Syria was to blame for the embassy burnings in Beirut. How on earth could the Lebanese get their hands dirty and do such a menial task?
Walid Jumblat has taken yesterday’s accusations a step further by claiming that the rioters weren’t angry Lebanese muslims, but in fact, Syrian soldiers dressed up as angry Lebanese muslims. Yes, that’s right.
It is an accusation that undermines the almost credible claim that Syria could be behind the series of political assasinations that – to use that awful journalistic cliche – have rocked Lebanon over the last year.
But it is also a clever tactic. The good old Lebanese ‘bury your head in the sand and play happy families’ trick. After all, it worked during the Civil War didn’t it? Didn’t it?
With American-French fire hitting Syria at an increasing rate, it also plays to the Lebanese trick of kicking the weak. It’s an easy scapegoat. Lebanese yesterday also accused Palestinians – Lebanon’s ‘fifth column’ – of also being responsible.
“Many people in Lebanon yesterday accused Syria of instigating the violence and said it was part of a broader campaign by Damascus to sow instability and sectarian division in Lebanon,” says the Guardian’s Rory McCarthy.
But wasn’t it that same Syria that held Lebanon’s stability and kept a lid on sectarian conflict for the 15 years since the end of the Civil War?
Sunday’s protests destroyed a Beirut church. “If [muslims] attack us again, especially our religious places, the consequences will be very serious,” said Safwat Said, 22, a Lebanese Forces student.