Writes Dr. Michael Weinstein:
“Since the end of the civil war, Lebanon has been in great part a de facto protectorate of the Ba'athist regime in Damascus, whose military presence in the country has prevented a renewal of violent conflict, but has also guaranteed
Damascus' decisive influence in Lebanese politics. Throughout the time in which Syria has functioned as Lebanon's power broker, making sure that Beirut's leadership acquiesced in Damascus' interests, al-Hariri was the only politician with sufficient stature to allow Beirut to achieve a considerable degree of autonomy”
To be sure, the whacky-western-left is already taking sides based on their notion of who their ideological enemy is: "Blood-sucking hebe organ thieves"
[Erm… not quite, friend – why would they kill off the only powerful man who was willing to protect the Maronites. Note too that the Phalangists elements that weren’t absorbed into the Lebanese national military were dismantled and disarmed entirely. Their weapons were sold off to the Repiblika Srbska of all people.]
“One of Cheney's top Middle East advisors, David Wurmser, and Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith – both with strong ties to Israel's settler movement – contributed to papers in the 1990s that urged Israel and the United States to arm and finance groups in both Lebanon and Syria to force Damascus' withdrawal from Lebanon and destabilize the Ba'athist regime.”
“Others have suggested that Israel or their erstwhile allies in Lebanon, the Phalangist militia, may have been responsible, given the certainty that Syria would be blamed for the killing.”
The Syrians, naturally as reflexively blaming their dues ex machina, Israel, for the tragedy.
“Israel "continues to work to sabotage Lebanon's achievements to try to bring anarchy to the country…”
As such they’re tossing some red meat at the mob whose support they hope to retain. Aloud among the Iraqis who have to deal with insurgents, and in whispers in every village in Lebanon, the Syrians are losing hearts and minds.