Thursday, September 20, 2007

Blame Syria

The Lebanese MP Antoine Ghanem, the Maronite (Christian) Phalangist and possible Presidential candidate in the looming election was killed along with several others in a car bombing in Sin el-Fil, Lebanon. This killing is the latest in a string of assassinations of prominent anti-Syrian figures in Lebanon since the killing of former prime minister Rafik Hariri in 2005.

Ghanem's death imperils the anti-Syrian coalition's majority in parliament and has implications over their ability to dominate the selection of the current pro-Syrian president's successor. The coalition was swept into power following internal and international outrage over the killing of Hariri. Many members of that anti-Syrian coalition have gone to ground following this latest bombing.

This bombing follows hard on the heels of an embarrassing few weeks for Syria. The alleged and now confirmed air-strike by Israel on a mysterious target in Syria has led to uncharacteristic silence by both nations.

The murder of this particular MP from the Pro-Israel Phalangist party whose militias allied themselves with Israel during that country's occupation of Lebanon stinks of petty retribution on Syria's part. Something terribly embarrassing happened to Syria, and Israel's success has led to much ridiculous posturing from Assad and now Iran. No doubt the coming weeks will reveal more about the bombing as well as the mysterious air-strike. One doubts however that the killing of Antoine Ghanem will work to Syria's favor.