Hizbullah's Latest Suicide Mission

(New York Times) Thanassis Cambanis - Hizbullah cannot afford the blow to its popular legitimacy that would occur if it is pinned with the Hariri killing. The group's power depends on the unconditional backing of its roughly 1 million supporters. Its constituents are the only audience that matters to Hizbullah, which styles itself as sole protector of Arab dignity from humiliation by Israel and the U.S. These supporters will be hard-pressed to understand, much less forgive, their party if it is proved to have killed former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, a leader who was loved by the nation's Sunni Muslims and also respected by Christians, Druze and even many Shiites, who form Hizbullah's core support. That is why Hizbullah denies any role in the assassination. Leaked evidence based on cellphone records has placed a Hizbullah team at the scene of the assassination. If it is proved to have taken part in the Hariri hit and assassination campaigns against other moderate Lebanese figures, Hizbullah will look to many like just another power-drunk militant movement.

2011-01-13 09:05:21

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