Syrian Hand in Lebanese Assassination?

A Kuwaiti newspaper, Al-Seyassah, that has proven reliable in the past when documenting Syrian involvement in Lebanese violence has pointed the finger at Syrian intelligence for the assassination earlier this month of March 14th Member of Parliament Antoine Ghanem:

The Al-Seyassah sources in Syria were able to link the assassination of Ghanem, his bodyguards and 3 others to the opening of the Arida and Dabussiya border crossings between Lebanon and Syria on September 17, 2 days before the assassination took place.

The Al-Seyassah sources also revealed that the opening of the crossings was to facilitate the entry of the assassins with their equipment and the Mercedes car that was booby trapped at the Syrian intelligence base of Kfarsoussah near Damascus including all the forged documents required.

The whole operation was coordinated by Bassem Emad, a Syrian intelligence officer that reports directly to Assef Shawkat, head of the Syrian intelligence and President Bashar el Assad’s brother-in-law.
There is no surprise in learning of Syrian involvement in the asssassination. But General Shawkat's involvement would mean that once again, President Bashar Assad was probably informed prior to the event. Shawkat also ran the operation that resulted in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.

The resulting investigation by the United Nations demonstrated that most of the upper echelons of the Syrian government was aware of that plot before hand. It seems likely that this latest plot would not be put in motion without the blessing of Assad, given all the international ramifications involved.

The Assad regime is clearly beyond the pale. They are trying to murder their way to influence in Lebanon by taking out, one by one, pro-government MP's. The reason they wish to reestablish their influence is so that they can milk the country dry economically as they were doing during the decade they occupied their tiny neighbor.

Extorting money from businessmen. Murdering those who stand in their way. Sound familiar? It should. It is exactly the way American gangster families act.

The idea that the United States or the rest of the world wishes to negotiate with gangsters is perhaps the most tragically immoral aspect of the entire Lebanese tragedy.