Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Anther explosion in Beirut. I don't remember when the first car bomb was used in Lebanon, but it certainly was planted by Israeli agents years before the Lebanese civil war started. Remember that Ghassan Kanafani was killed back in 1972, and rockets were planted in a car and fired on the apartment of Wadi` Haddad back in 1970. Israel always does its murder, more massive, as when Israeli agents killed Abu Hasan Salamah with a massive car bomb. Later, Lebanese factions and Syria and Iraq (not to mention Israel which never stopped its bombings) resorted to the grotesque weapon of car bombings. I have written before about my belief in Ashraf Rifi's theory of the assassination of Rafiq Hariri. The Syrian regime was humiliatingly forced to withdraw from Lebanon, and the Syrian regime most likely resorted to what it does well: to fight dirty. And the March 14th camp in Lebanon was not satisfied with the withdrawal of the Syrian regime from Lebanon: they wanted more. They wanted to 1) humiliate the Syrian regime further; 2) to allow Lebanon to be used for the purposes and calculations of the US administration; 3) to serve as clients in the bitter (and most important as far as the understanding of Lebanon's present-day conflict is concerned) Syrian-Saudi conflict; 4) to work for the overthrow of the Asad regime--the only regime (along with Qatar and Libya) that does not fall under the Saudi pact. The Hariri camp wrongly assumed that it can easily take on the Syrian regime: they wanted to install a pro-Saudi Sunni government in Syria. The `Alawite minority regime was not going to give up power that easily. (Rafiq Hariri was involved in that matter too, but not as openly as his successors.) Walid Jumblat openly called for the assassination of Bashshar Al-Asad a few months ago, and the Hariri family now funds and hosts the Syrian opposition, including the Muslim Brotherhood which led an armed rebellion against the Asad regime back in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It was crushed brutally by the Asad regime in the Hamah attack (led by Rif`at Al-Asad--who now poses as a pro-democracy advocate and who receives support from his brother-in-law, Saudi King `Abdullah) which resulted in the death of some 10,000 people. But in recent weeks, having seen the vast extent of the presence of the fanatic salafi network in Lebanon, I am now reconsidering my theory about Hariri's assassination, but you can never be so sure. I always believe that in Lebanese violence, you can not exonerate either Syria (the regime) or Israel. But I now add the possibility of salafi groups. Walid `Idu (the Lebanese MP who was killed in the car bomb today) is related to me, you may be surprised to know. His son Mazin got married last year to the daughter of my first cousin. `Idu is not new to Lebanese politics. He was involved in militia politics during the war years: he was born to a Maronite mother and a Sunni father, and he lived his life as a staunch Nasserist Arab nationalist until his conversion three years ago. While serving as a judge, he joined the Nasserist Murabitun militia, although it is illegal for judges in Lebanon to join political parties. But he was aware of that. So he used a code name: Rudwan Sa`adah. Rudwan Sa`adah was listed as one of the leaders of the Murabitun militia during the war years. People from that era and that organization believe that he was responsible for some decrees in the realm of militia "justice" during the war years. As a judge, he had a bad reputation--a good reputation if you are a defendant who wanted a convenient ruling. He had a reputation for offering verdicts that suited "clients" but for a fee. It was that reputation that got Rafiq Hariri interested in him when Hariri was searching for judges who could help him in the illegal expropriation of property in downtown Beiurt. Hariri put him on his parliamentary list in the 2000 election. During those years, he was one of the closest allies of the Syrian intelligence in Lebanon. One colleague of `Idu (a member of the Hariri parliamentary bloc) told me that `Idu was known for offering the military salute (and he would click his heels too) whenever he would meet with a Syrian mukhabarat functionary. But `Idu was good in the quick transformation that many politicians of his ilk made after the assassination of Rafiq Hariri: he went from being one of the most passionate advocates of the Syrian regime, to one of the most passionate advocates against the Syrian regime. But the killers know their targets: they now go after 2nd tier members of the ruling coalition: people who don't have a mass base. From very early on, I never expected the March 14th camp, under the Hariri family, to lead Lebanon toward peace, prosperity, or sovereignty. I have not changed my mind. I am still of the view that the Hariri family has done irreparable damage to Lebanon.
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 9:04 AM