Michael Totten

Another Assassination in Lebanon

By Michael J. Totten
Lebanese Member of Parliament and Chairman of Parliament’s Defense Committee Walid Eido was assassinated in West Beirut’s Manara district, along with his son and four other people. This was just down the hill from my old apartment.
Charles Malik emails from Beirut:

This one was too close. I was 50m away. Human flesh landed in our cafe next to Luna Park. We felt the heat of the flames, and the smoke surrounded us.
The Army, Amn a Dakhle, and Amn al Aam were incredible. They were there immediately, secured the scene, and got the cars out of the parking lot.
I was initially horrified that they targeted children’s play areas: Luna Park, the Nejmeh Club, and the surrounding beaches. Then I found out that they targeted Eido because they knew that his son swims at one of the beaches near there every day.
I’m still shaking.

Lebanon needs another tribunal, or something a little more muscular, if they don’t want a regime-change in Beirut by process of one-by-one elimination. Eido (of course) belonged to the anti-Syrian March 14 bloc.
UPDATE: Tony Badran published perhaps his 100th in a series of stories about yet another diplomat who went to Damascus to “engage” Syria and came home disappointed. If Tony’s blog were required reading this wouldn’t keep happening.
Those who “engage” tyrants for a living need to pay more attention. The Syrian regime has had the same modus operandi almost as long as I have been alive. It’s time to catch up.
UPDATE: Abu Kais asks “Is someone going to declare war on the Assad regime?”
Lebanon is certainly entitled to do so (although doing it alone would be suicidal). Syria has been at war with Lebanon for 30 years, and with Israel for even longer. Syria is also at war with the United States and Iraq. It’s amazing what third-rate fly-blown dictatorships get away with these days.
UPDATE: This is as good a time as any for everyone from Nancy Pelosi and James Baker to George W. Bush and Ehud Olmert to re-read Barry Rubin’s The Truth About Syria.