DEALING FROM WEAKNESS
Yesterday's cold-blooded assassination of a prominent anti-Syrian official in Lebanon should be all the answer that's needed to the growing international clamor for the Bush administration to reach out and talk to Damascus.
Pierre Gemayel, Lebanon's 34-year-old interior minister and scion of the country's most prominent Maronite Christian family, was shot dead near Beirut.
"The hands of Syria are all over the place," said Saad Hariri, son of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri - whose 2005 assassination touched off a popular outcry that led Syria to loosen its brutal 29-year-long grip on Lebanon.
John Bolton, Washington's outspoken U.N. ambassador, said that given the "evidence that links the Hariri assassination to other political assassinations" - three leading Lebanese anti-Syrian leaders have been slain over the past 18 months - "I think people can draw their own conclusions" about Syria's guilt.
Gemayel's murder comes at a time of waning U.S. influence in the area.