Hie thee over to the Angry Arab if you want the real low-down on what's going on in Lebanon, behind the U.S. media-bubble template of nice, clean, Western-style democrats pushing out dark and scaly Syrian murderers. Reading the astute AbuKhalil -- an American-based humanist who was born in Lebanon, and is actually in Lebanon at the moment -- you will learn many facts that are invisible in the Homeland media, including:
-- Sa'd Hariri, son of the slain ex-prime minister and leader of the "democratic" coalition, is largely a creation of the Saudis, who have now replaced their rivals, the Syrians, as the money and power behind the throne;
-- George Hawi, the Communist Party leader assassinated yesterday in a car bombing widely attributed to the Syrians, was not only "a critic of Syria," as the NYT noted ominously; he was even more opposed to U.S. and Israeli policies in the region. Hawi is already being rigged up as a martyr to Syrian nogoodnikism, one more reason to lay some hot-lead "regime change" on Damascus.
(Strange how the warmongering Right is now championing Arab communists with such fervor; Iraq's communist party was warmly embraced by the Bushists -- as one of the few organized Iraqi factions that supported the invasion. Which was doubly ironic, given the fact that the CIA helped Saddam and Baathists exterminate Communists during the Baathists' American-assisted coups in the 1960s.)
Again, as we noted a couple of weeks ago, the Syrian regime is perfectly capable of murder most foul. (Although it's not likely that Bashir Assad has claimed the right to kill anyone on earth at his own, arbitrary, unreviewable, unchallengeable order, as George W. Bush has done. Story here.) But considering the fact that they are squarely in the cross-hairs of Bush's trigger-happy nest of neo-cons, the Syrians would have to be remarkably stupid to pull off such high-profile provocations at this critical moment. As the Winter Patriot notes, these crimes seem almost too perfect, made to order for anyone looking to foment plausible reasons for military action against Damascus.