The Guardian's latest affront to human dignity, this time written by Patrick Seale: Who killed Rafik Hariri?
If Syria killed Rafik Hariri, Lebanon's former prime minister and mastermind of its revival after the civil war, it must be judged an act of political suicide. Syria is already under great international pressure from the US, France and Israel. To kill Hariri at this critical moment would be to destroy Syria's reputation once and for all and hand its enemies a weapon with which to deliver the blow that could finally destabilise the Damascus regime, and even possibly bring it down.
So attributing responsibility for the murder to Syria is implausible. The murder is more likely to be the work of one of its many enemies.
These statements are breathtaking in their ignorance and their sheer stupidity. History is replete with instances of governments taking actions that, whether driven by panic or simple miscalculation, seem in retrospect to be "suicidal." Hell, you don't even have to crack a book to see examples of this. If anyone has read the newspapers or watched television news in the last few months you have seen the "suicidal" results of the attempt to murder Victor Yushenko in Ukraine. Since it clearly brought ill results to the previous regime and Russia, are we to conclude that they couldn't have don't it? According to this "logic" it seems we should blame the United States or the E.U. for the poisoning.
But wait, this ignorance and stupidity has a purpose.
If Syria did not kill Hariri, who could have? There is no shortage of potential candidates, including far-right Christians, anxious to rouse opinion against Syria and expel it from Lebanon; Islamist extremists who have not forgiven Syria its repression of the Muslim Brotherhood in the 80s; and, of course, Israel.
Of course, those damn dirty Jews! How could I have been so blind!
First of all, someone, anyone, please point to an example of the Israelis employing a suicide car bomber as a means of assassination. Secondly, please point to an example of the Israelis assassinating someone they didn't have a specific grievance with in order to reap the benefits of a secondary political reaction. The reason you cannot name examples of these types of actions by Israel is because there are no examples of these types of actions by Israel.
But wait, it's not the Jews fault alone.
The US and Israel have been trying to rally international support against Iran, Syria and Hizbullah. The US secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, has condemned Iran as a prime sponsor of international terror. Syria has been condemned as a "destabilising" force in the region, and is in the dock because of Hariri's assassination.
See! It must be the United States fault as well. (I wondered how long it would take for Seale to get around to blaming the U.S.)
The depths of deception the author of the piece is willing to undertake is nearly bottomless. Take the following statements:
Syria's military intelligence chief in Lebanon, General Rustum Ghazalah, was reported to have threatened and insulted Hariri to force him to accept the extension. This caused great exasperation among all communities in Lebanon. Hariri resigned as prime minister in protest.
Syria appears to have recognised its mistake. President Bashar al-Assad last week sacked General Hassan Khalil, head of military intelligence, and replaced him with his own brother-in-law, General Asaf Shawkat. A purge of the military intelligence apparatus in Lebanon is expected to follow. (emphasis added)
How is any of this inconsistent with the theory that Syria killed Hariri? The fact is that it isn't inconsistent with that theory. Yet this is what is offered as proof that Syria couldn't have been involved!
The only "proof" this article gives us is the insinuation that Israelis will be Israelis. Jews will be Jews.
If Patrick Seale isn't an anti-Semite, he's doing a damn fine impersonation of one.
The Guardian should be ashamed of publishing this tripe.