The Beirut Assassinations: One Common Denominator
The Lebanon Daily Star reports:
Pierre Gemayel is the fifth figure to be assassinated in the past two years in Lebanon.
Former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri was killed in a massive car bombing in February 2005. The journalist and activist Samir Kassir and former Communist Party leader George Hawi were killed in separate car bombings in June last year in addition to lawmaker and newspaper manager Gibran Tueni was killed in a car bombing in December.
One Common Denominator:
** The Valentines Day Massacre, February 14, 2005…
Rafik Hariri a self-made billionaire and business tycoon, was the Prime Minister of Lebanon from 1992 to 1998 and again from 2000 until his resignation on 20 October 2004. Rafik was assassinated on 14 February 2005 when explosives equivalent to around 1000 kg of TNT were detonated as his motorcade drove past the St George Hotel in the Lebanese capital, Beirut.
The Syrian government is the focus of international investigation behind his murder.
** June 2, 2005…
Lyana Kassir, left, cries as her sister Maysa, right, hugs her during the funeral of their father, slain Lebanese journalist Samir Kassir in a Greek Orthodox church. (Ya Libnan)
Samir Kassir was a university professor, journalist and historian born to a Lebanese Palestinian father and a Syrian mother. He held both Lebanese and French nationality. A prominent left-wing activist, he was a strong advocate of freedom for the Palestinians, democracy in Lebanon and Syria and a vocal critic of the Syrian presence in Lebanon.
The Syrian government is suspected to be behind his murder.
** June 21, 2005…
George Hawi was assassinated in a car bomb in the Kola district of Beirut. (Beirut Indymedia)
George Hawi was a Lebanese politician and former secretary general of the Lebanese Communist Party (LCP). Hawi was a critic of the influence of Damascus in Lebanon late in his life, after having left the LCP in 2000.
The perpetrator for his murder has not been found, but many in Lebanon blame the Syrian government.
** September 25, 2005…
May Chidiac is a Christian Lebanese journalist. Chidiac works for the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation, where she is a television anchor. She was usually critical of Syria, which until April 2005 had stationed troops in Lebanon. On the day she was nearly killed, she had hosted a talk show in which she voiced fears over further violence ahead of the UN report on the death of Rafiq Hariri.
Chidiac survived her attack. Her left leg below the knee was blown off and her hair and clothes were set on fire. She was said to be in stable condition following the amputation of her severely injured left arm.
On November 24, 2005, May Chidiac made her first public appearance since the bomb blast took her limbs.
“They thought I would never work again but I will go back after I have an operation to get an artificial hand and leg,” Chidiac said on LBC TV
On 12 July 2006, May Chidiac returned to Beirut from her treatments in France.
The Syrian government is suspected to be behind her assassination attempt.
** December 12, 2005…
Gebran Tueni was a Lebanese politician and the former editor and publisher of the mass circulation An-Nahar daily newspaper in Beirut, Lebanon. Tueni came to international prominence in March 2000 when he wrote an editorial calling for the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon. In March 2005, he contributed to the Cedar Revolution demonstrations during which he gave the famous “In the name of God We, Muslims and Christians, Pledge that united we shall remain to the end of time to better defend our Lebanon”
The Lebanese blamed the Syrian government or its supporters for the bombings.
** November 21, 2006…
Pierre Gemayel, an outspoken critic of Syrian influence over Lebanon, was a member of the Christian Phalange Party and industry minister. The son of former President Amin Gemayel, Pierre was born in 1972. A lawyer and the youngest MP in the Lebanese Parliament, Gemayel was first elected to the legislature in 2000 and was re-elected in 2005.
The Syrian government was blamed for his murder.
Mohammed at Iraq the Model has it figured out:
Prime ministers, MPs and journalists; all are targets for terrorist regimes if they dare show their opposition to Damascus or Tehran.
The message is clear and loud, I just wonder how many more messages do we need before the world realizes that these murderous regimes are not so much into dialogue?
As John Hinderaker at Powerline says, “I hope James Baker is paying attention.”
Jules Crittenden proposes more action, less talk.