Friday, November 24, 2006

Gemayel conspiracy theories

Gemayel's allies

"In the Shiite southern suburbs, Hezbollah's stronghold, shops stayed open Thursday despite a three-day period of mourning announced after Gemayel's death. As the funeral began, many watched scenes a few miles away unfold on television. Suspicion ran deep that Gemayel's allies, not Syria, were behind the killing, given the way his death has bolstered Hezbollah's opponents and put the organization on the defensive, forcing it to delay its own protests many had expected to begin this week." [1]

"The simmering struggle flared this month when Hezbollah and its Christian ally, Michel Aoun, demanded greater representation in the cabinet. Four rounds of talks failed, and two Hezbollah ministers, three other Shiites and an allied politician resigned on Nov. 11, depriving the cabinet of its Shiite representation and the symbolic sectarian consensus on which Lebanese politics depends.
Two days later, the depleted cabinet endorsed a U.N. proposal for an international tribunal to try suspects in Hariri's death, a step Syria has adamantly resisted. This weekend, in another escalation, Hezbollah leader Hasan Nasrallah insisted that the government resign or hold early parliamentary elections. Otherwise, he said, his followers would conduct days, even weeks of protests to bring the government down." [2]


"U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan has diligently and courageously pursued another course in dealing with Syria's systematic use of violence to regain control over Lebanon and the fortunes in smuggling drugs and arms that Syrian politicians and generals generate from their neighbor.
Citing the conditions created by the assassination of Rafiq al-Hariri, Lebanon's former prime minister, in February 2005 as a threat to international peace, Annan creatively pushed for an international criminal investigation and an international tribunal to try the case. Syrian officials are prime suspects in that crime and are widely believed to be behind the assassinations of at least four other advocates of Lebanese independence that followed Hariri's murder.
The killing of Gemayel, a member of the anti-Syrian coalition headed by Prime Minister Fuad Siniora, bears the hallmarks of a Syrian "initiative" to block the U.N. effort. And the murder came as Syria was reestablishing diplomatic relations with Iraq after 24 years of estrangement. This translation of Syrian actions quickly made its way through the Middle East: "You want help in Iraq? It will cost you Lebanon. For starters." That is realpolitik and real communication, Assad-style." [3]

[1] The Washington Post. At Lebanese Funeral, a Show of Force Against Syria: Gemayel's Assassination Highlights Escalating Conflict Over Country's Direction. November 24, 2006.
[2] The Washington Post. Fears of Civil Strife Rise in Lebanon: Christian Cabinet Member Pierre Gemayel, Killed by Gunmen, Was Critic of Syria. November 22, 2006.
[3] The Washington Post. Realism, and Values, in Lebanon. November 26, 2006.

posted: friday, november 24, 2006, 9:53 PM ET
update: wednesday, november 29, 2006, 3:49 PM ET

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