The only thing that surprises me even slightly about today’s political assassination in Beirut is that the victim was Pierre Gemayel, a Christian, rather than Fouad Seniora, a Sunni.
All the assassination victims after Rafik Hariri, a Sunni, have been Christians. But the most heated sectarian tension right now is between Sunnis and Shias. The Christians aren’t in a fighting mood, but many say the Sunnis are. The Syrian regime cannot restrain itself from butchering its Lebanese enemies, but it looks to me like someone in Damascus just flinched.
Gemayel’s father Amin was President of Lebanon from 1982 to 1988, during the civil war. His uncle Bashir was elected president for that term, but he was assassinated shortly before taking office.
Gemayel’s party, the Kataeb, was an ally of Israel during the war.
UPDATE: Just spoke to a friend of mine in Lebanon. I did not realize until now that Gemayel was a member of the Lebanese cabinet. The Hezbollah/Syrian axis has been trying to bring down the government by pressuring three more members to resign. One down, two to go. Looks like the coup d’etat is in progress.
UPDATE: Abu Takla in the comments says “one more to go, not 2. If they assassinate one more minister, the cabinet is automatically dissolved, because it would lack the two-thirds + 1 it needs to be constitutional.”
UPDATE: Another member of Lebanon’s political cabinet, Michel Pharaon was targetted with assassination today. He survived. But if the bastards had gotten him, the government would have fallen and stage one of the coup would be over.
UPDATE: Hezbollah is planning massive street “protests” on Thursday. Tony Badran notes: “This assassination will likely ensure that if such street rallies do take place, clashes would erupt, as it’s clear that the Syrians are set on that. (Just another reminder for the idiots who believe Syria is a force of “stability.”) Syria has a primary objective that outweighs everything else: kill the Hariri tribunal, and redominate Lebanon at any cost. This is nothing short than a fight to the death for the Syrians. And, as these thugs have done throughout their bloody history, they will kill anyone.”
UPDATE: “Anonymous Leb” in the comments says Abu Takla is wrong. The Syrian/Iranian/Hezbollah/Whatever axis needs to kill two more members of the cabinet to pull off their coup.
UPDATE: Mary Madigan is frustrated with fools who want to sit down and “talk” (in other words, cut deals) with Syria and Iran:
Discussions about Middle East politics remind me of a bit from a comic, Pearls Before Swine. One of the characters is a Zebra, who can’t understand why the lions keep eating his fellow Zebras. So, he writes a letter to the lions filled with philosophical questions about peace, understanding and the nature of being, asking why can’t they all get along, why can’t they be friends..
The answer comes back from the lions “we eat Zebras becuz you taste gud.”
UPDATE: The UN Security Council approved the tribunal that will put the Assad regime and its Lebanese tools on trial. Also, Abu Kais notes that March 14 is asking for massive turnout at Gemayel’s funeral in downtown Beirut on Thursday, the same day that Hezbollah says it will take to the streets to topple the government. Lebanese live in interesting times.