Sunday, February 20, 2005

Did you know that Rafik Hariri was killed last week? Not Rafik Hariri! Yes Rafik Hariri the former Lebanese Prime Minister who resigned last fall amid a sharp dispute with Syria and its Lebanese stooges. You see, Hariri had the nerve to reject Syria’s insistence that his old rival, President Emile Lahoud, remain in office as president for three more years. Pro-Syrian allies of Lahoud accused Hariri of being behind the U.N. Security Council resolution passed in September that Syria was ignoring. U.N. Security Council Resolution 1559 calls on Syria to withdraw its forces from Lebanon and stop interfering in Lebanese affairs.

According to this article, “The U.N. Security Council wants Lebanon’s government to investigate the killing and prosecute those responsible.” Thanks for the help guys, what would we do without U.N. resolutions? Hariri was close with French President Jacques Chirac who said the assassination “angered the international community and this requires that we shed the light on this heinous, indescribable act.” We all know how scared Syria must be of the “international community “for all of Frances “not inflaming the Arab street” positions it couldn’t keep one of the Arab worlds few good leaders from getting whacked.

Now that I’m done France and U.N. bashing, Hariri’s unfortunate death may yield positive results, like weakening Syria’s heavy handed meddling in Lebanese affairs. It could also remove a roadblock to the Israeli/Palestinian peace negotiations or reduce a source of funding for the Iraqi insurgency. France has joined the United States in the Security Council calling Syria out and demanding an end to the occupation of Lebanon. One French diplomat went so far as to tell the Associated Press that France and the U.S. were working "hand in hand" to resolve the crisis. If the outrage in Lebanon and Paris over Hariri’s death makes France grow a backbone, if only for a short time, it might make Syria straiten up for a while. If Syria is on its best behavior it can only help in de-funding the Iraqi insurgency of men and money and Syria’s support of Palestinian terrorist organizations is well known. If Syria and their EU apologists were to stop being part of the problem, if only for a few months, it may provide the opportunity to finally get something done.

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