October 19, 2012
Syria is taking the blame for the brazen assassination earlier today of Lebanese security boss Wissam al-Hassan in Beirut’s Achrafieh neighborhood. The suicide car bombing claimed the lives of eight and wounded 78.
Hassan is a pivotal figure in Lebanon. He was heavily involved in the investigation of former information minister Michel Samaha, who is an al-Assad supporter, and stands accused of plotting terrorist attacks in Lebanon. Hassan earlier led an investigation into the assassination of former prime minister Rafik al-Hariri. Both Syria and Hezbollah were blamed for the attack.
Rafik’s son, Saad al-Hariri, a former Lebanese prime minister and billionaire, accused al-Assad in the killing of al-Hassan. “Who killed Wissam al-Hassan is as clear as day. Certainly the Lebanese people will not be silent over this heinous crime and I, Saad Hariri, promise that I will not be silent,” he told Future Television.
The younger al-Hariri heads up the Movement of the Future, a Sunni political movement aligned with Lebanon’s Kataeb Party, otherwise known as the Phalange, a Maronite paramilitary youth organization established in 1936 by Pierre Gemayel who modeled it after the Spanish Falange and Italian fascist parties. In the 1970s, the Phalange worked with the Israelis (particularity the Likud) against the PLO in Lebanon. It was involved in the 1982 massacre of 3,500 Palestinians in the Sabra and Shatila refugeee camps in Beirut.
The Movement of the Future is opposed by the March 8 Coalition, a coalition composed of more than a dozen Lebanese political groups, including Hezbollah and the Amal Movement. The March 8 Coalition was formed in response to the Cedar Revolution in 2005 following the murder of Rafik al-Hariri. The Cedar Revolution demanded Syrian troops leave Lebanon and stop meddling in the country’s politics.
In Europe and the United States, the Cedar Revolution was portrayed as a grassroots effort to dislodge Syrian influence. However, other observers believe it was a continuation of CIA enginnered color revolutions in the former Soviet Union and the Balkans.
“Mossad and CIA agents jointly engineered waves of anti-Syrian protestors, dubbed by the West the ‘Cedar Revolution’ after Lebanon’s cedar emblazoned flag, along the lines of CIA-NATO engineered ‘color revolutions’ that successfully toppled independent governments and installed pro-American satellite regimes in their stead,” writes Manjit Singh.
Syria’s departure from civil war-torn Lebanon after a long occupation legitimized by the Lebanese Parliament in the Taif Agreement, supported by the Arab League, was a short-lived victory for Israel and the United States. In 2006, after Hezbollah forced Israel to retreat from Lebanon for a second time, the gains of the Cedar Revolution were put in doubt and a large number of Lebanese turned against the influence of the United States in the region.
Contrary to the narrative now emerging in the United States – Syria and Hezbollah are responsible for killing Wissam al-Hassan – the exact opposite is likely true: al-Hassan’s murder is another violent engineered event in sectarian-riven Lebanon and is designed to provide further pretext for turning against Syria and fueling the drive to topple al-Assad and ultimately reduce Shi’ite political influence in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and eventually Iran.
Israel considers Syria its primary adversary in the neighborhood and has vowed to take down al-Assad. “Syria challenges Israel on Lebanese soil,” the “Clean Break” document authored by the Study Group on a New Israeli Strategy Toward 2000 states. “An effective approach, and one with which American can sympathize, would be if Israel seized the strategic initiative along its northern borders by engaging Hizballah, Syria, and Iran, as the principal agents of aggression in Lebanon.”
The report is the brainchild of the Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies, an Israeli and neocon think tank in Washington. Although we are told by the establishment media that the neocons have lost their once paramount influence within foreign policy circles in the U.S. government, their vision of Israeli hegemony and to realize Arab and Muslim balkanization remains the preeminent foreign policy agenda of the establishment despite the departure of the neocons.
Syria and Hezbollah have nothing to gain from recent events attributed to them. Following the attack today, Hezbollah denounced “the horrible crime [as] an attempt against Lebanon’s stability and national unity” and Iranian foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi condemned “the terrorist explosion in Beirut’s Ashrafieh” and voiced his “fear that the disagreements between [the Lebanese] would [worsen] because there are those who want to exploit the criminal incident.”
Israeli ambassador Ron Prosor, on the other hand, told a UN Security Council debate on the situation in the Middle East on October 15 that “Iran has provided Hezbollah with the funds, training and advanced weapons to hijack the Lebanese state and transform it into an outpost for terror.”