You are here:   Dispatches > Beirut: Hariri — An Assassination Too Far
 
But Dalrymple was hardly alone. In the United States in particular, acrimony towards the Bush administration has prompted critics, in a Pavlovian reflex, to demand an overhaul of everything the administration has stood for, including Syria’s isolation. Among those favouring engaging with Damascus are influential institutions such as the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the New America Foundation and the International Crisis Group, as well as Barack Obama and, to a lesser extent, Hillary Clinton.

In their statements on Syria, most of the “engagers” , intentionally or not, have downplayed the significance of the Hariri tribunal as a revolutionary innovation in the area. Far from considering issues of principle, few have addressed how dialogue with Syria might terminate Lebanon’s fragile sovereignty, while some of them have favoured accepting a return of Syrian “influence” over Lebanon.

What are the practical implications of this? No one seemed to notice that Zbigniew Brzezinski, now an Obama adviser, was in Dam­ascus last February when the Hezbollah official Imad Mughniyeh was assassinated in the Syrian capital. How ironic, yet so very typical, that a prominent engager like the former US national security adviser would find himself chatting up a regime at the very moment it was caught hosting a man wanted worldwide for killing innocent civilians.

That is why the Hariri tribunal is so vital. It might not only make Arab regimes think twice before resorting to murder; it might also instil a modicum of moral fibre in their complaisant collaborators in the West.

View Full Article
 
Share/Save
 
 
 
 
Deen Sharp
June 4th, 2008
11:06 AM
Mr Young is wonderful one dimensional finger pointer.Young has suggested a normative political framework that approaches Iran and Syria through confrontation. A tragic symmetry exists between the approach of March 8 and March 14 vis-a-vis their respective enemy number 1: Israel and Syria. Both have applied the same policy of confrontation and the results have been political stalemate, death and destruction. Long live the collaborators!

Matt
June 1st, 2008
9:06 PM
"That is why the Hariri tribunal is so vital. It might not only make Arab regimes think twice before resorting to murder; it might also instil a modicum of moral fibre in their complaisant collaborators in the West." The first part of the conclusion seems possible, provided the tribunal gets the international coverage it deserves. As to the second part, I wouldn't advise waiting.

Sami
May 30th, 2008
4:05 PM
Like always a great and well thought piece by Michael Young. It is indeed unfortunate that some anti-war proponents in the West turn into anit-democrats in the East! It is not so complicated. Geroge Bush and Tony Blair belong to the same camp that include Bashar Assad and Ahmadi Najjad and Olmert. If you are against the formers in the West, you are ought to be against the latter in the East too, otherwise you are guilty of double-standards and hypocricy, to say the least.

Post your comment

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
More Dispatches
Popular Standpoint topics