Blog of Mass Distraction

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Not as I do

Former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri was assassinated yesterday in a car bomb attack in Beirut. Hariri, a billionaire construction magnate who was good friends with several world leaders and had close relations with the ruling house of Saud in Saudi Arabia, was Prime Minister of Lebanon twice, and resigned both times over disputes with Syria. Lebanon is supposedly an independent country, but since Syrian troops entered the country to stem violence between Muslims and Israeli backed Christian groups, Syria has largely controlled the country.
Hariri taking leadership is largely credited with helping bring Lebanon back from civil war on to the road to development. He was a very popular leader and well supported, including his anti-Syrian rhetoric.1 Because of this it has been suspected that Syria was involved in the assassination. Syria denies this and an up-to-know unknown Palestinian militant group claimed responsibility for the killing. These claims are being dismissed however and the US has seized upon this opportunity to continue its condemnation of Syria. The US has withdrawn its ambassador to Syria and said that Lebanon must have the right to self determination. The US has said Syria must withdraw its troops from Lebanon...
Ok, so right now Syria is denying it had anything to do with this assassination and, really, it would have been stupid for them to orchestrate it. They are occupying the country, but Hariri was a populist leader and the Lebanese people would not stand for a stunt like this. Moreover, Hariri had strong ties to many other countries and governments and that could only harshen Syria's standing in the global community (not great as it is). Furthermore, because there's no evidence right now... who's to say someone else didn't plan this. Besides, this act of violence has helped the US exert pressure on Syria. Both the US and Israel are occupying foreign lands with their military forces. Both have exerted military might to prevent or deter the self rule and self determination of other peoples. Israel in Palestine and the US in so many other places, like in Iran which I mentioned in my last post.
So the US policy is really: Do as I say not as I do.



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