Syria accused of killing Mughniyeh
Or is someone just double-daring Damascus to start something? "Minister of Communications Marwan Hamade asked Saturday why wouldn't Syria avenge the assassination of Hizbullah's Imad Mughniyeh who was killed in Damascus not in Lebanon. Mughniyeh's assassination in a Damascus suburb on Feb. 12 was a 'major insult to Syria's national security, unless Syria was involved in liquidating him.'"
The Syrian regime, he charged, is "ready to sell its brother, father, uncle and brother in law." Hamade accused Hizbullah, Syria and Iran of "placing bets on Israel that also places bets on them. Fanatics feed each other."
"We are not collaborators with Israel. We adopt a wise Arab stand and who opts for adventures let him go to adventures alone," Hamade stressed.
The implication of course, is that someone else -- Hizbullah, Syria or Iran -- are in secret league with Israel to do in the other party. Hamade went on to imply that Hizbullah might be trying to provoke Israel for its own purposes.
Hamade declared that he can not exonerate Hizbullah's "logistics branch" in the attempt to assassinate him on Oct. 1, 2004 by a car bomb. He noted that Qatar managed to withdraw its contingent serving with UNIFIL in south Lebanon early in February because "it felt that something is being planned for south Lebanon and because no one wants to go back to the 1980s" in reference to the abduction of foreigners by pro-Iranian factions.
I'm not sure whether to believe any of Hamade's specific allegations, but I think he correctly puts his finger on the practice of blaming Israel as a smokescreen to pursue otherwise nefarious agendas or to use Israel to deal with foes. Many of the conflicts in the Middle East are really mundane ploys to pillage fellow Arab countries or esconsce some faction in power or rackets which would be instantly familiar to Al Capone. However, it is the convention in the region to disguise crime as Jihad against the Jew and the convention in the Western intellectual circles to believe them.
Hamade asked for the "international community" to restrain Israel while the Lebanese Army dealt with preventing "civil strife" and safeguarding the "security and stability" of Lebanon, which I take to mean crack down on the Hezbollah. But taking on Hezbollah would provoke civil strife, which might bring Syria in on the side of Hezbollah and which in turn would bring in Israel.
And so we come back to the first question: did Syria kill Mughniyeh?