.


  • June 2 Samir Kassir, a newspaper columnist, killed by a bomb beneath his car.


  • June 21 George Hawi, former Lebanese Communist Party leader, killed by a bomb beneath his car.


  • July 12 Elias Murr, outgoing Defence Minister and former Syrian ally, is wounded.


  • September 25 May Chidiac, television news anchor, wounded north of Beirut.


  • December 12 Gebran Tueni, journalist on An-Nahar newspaper and critic of Syria, killed by a bomb by his car.
And what perfect timing:
The attack came as the UN Security Council received the latest report of a UN investigation into the murder of Rafik Hariri, the former Prime Minister of Lebanon, who died in a bomb blast in February. Syria is blamed widely for the killing and the report has unearthed evidence that strengthens suspicion of high-level Syrian involvement.
Ah yes, the small matter of Hariri's assassination and the idiot at the UN who tried to cover-up the extent of Syrian involvement in a report for the Security Council. Shame he didn't uncheck the "Track Changes" option, eh?
The United Nations withheld some of the most damaging allegations against Syria in its report on the murder of Rafik Hariri, the former Lebanese Prime Minister, it emerged yesterday.

The names of the brother of Bashar al-Assad, President of Syria, and other members of his inner circle, were dropped from the report that was sent to the Security Council.

The confidential changes were revealed by an extraordinary computer gaffe because an electronic version distributed by UN officials on Thursday night allowed recipients to track editing changes.
Nice.

Michael Totten sums things up nicely:
The lying fascist scumbag of a regime in Syria denies having anything to do with this. If they were smart they would bump off one of their Lebanese stooges once in a while just to make it look slightly less obvious to the gullible.
Lets see whether this, the latest in a string of politically-motivated killings in Lebanon, generates anywhere near the level of outrage from those who were so upset with Israel's assassination of Rantisi. I won't hold my breath.

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