In “Column One: The Gemayel warning” in the Jerusalem Post, Caroline Glick points out some of the sobering implications of the assassination of Pierre Gemayel:
Tuesday saw another nail driven into the coffin of US President George W. Bush’s vision of a free and democratic Middle East. The Syrians aren’t even trying to hide their involvement in the assassination of Lebanon’s Industry Minister Pierre Gemayel.
Hours after Gemayel was murdered, his killers issued a communiqu calling themselves the “Fighters for the Unity and Liberty of Greater Syria.” They said that they killed Gemayel because he was “one of those who unceasingly spouted their venom against Syria and against [Hizbullah], shamelessly and without any trepidation.” Gemayel, they threatened, would be the first of many victims. As they put it, “Sooner or later we will pay the rest of the agents their due…”
The hit this week was not a bolt from the blue. For the past several weeks Hizbullah chief Hassan Nasrallah and his bosses in Syria and Iran have made it brutally clear that they intend to bring down the anti-Syrian government of Prime Minister Fuad Saniora and replace it with a pro-Syrian, pro-Iranian coalition led by Hizbullah.
Although their intentions are clear, a casual observer of events could be forgiven for finding the timing of Gemayel’s murder somewhat mystifying. After all, the UN Security Council is preparing the establishment of an international tribunal to try those responsible for the February 2005 murder of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri. Why would Syrian President Bashar Assad wish to make people mad at him now by killing yet another anti-Syrian politician in Lebanon?
What a casual observer misses is the simple fact that events in Lebanon do not stand on their own. Like Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Lebanon is a front in a regional war being waged against the US, Israel and their allies by Iran and Syria. Iraq is another front in this war and Gemayel’s murder is intimately tied to developments in Iraq.
The Democratic Party’s victory in the November 7 Congressional elections convinced Iran and Syria that they are on the verge of a great victory against the US in Iraq. Iranian and Syrian jubilation is well founded in light of the Democratic leadership’s near unanimous calls for the US to withdraw its forces in Iraq; Bush’s firing of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his appointment of his father’s CIA director Robert Gates to replace him; and Bush’s praise for the Congressionally mandated Iraq Study Group charged with revisiting US strategy in Iraq, which is being co-chaired by his father’s secretary of state James Baker III.
Although his committee has yet to formally submit its recommendations, Baker made clear that he will recommend that the administration negotiate a withdrawal of US forces from Iraq with Iran and Syria. That is, he is putting together a strategy not for victory, but for defeat.
Indeed, for his recommendations will not be based on redeployment to meet the larger jihad threat, as we have long advocated, but on appeasement and surrender.
Read it all.