Why do things keep exploding in Lebanon?

January 25, 2008 § Leave a comment

Image from al-Jazeera

An explosion east of Beirut killed four people, including a top Lebanese intelligence officer Wasaam ‘Eid. An al-Jazeera correspondent noted that the dynamite or car loaded with dynamite was located in a parking lot close to site of the explosion.

As for why things keep exploding in Lebanon, every sect and political group in (or out) of Lebanon has someone to blame.

The United States blames…Syria.

The Lebanese Majority (name of political bloc not a reference to an amount of people) blame…Syria.

Hezbullah blames…Western Intelligence Agencies and/or Israel.

Syria blames…no one.

All these positions are complex and many of them are contradictory, so it is difficult to generalize and categorize the opinions of any group, especially in Lebanon.

It is an undeniable fact that only pro-Western/anti-Syrian figures have been assassinated in Lebanon in the past two years. (Though there have been several rumors of thwarted assassination attempts on Nasrallah.) Since the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq al-Hariri, dozens of journalists and political figures who have been critical of Syrian intervention in Lebanon and supportive of western policies have been targeted in a similar fashion — almost always car bombs. The Majority and many Western players in Lebanon, such as the US and France, say Syria is behind the assassinations.

The Opposition, who has traditionally supported a wider role for Syria in Lebanon, is always outspoken in their condemnation toward any assassination or explosion in Lebanon. They do not blame Syria for the violence, but they also do not provide cover for Syria. Hezbullah regularly suggests that it is most likely Israel and Western forces behind the killings. Why? Israel serves to benefit the most from an unstable, divided, and weak Lebanon. Many would say that this “destabilization” argument could represent Syrian motives since the country has been attempting to re-assert control in Lebanon ever since their 2005 troop withdrawal.

Sayyid Mohammad Husayn Fadlallah is also of the oppositionist tendency. He views Lebanon and Syria as having a very close, historical relationship based on common Arab identity. Fadlallah has often said that Israel is the most likely culprit in these assassinations because, after all, history has shown that Israel has dedicated resources and energy to killing Lebanese figures and citizens.


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