How Justice for Rafiq Hariri's Killers Could Help the Middle East

(Washington Post) Editorial - The UN Special Tribunal for Lebanon may be the strongest card held by the U.S. and its allies in a crucial power struggle with Syria and Iran. On Monday, the tribunal's prosecutor delivered a sealed indictment against suspects in the February 2005 assassination of former prime minister Rafiq Hariri. The indictment is widely believed to name senior officials of the Hizbullah movement. Convincing evidence that the massive car bomb that killed Hariri and 22 others was planted with the help of Hizbullah could badly damage a group that claims its militancy and massive arsenal is directed entirely at Israel. That evidence could be laid out at a trial in the Netherlands this year or next. That is why Hizbullah has been seeking for months to force the Lebanese government headed by the slain man's son, Saad Hariri, to renounce the tribunal. The Obama administration has rightly encouraged Hariri to stand his ground, though neither Hariri nor the U.S. has the capacity to disarm Hizbullah or to end the threat it poses to Lebanon, Israel and the broader Middle East. By insisting that the tribunal proceed, however, the U.S. and its allies have the opportunity to expose the movement's homicidal terrorism, directed at fellow Arabs and Muslims, and its dependence on the Syrian and Iranian dictatorships.

2011-01-21 08:27:41

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