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The Culprit

I was talking a few days ago with a faculty member, and I don't know how we got into a discussion of the assassination of Rafiq al-Hariri. I was taken aback by his argument. To be honest, I would not have been surprised if it came from an undergraduate student, or the multitudes basing their positions and beliefs on what they hear on their favorite TV station(s). Perhaps I had given too much credit to the academic institution in Lebanon.

Note that the discussion below is not a word-for-word transcript, as I am not in the habit of carrying a tape recorder with me.

Syria the Culprit
~~ or ~~
Prove their innocence or shut the hell up

Me: I have to say, though, that the plausibility that Syria might not be the culprit in the assassination is quite high.
Professor X: Well, no. It isn't.
Me: ...
X: Syria is guilty until proven innocent. Usually it is the other way around, innocent until proven guilty, but in this case it is not.
Me: Why not? What makes it the exception?
X: Because Lebanon was under Syrian occupation and nothing could have gone on without Syria's knowledge.
Me: Oh come on now, that is not true. You are saying there could have been no intelligence agents other than those of Syria?
X: I'm saying that those tons of bombs couldn't have gone unnoticed if it weren't Syria.
Me: Really? Then, by the same token, the Spanish authorities were the ones that carried out the Madrid train bombings?
X: ... the same comparison has been drawn by some people in response to what I have said... but still...
Me: ...

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posted by Angry Anarchist @ 4/20/2007 05:15:00 PM,


At April 20, 2007 at 8:37 PM, Blogger Golaniya said...

Hehe..i had worse with one of a supposedly pro-HizbAlla professor; I argued that it is true that Syrian intelligence might have knew about the explosion, but those very intelligence worked with some Lebanese parties' intelligence as her response was: "Razan, I know where you came from!"

At April 20, 2007 at 9:09 PM, Blogger Angry Anarchist said...

You meant Hezballah no?
And whatever she meant by that last sentence?? I didn't understand, was she referring to your background or something??

But, I don't think Hezballah was working more closely with Syrian intelligence than the others who all of a sudden turned "anti-Syrian". I think on the contrary, relations between Hezballah and Syria were in truth more bitter than any of the parties involved (of course with the exception of the LF and FPM activists), although one certainly does not get that impression from the smiles and rhetoric (of course not, that's what they are meant for). Hezballah's reasons for collaborating with Syria were more or less related to their "life line" of rockets and weapons... and if Hezballah feels inclined to incorporate "pro-Syrian" elements in its speeches (less so since the "opposition" thing, so as not to alienate FPMers) it is because it cannot afford to cut off that life line, definitely NOT at this crucial juncture...

At April 22, 2007 at 4:59 PM, Blogger Golaniya said...

I agree with your reading to HezbAlla/Syria cooperation 100%. In fact, I think Assad needs HezbAlla now and not vice versa. I mean, when Syria was in power in Lebanon, HezbAlla, like the rest of the parties, remain in diplomatic relationship with Syria, and did not suck up to generals like Ka'an as most Lebanese parties did.

I actually believe that some Lebanese parties, other than HezbAlla, have strong connections with international intelligences (like Lebanese Forces and Junblaties)

To get back to my professor's "argument", she hates everybody, but respects Nassrala.
But her argument is really similar to the grocery shop owner next door! Enno I am Syrian so I would defend syria!

She did not respond to my argument and chooses to reduce me to a Lebanese stereotype of all Syrians: they are all Assads!!

At April 22, 2007 at 7:36 PM, Blogger Angry Anarchist said...

Ahh yes, of course, the stereotyping is always there, it is a problem people in this country suffer from (though I don't think it's a strictly Lebanese problem). But I know exactly how you feel, I've been a "victim" of stereotyping myself, and continue to be... Anyhow, I am not sure if it is Syria that needs Hezballah, I think Hezballah needs Syria by virtue of the fact that Syria is its lifeline (i.e. rocketline), although I have to wonder if Hezballah doesn't have the capability to produce weapons already, I mean in Palestine they produce Qassams in "rogue" factories, I am sure Hezballah has both the manpower, money, and means, to actually build Katyushas, though I am not sure if it has embarked on such a project (could be an interesting investigation topic, though potentially dangerous as it might "sabotage" the security and secrets of Hezballah). I think it is probable that Hezballah does have such facilities, though I am not sure why this has not been entertained by writers and analysts, I suppose the Syrian element in the Lebanon-Israel skirmishes is quite popular and more exciting to present to the public and audiences than the mere rocket-producing capabilities of Hezballah... I mean, yes, the latter might be interesting, but it could run out of fuel to stoke the fires of interest and excitement about doomsday and an impending all-out Arab-Israeli war a la 1967...

It's funny though, that when I read what you had told to your professor, I did not think it to be "pro-Syrian" in any way, nor what one would expect a Syrian to "typically" say based on the stereotypes... She must have quite a bit of imagination to have come up with the "you are Syrian so you would defend Syria" implication out of that. Hmm! :D

At April 24, 2007 at 3:05 AM, Blogger Renegade Eye said...

When the answer is found, I'm sure this blog will report it. As of now, we can only guess.

At April 28, 2007 at 1:31 PM, Blogger redpepper said...

The ethical problem of stereotyping that its true 90% of the times ~

At May 11, 2007 at 7:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...



At May 11, 2007 at 12:10 PM, Blogger Angry Anarchist said...

Stopping the Lebanese from killing other Lebanese -- by killing Lebanese?

Can you please answer the following:

-Who was standing behind Amal in the Amal-Hizballah clashes?

-Who was preventing the LNM from scoring a full victory against the right-wing anti-Palestinian racists, thereby extending the bloodshed and playing on the different parties to advance its own interests?

-Who liquidated the Mourabitun?

-What about the war of the camps?

-Who bombarded the presidential palace?


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