Syria's Deception

[New York Post] Amir Taheri - Serge Brammertz, the European judge who heads the investigation into the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Premier Rafik Hariri, says he has more than enough evidence to initiate prosecution against those he has identified as suspects. Yet the UN Security Council, which ordered the investigation soon after Hariri's murder, still can't decide whether or not to bring the perpetrators to justice. Last summer, Hizbullah tried to relieve pressure on Syria by triggering a war with Israel. It wound up losing its bases in southern Lebanon and left hundreds of its fighters on the battlefield. The war did earn Syria some respite - but at a cost that Hizbullah won't be able to recover from anytime soon. Syria believes that the Hariri investigation was a pet project of the Bush administration and French ex-President Jacques Chirac. With Chirac retired and Bush's time in the White House winding down, all that Syria needs is to buy time. Allowing such dilatory tactics to succeed, however, would have a deadly effect on the politics of the Middle East far beyond the Hariri case. It would endorse state-sanctioned murder as a legitimate tool of politics, and deal a further blow to the UN's already shaky authority. The Security Council has the moral and political duty to positively respond to the Lebanese government's demand and formally set up the tribunal that it promised more than two years ago.

2007-05-21 01:00:00

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