In the past, it has been easy to blame Syria for assassinating its enemies in Lebanon. But this time, is it so simple?
The day before the murder Syria and Iraq agreed to restore diplomatic relations for the first time in 24 years. Bashar is due to meet Iraqi President Jalal Talabani this weekend.
Top officials from the British, Spanish and German governments have been visiting Damascus.
Tony Blair is pushing America to start talks with Syria.
Bush’s Baker committee is expected to recommend engaging Damascus.
And Bush’s neo-cons advocating isolation have been seriously weakened by this month’s US mid-term elections.
And in Lebanon, Hizbollah called massive demonstrations for tomorrow. Six ministers resigned, putting the government on the brink of resignation and damaging its credibility domestically. And the government had been left high and dry by its ally America during Israel’s war this summer – it lost its international credibility.
Now, Hizbollah’s demonstration is cancelled, people are rallying round the government, and Bush has phoned to promise his support (why is Siniora even picking up the phone to Bush after what he did to him this summer – does the man have no shame?).
One of the biggest fears of the March 14th (Hariri) movement over the past few weeks has been that Bush would kiss and make up with Bashar. That’s one worry Sa’ad can cross off the list.
Just like Sa’ad Al-Hariri profitted from his father’s death, he is rising from the ashes of Pierre Gemayel’s body.