Why is none of this ever reported on in our news? We hear hours about OJ but nothing about a pro-Western democracy in a Muslim country being coopted by Iran via Syria.
Syria Strikes Again? Another Assassination of an Anti-Syrian Parliamentarian Rocks Lebanon
By David Schenker
This morning, Lebanese parliamentarian Antoine Ghanem was assassinated in Beirut. Ghanem, a Phalange MP allied with the pro-West Government led by Prime Minister Fouad Siniora was the third parliamentarian in the anti-Syrian majority to be killed this year. A fourth, Gibran Tueni, was killed in December 2005. With Ghanem’s death, the Government’s majority has decreased to 68 of 127 MPs--down from 72 a few years ago. The shrinking majority of this democratically elected government raises the very real prospect that terrorism will overturn the results of the 2005 Lebanese General Elections.
None of the assassins of any of these crimes have been apprehended, although the UN has included the crimes as part of its investigation into the February 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Premier Rafiq Hariri. The leading suspect in these killings, of course, is Syria, a leading backer of the Hizballah-led political opposition.
Ghanem’s murder occurs just days before the Lebanese parliament was supposed to convene to elect a new President. The issue is highly contentious; the opposition claims that a 2/3 quorum is required to elect a president—which the majority does not have. In an effort to block the election, the opposition is refusing to attend the parliamentary session. Meanwhile, the majority believes that in the absence of a 2/3 quorum, the constitution permits for a straight majority (50% + 1 vote) election.
The stakes are high. Syria and the opposition are pressing for a pro-Syrian pro-“resistance” president. The majority is looking for a pro-West, pro-democracy figure.
The assassination comes just weeks after Israel attacked an alleged North-Korean related nuclear facility in Syria, and on the same day that Jane’s Defense Weekly reported that an explosion at a Chemical Weapons facility in July—involving mustard gas and sarin and VX nerve agents—killed 15 Syrian military personnel and “dozens of Iranian missile weaponisation engineers.”
If Iran were to get de facto control over Lebanon it would have direct access to Israel's Golan Heights. This is an extremely important location because of its raised elevation and gives whomever holds it a great strategic advantage even in today's high technology war environment.
Iran having control over Lebanon would put them a stone's throw away from having control of the Golan Heights. If Lebanon fell to a pro-Syrian government Israel would be in an even graver situation. BigT