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The Diplomacy of Silencers and Creative Chaos - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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When I learnt that the weapon used in the assassination of the Lebanese Minister of Industry, Pierre Gemayel, was a gun equipped with a silencer, I remembered the important news report appeared in Al-Akhbar Lebanese daily on November 31. The report says: “On February 3rd, 2006, customs authorities at Beirut International Airport intercepted a suspicious parcel sent by Liban Post from England to an employee at the US embassy in Beirut called Mark Savageau containing a military outfit, part of which seemed to be used for special commando operations. The seized parcel, which was sent later to the military court, contained three military rifle covers, three different types of sound suppressors, DEBEN magazine which was concerned with “Pellet Rifles” and high tech mechanical and electronic outfits such as night vision binoculars, communication devices and military disrupted pattern devices”. Although the report contained photos of the intercepted items and serious information about the consignee, it seems that it was not taken seriously enough and the outcome of the investigation, like that of the case of the Mossad connected terrorist network of Mahmoud Rafeh, remained vague and inconclusive.

The silencers parcel continued to be a mystery until Gemayel was assassinated by a gun equipped by a silencer. The crime and the fierce campaign of accusations followed revealed the need of some Lebanese parties to shed the blood of a figure like Gemayel to accuse Syria of committing the crime, which was deliberately schemed to implicate Syria and kindle hatred against it.

Eyewitnesses’ description of the crime tells that the criminals who shot Gemayel and his companion dead were unmasked and seemed to be experienced enough to cold bloodedly commit such a crime in daylight and swiftly jump into the car and escape. This description shows that if the responsible police and security apparatuses had moved seriously and in the right time, then arresting the criminals and finding out the facts about the crime would have been very possible. However, the slackness in dealing with the crime seems a calculated attempt to repeat the scenario of accusing Syria of assassinations and destabilizing actions have been taking place in Lebanon since the assassination of late Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. The purpose of repeating this scenario is to drive a wedge between the brotherly peoples of Syria and Lebanon and to sow the seeds of discord among the Lebanese themselves.

This crime and all its precedents signify that Lebanon is pushed towards the “democracy of torn bodies” applied in Iraq and boasted about by President Bush who always expresses the determination to spread this pattern of democracy in the Middle East.

The assassination of Pierre Gemayel aimed at stopping the intended demonstration of the Lebanese opposition, to distract the world’s attention from the increasing debate about the faults of the Bush administration in Iraq and from the calls to have dialogue with Syria. It also targeted the European endeavors to make a new peace initiative in the Middle East to put an end to the ongoing Israeli war on Palestinians. Obviously, Israel seems to be the only beneficiary of all of these.

Those who want to oppress Arabs have declared their plans to spread “the creative chaos” in the Middle East and build bloody democracies, on the ruins of the Arab history, culture and heritage, like what they did in Iraq. However, the success of these evil plans depends on the level of awareness, wisdom and leadership. Arab rulers would be able to exercise. Would they, after all, wake up and live up to confront the alarming perils?

Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban

Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban

Prof. Bouthaina Shaaban is political and media advisor to the Syrian presidency, and the former minister of Expatriates. She is also a writer, and has been a professor at Damascus University since 1985. She received her PhD in English Literature from Warwick University, London. She was the spokesperson for Syria. She was nominated for Nobel Peace Prize in 2005.

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