Lebanon: Shatah assassination: Who will benefit from accusations?

29th Dec 2013

By Ibrahim al-Amin

(Al-Akhbar): No one needs to explain to people that the Future Movement and March 14 are accusing Hezbollah of being behind the assassination of former minister Mohammed Shatah. Their logic is based on a political – or maybe non-political – conviction that Hezbollah is capable of assassination, does not want any opposing voices, and wishes to terrorize its adversaries in Lebanon.

At first, they said Hezbollah and Damascus were behind it, and that those entities did not expect that all hell would break loose if they killed this or that person. They also said that those who planned the assassinations did not anticipate the reaction, and did not take people’s anger into consideration. This group insisted on accusing the same side, saying that Hezbollah continues to terrorize its opponents. Much was said about how the party is a pawn of the Syrian regime and that it only knows how to kill when confronting adversaries. Others said the party wanted to disrupt the work of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL). They said Hezbollah wanted to expand the war from Syria to Lebanon to block the path of all attempts to rebuild genuine political life in the country.

March 14 has reached the same conclusion on every occasion: The killer continues to spill blood and lose.

In many cases, it’s understandable that anger, tension, and hatred could lead to political accusations or even fabrications against an opponent. But in our case, we might need to ask questions that are naive or spiteful:

– Is Hezbollah stupid to the extent of not learning the lesson of the first assassination? Does its resumé indicate a deficiency that could make it a prisoner of this game?

– Did the outcome of those assassinations benefit Hezbollah, as a resistance movement, a political group, or a side that is the center of polarization for Arab Shia?

– Is Hezbollah working for its enemies, providing them with ammunition whenever they face a difficulty, and facilitating a climate to take measures and steps that would make it a central target?

– Doesn’t Hezbollah possess other methods of terrorizing its opponents, after failing the first, second, and third time?

– Does Hezbollah, which is up to its neck in a more substantial confrontation in Syria and the region, find itself in a situation forcing it to toy with its local opponents through such an assassination?

– If Hezbollah today opposes the formation of a de facto government, why does it give its local, regional, and international opponents a tool to force such a government into being?

– Did Hezbollah pledge to kill an opponent every time there is a landmark in the STL, leading to more actions against the party?

– If the party was professional to the extent of doing all what its opponents say, why does it not choose a more representative personality from the opposition?


Lebanon, which is struggling under the weight of the Syrian crisis, will become more agitated as the scene changes in the Levant. Every single intelligence agency is in Lebanon, carrying information about the “open arena” for “generations of terrorists.” Those who attempt to ignite the situation politically, taking steps akin to adventures, are similar to those attempting to turn Lebanon into a launching pad for terrorist operations related to the Syrian situation. There are those like them, who think that such a crime would turn the political tides to the benefit or one or another party.

It is clear that such a discussion does not have a middle ground in the midst of political and security madness. It is even more clear that March 14 wants to keep on dancing over the blood, exploiting it here or there. And it is more than clear that someone wants to push Lebanon into a more cruel situation in the international war in the region, especially in Syria. However, they only aim for reactions, strife, and madness. In this case, how could one take a step backward, to look at the whole picture, while the only thing we see is a country by name only?

Ibrahim al-Amin is editor-in-chief of Al-Akhbar.

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.



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