October 12, 2005
Former Head of Syrian Intelligence in Lebanon Dead
Ghazi Kanaan, former head of Syrian intel in Lebanon, (apparently) killed himself, two hours after making a call to a Lebanese radio station defending himself against allegations that he'd been involved in the assassination of Rafiq Hariri. This is especially interesting since there's been a lot of speculation that he will prominently figure in the report of the international commission investigating Hariri's death. Tony Badran (who has a definite righty Maronite slant on things, but has been reliable & readable on Lebanese politics) has a wrap up.
UPDATE: See also this novel-length paragraph from Asad AbuKhalil, who discusses (among other things) the way in which Abu Nidal committed suicide in Iraq: "Now is this like Abu Nidal's 'suicide' in Iraq under Saddam's regime, when he shot himself with an AK-47 15 times? At the time, Abu Nidal kept shooting himself all over his body until the Iraqi mukhabarat people in the room had to tell him: 'Abu Nidal. Stop shooting yourself. You already are dead. Officially dead.' Only then, did Abu Nidal stop shooting."
UPDATE 2: Praktike, at Liberals Against Terrorism:
BTW, do we think it's a coincidence that this Financial Times piece came out a few days ago?
As it steps up pressure on Damascus, the US is actively seeking an alternative who would take over from President Bashar al-Assad, according to sources close to the Bush administration.
Not that I'm shedding a tear for the guy--he was clearly a bastard responsible for many deaths in Lebanon. But some jaw-wagging American officials may have signed his death warrant this week. Who knows?
On consideration, I don't think that Syrian intel is so lame as to have to rely on the Financial Times for that kind of information.
Posted by tomscud at October 12, 2005 12:36 PM
Filed Under: Levant
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Definate (hard) right Maroni slant almost understates Badran's axe grinding actually.
However, if one wishes to get the Maroni ace ace grinding view....
Posted by: lounsbury at October 12, 2005 12:57 PM
By the way, Angry Arab was hilarious on this. I rather like the line "If I were Rustum Ghazalah, I would remove all sharp metal objects and weapons from my vicinity, lest I get the temptation to "injure" myself really badly."
Brilliant. Much more fun than humourless Maroni gits.
Posted by: lounsbury at October 12, 2005 01:13 PM
AbuKhalil is actually quite funny on the regular. I especially enjoy his running segment on the Lebanese media's reaction to Saudi King Abdullah's edict that they can no longer kiss his hand.
Posted by: praktike at October 12, 2005 01:52 PM
Yes, he is. He just needs paragraphs.
And a better font.
I rather dislike his precious old School Arab Socialist tendencies and his general Left politics, but he's far more interesting to read than humourless Maroni axe grinders.
Posted by: lounsbury at October 12, 2005 02:01 PM
I find Badran readable when he sticks to Leb politics, where at least he maintains contact with reality (unlike most American commentators of his political bent). When he goes theoretical (or talks about any subject related in any way to Juan Cole) he turns into a useless frothing-at-the-mouth dogmatist
Posted by: Tom Scudder at October 12, 2005 02:03 PM
Right, his Cole issues are without bound. I lack the abiding interest in Lebanese tribal politics to find it worth while.
Hmmm, I should note this is one of those rare occasions where I got things quite wrong, my initial reaction was that Hariri was a mafia hit - although in the context of Syria and Lebanon Mafia and Political hits should not be thought of as either/or issues.
Posted by: lounsbury at October 12, 2005 02:27 PM
At the time, Abu Nidal kept shooting himself all over his body until the Iraqi mukhabarat people in the room had to tell him: "Abu Nidal. Stop shooting yourself. You already are dead. Officially dead." Only then, did Abu Nidal stop shooting. Abu Nidal then moved his own body to the bedroom of the apartment.
Couldn't help laughing.
Posted by: zurn at October 18, 2005 01:01 PM
Interesting considering that Badran is not Maronite, and he's said so numerous times in the past! But it's funny to see how you talk about dogmatism, yet pre-categorize people without knowing anything about them!
Posted by: Anonymous at October 20, 2005 12:20 AM