Lebanon: bomb kills senior general

I had the intuition that the talks about the next president weren't going anywhere. My assumption was that USrael and its Lebanese clients, March 14th, did not have any interest in the stabilisation of the country.

The man tipped to be the next head of Lebanon's army, Brig Gen Francois Hajj, was killed today by a car bomb in a Beirut suburb.

And as the hopes of the Lebanese were hanging on the only institution in the country that is not involved in dirty politics and clientelism, the army, to save the country from a civil war and a political deadlock, I had the intuition that the army was going to be a target. You see, Lebanese Politics is as simple as this: any time a solution is profiled, it is bombed, in the metaphorical and real senses of the word. And the culprits are designated immediately by March 14th: Syria, Iran, Syria-Iran, Iran-Syria, and now for the first time, the Syria-Iran AXIS. It doesn't matter for them that the bomb went on in a Christian neighbourhood, their theory is immune to refutation by facts, logic and pretty much anything else.

When I was a child learning about God and the bible in school I was told by the nuns that God is everywhere. And in my child's mind I wondered if God was living in my fridge or sleeping in my bed. Sometimes I would wake up at night fearful and implore God to let me sleep alone.
Like God and the primitf christian cathechism destined to make children obediant, we are told by March 14th and the Sanyura government that Syria and Iran are everywhere in Lebanon, they so much fill the air and the space that they live in our organs, they occupy our houses and sleep in our beds, and eventually bomb the hell out of us any time it is convenient for March 14th or their mentors !

Lebanon is the new middle earth, a country of doom, full of Nazgûls, ghosts, and dark masters, without the necessary counterpart of hobbits and courageous wizards.

The Syrian-backed opposition party Hizbullah condemned the attack, saying Hajj was a "friend" of the Lebanese people, al-Jazeera television reported.

However, the telecommunications minister, Marwan Hamadeh, accused the "Syrian-Iranian axis" of hitting the military - "the only body in Lebanon who can balance the power of Hezbollah and other militias in the country."

Related: Israel increasingly concerned with Lebanese elections, In January 2007, March 14th officials told Al-Siyassah, a koweiti newspaper known for its March 14th propaganda, among other, that François El-Hajj should be tried foir siding with the Aoun-Hezbollah opposition. Those March 14th who are mourning El-Hajj today by pointing fingers at the Syria-Iran axis know very well that they are just shedding crocodile tears...

In a larger context, what may be at stake now in Lebanon is the ability of those Neo-cons who still want to attack Iran (understand those who take their orders from Israel) to keep Lebanon as an open front for civil war, pulling the rug under the feet of those in Washington who want to talk to Iran. There is definitely a rift among the Neo-cons and any step Lebanon makes toward civil war away from consensus and stability will serve the pro war camp.


Ted said...

The less stable the entire region is the more Israel can get away with all in the name of "security".

And the innocent people suffer.


Number of Operations Iraq Freedom and Enduring Freedom casualties as confirmed by U.S. Central Command: 4337

Dubhaltach said...

There are days when I just want to weep for Lebanon - this day was one of them.

Sophia said...


I am pretty much desperate. But I think most of the blame should go to our 'politicians'. When they will start thinking in terms of the interests of the country and not their own slefish interest, this is when our problems will see the end of tunnel.

Jeb Koogler said...


Do you have any read on who might have been behind this? I agree about your frustration with March 14th and their immediate attribution to Syria. Also, do you ever read Joshua Landis's blog?

Sophia said...


I don't have a clue about who might have killed El-Hajj. One thing is clear however is the goal and the goal is the possible stability of Lebanon under a consensus president. I think sadly that there are many rifts now for which Lebanon is paying the price, a rift among the neo-cons, a possible rift between Syria and Iran, and a big rift within March 14th. The Syria-Iran axis is just a silly hypothesis. The Syria-Iran axis is a very weak one, in my opinion, depending on how much the US wants Syria involved or isolated. The Syrian regime is very weak, it can be radicalised with the Syria-Iran hypothesis and weakened if you treat each country apart. If you isolate Syria, you give them no other choice than to side with Iran, and the contrary is true. However, the price is high for Israel if the political process was to deisolate Syria, and the price is opening talks on the Golan. The price is high also for some in March 14th, the more radical elements, I would say Gea'gea. Any consensus might be fatal for the political career of Gea'gea, everybody else March 14th might recover from a cosnensus except him. And I would say that some in israel and the US, a minority, would side with this. What we are witnessing with the assassination of El-Hajj is the voice of the minority in all camps who want to be heard through these criminal acts...
I know that Angry Arab published a short comment mentioning that the assassination of El-Hajj might be the result of the Nahr-El-Bared campaign but even though it might be true, you are looking here at the executioner, the people who actually did it but there are defintely people who have commissioned the crime in a place, a Christian neighbourhood where El-Hajj's protection might have been minimal.

I read Landis's blog. It is very interesting and informative and has clever anlayses but all what is written there comes from a single narrow perspective, the Syrian one. What bothers me in this perspective is that Syria is no more a major player in the region. The US intervention in Iraq has strenghtened Iran beyond any means and at the expenses of Arab countries. Iran is the major player now in the region and that's the result of Neo-con policies in the ME. A long term policy of weakening Arab countries motivated by defending exclusively Israel's interests has resulted in this; widening the definition of the political ME beyond the immediate borders of Israel and neighbouring Arab countries, therefore widening the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and diversifying it in many wars. It is a silly approach. It benefited israel for sure, but it resulted in bringing more players in the conflict, the last one being Iran.

Since March 29th 2006