Rafik Hariri is Dead

A car-bomb has just exploded in Beirut's hotel district and there are certain to be fatalities judging from footage of the blast. Few doubt that this is linked to growing international pressures to get the Syrians to withdraw from Lebanon. A few months ago, it was the attempted assassination of a former minister critical of the Syrian-imposed extension of the Lebanese president's mandate. The Syrians really don't want to leave.

Updates here.

The latest news is that former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri was the target of the blast, and has been killed. This comes after an article published in Al-Hayat yesterday suggesting that he any attack against him was a "red line" for the Syrians as far as the international community was concerned.

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    A red line huh? So what are they gonna do about it?

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    And Hariri was planning to run again with "Syria out of Lebanon" as part of his platform; right?

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    Prime Minister Rafik Hariri may turn out to be a distant cousin of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

    What will come of this event, only the days ahead will tell, but a look at the immediate reactions show that this may not just pass quietly away.

    There had been a crackdown this weekend on some of the members of a Hariri charity. They were picked up on Saturday, interrogated, and released early Monday. This was originally criticised even by members of the Syrian-backed Lebanese govt. It was suggested that the crackdown was likely to push Hariri ahead in the polls. Curious to see if info on Hariri's travel plans and envoy were subjects of the interrogation. And yes, he was running under a Syria-out platform.

    As for what happens, it was France that actually issued the warning against violence towards Hariri or Jumblat.
    "The message warned that assassinating ex-Premier Hariri or Druze leader Walid Jumblat would initiate a "total, final and irrevocable divorce with the international community," according to Al Hayat."

    France has now lead the call for investigation, too early to see if they will be good to their word. The US has implied Syrian involvement in it's statements. Israel didn't mince words and flat out accussed them of it. Syria has of course denied involvement. The little know groupd claiming responsiblity says he was killed for being a Saudi puppet.

    Syria is already hip deep in Iraq with it's connections to the Al-Tikriti branch of the Baathists. Their denial of involvement is expected and the fact that this is a little known group that claims to have Saudi in mind seems to possibly put them off the hook. But the bomb itself was no amateur affair.

    "A blast so huge it blew out windows more than one kilometre away ripped apart the Mercedes vehicles like toys and engulfed the car Hariri was driving in fierce flames."

    "So advanced was the bomb, security sources said, that it defeated jamming equipment so hi-tech that Hariri's passing convoy would interfere with cell phones and televisions."
    http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L14373869.htm

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    As for what happens, it was France that actually issued the warning against violence towards Hariri or Jumblat.

    Thus proving the value of a warning from the French.

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    Furthermore if the French threatened;

    "total, final and irrevocable divorce with the international community,"

    Didn't they threaten us with the same if we re-elected Bush?

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    Thus proving the value of a warning from the French. - R C Dean

    The French have never proved shy about intevening, unilaterally, even, in the affairs of their former colonial possessions. This seems to happen often in Sub-Saharan Africa, where both economic and social ties to France are still strong. I'm not sure if French troops have been deployed to N. Africa or the West Asian portion of the Middle East since the Republic and the UK backed down fom the U.S. over Suez. Gary G. or another Reasonoid will know.

    No matter one's opinion of Hariri, that bombers are circumscribing the choices of the Lebanese for future political leadership is not a good thing, no sir.

    Kevin

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    I JUST WANT TO SAY I FEEL SO VERY BAD FOR WHAT HAPPEN IN LEBANON AND TO EL SHAHID RAFIK HARIRRI HE WAS GONNA MAKE LEBANON LIKE HAVEN ON EARTH I DONT KNOW WHY THIS HAPPEN I FEEL VERY BAD AND I JUST WONNA SAY I WIL NEVER COME TO LEBANON WITH OUT EL SHAHID RAFIK EL HARIRRI THERE TO ALL OF YOU GOOD LUCK DOWN THERE I HAVENT BEEN THERE IN 18 YEARS

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