Syria Murders Pierre Gemayel
A few days ago, LF leader Samir Geagea expressed his fears that Syria would attempt to assassinate three ministers in order to deprive the majority of the ability to convene the required two thirds quorum to ratify the international tribunal.
Geagea seems to have been proved right, as anti-Syrian industry minister Pierre Gemayel, son of former president Amin Gemayel and member of the March 14 coalition, was targeted and assassinated earlier today. His convoy was attacked and shot at.
This comes as the UN is set to approve the intl. tribunal today to send it back to Lebanon to be ratified. It also comes at the same time as Hezbollah and the other Syrian agents prepare to take to the streets for a coup d'état to protect the Syrian regime from the tribunal.
This assassination will likely ensure that if such street rallies do take place, clashes would erupt, as it's clear that the Syrians are set on that. (Just another reminder for the idiots who believe Syria is a force of "stability.")
Syria has a primary objective that outweighs everything else: kill the Hariri tribunal, and redominate Lebanon at any cost. This is nothing short than a fight to the death for the Syrians. And, as these thugs have done throughout their bloody history, they will kill anyone.
My fear is that they will go after a couple more ministers to ensure the government falls.
We know what the Lebanese are prepared to do. Now, what is the Intl. Community prepared to do?
Addendum: More from Abu Kais.
Update: Reports are coming out that another March 14 minister came under attack, but was unharmed. This supports the theory that the target is indeed to eliminate enough ministers to topple the government.
Furthermore, given that the targeted ministers are Christians, it would be consistent with the same tactic the Syrians adopted after they killed Hariri when they targeted exclusively Christian figures and Christian areas. The hope is to spark sectarian clashes that would send the country into a vacuum, which is why Amin Gemayel and Walid Jumblat have urged restraint. An additional benefit for the Syrians and Iranians and Hezbollah would be the killing of UNR 1701 and the UNIFIL deployment in southern Lebanon.
Update 2: Iraq the Model puts its finger on an essential truth: "Syria thinks that just because they made a "friendly" gesture towards Iraq yesterday they would have the right to unleash their dogs in Lebanon today. That's their definition for dialogue."
This is certainly part of it. All this useless noise about "engaging" Syria has led to this. It has been interpreted by Syria as a license to kill, to make its move in Lebanon. And this is the result of the mere chatter about "engagement," that has no real policy substance! This is Syria for you. And people still act surprised, and luminaries still call for "talking" to Syria, and want to tell it what its "real interest" is, and convince themselves that Syria really is not interested in chaos. Destabilization is inherent to the Syrian regime's nature. It is their interest.
Update 3: Statement by President Bush: "The United States remains fully committed to supporting Lebanon's independence and democracy in the face of attempts by Syria, Iran, and their allies within Lebanon to foment instability and violence. Syria's refusal to cease and desist from its continuing efforts to destabilize Lebanon's democratically elected government is a repeated violation of United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1559 and 1701. The United States will continue its efforts with allied nations and democratic forces in Lebanon to resist these efforts and protect Lebanon's sovereignty and democratic institutions."
Update 4: I just received notice that the UN passed the Presidential statement, and they got the letter of agreement on the tribunal passed. Now it goes back to Lebanon for approval by Parliament. If Gemayel's assassination is an indication, expect more destabilization by Syria and its pitbulls in the next few days.