This is the former blogging site for Next Century Foundation articles on Syria. We have migrated to a new website and blogging platform, and can now be found at:
An interesting site. Note his commentthat: "in his efforts to appease the Americans, Bashar reportedly ignored the French President’s polite plea for an exploration contract to be granted to a French company, and gave the contract to a US company instead, believing this will be a nice bribe to the Administration."Which is true. The source of many of Syria's troubles has been its eagerness to appease America whilst ignoring good old France - and beware: hell hath no fury like a Frenchman scorned.
The truth is we will probably never know who committed the atrocity that resulted in the death of Hariri and a number of others. If there was a Syrian involvment the man who would have known is now dead -- Syria's interior minister, who was head of the country's military intelligence in neighboring Lebanon for nearly 20 years, comitted suicide shortly after being interviewed about the matter.Ghazi Kanaan's, the 63-year-old Baathist major general died of a gunshot wound to the head.According to a CNN news report, hours before his death, Kanaan had been interviewed by a Lebanese radio station after he called in to refute allegations that aired on Lebanese television Tuesday night that he had accepted bribes and payoffs while in the Lebanon post.Kanaan told the anchorwoman at the Voice of Lebanon, a Christian radio station, that he had chosen to speak with her because he trusted her and wanted to clear his name after the report on NewTV, an independent television station."I want to clarify that what is being reported is baseless and all untrue," the interior minister said in a calm, firm voice.Kanaan said he had nothing but good intentions for Lebanon and nothing against Hariri."I want to clarify that we have affection and mutual respect for our brethren (in) Lebanon and that was for everyone's advantage in order to pull out Lebanon from its crisis at that time," he said."We have served the interests of Lebanon with honor and all honesty."And as if he already knew his fate, the interior minister told the anchorwoman that he was giving her this exclusive statement and he wanted her to pass it on to other Lebanese media "because I believe this is the last statement I can make."Less than two hours later, he was dead.Just before news of Kanaan's death, Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad told CNN's Christiane Amanpour in an exclusive interview that Syria had no involvement in Hariri's death, and it was impossible for him to have ordered it. But, he said, if the U.N. probe concluded that Syrians were involved, then they would be regarded as traitors and should be charged with treason and face punishment, either through the Syrian judicial process or by an international court."If indeed there is a Syrian national implicated, he would be considered as a traitor and most severely punished," Assad said. Kanaan was the head of Syrian military intelligence in Lebanon from 1982 till 2002. He was appointed interior minister in 2004. CNN's Sadler said Al-Assad's government was extremely shaken by the Kanaan's death. "Officials were incredulous at the news. He was the lynchpin of the Syrian security apparatus for more than two decades."
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