The Next War: Destination “Lebanon.”
By Rev. Richard Skaff
October 21, 2012
The New York times reported that a powerful bomb devastated a Christian neighborhood of Lebanon’s capital on Friday October 19, 2012, killing an intelligence official long viewed as an enemy by neighboring Syria and unnerving as Syria’s sectarian-fueled civil war threatened to engulf the region.
The blast which sheared off the face of buildings, killed at least eight people, wounded 80 and transformed a quiet tree-lined street in to a scene reminiscent of Lebanon’s long civil war. Within hours of the attack the Lebanese authorities said the dead included the intelligence chief of the country’s internal security service, Brig. Gen. Wissam Al-Hassan 47, spurring accusations that the Syrian government had assassinated him for recently uncovering what the authorities said was a Syrian plot to provoke unrest in Lebanon. They wanted to get him, and they got him, “said Paul Salem a regional analyst with the Carnegie Middle East Center.” 
The Associated Press reported that the Friday blast was a reminder of Lebanon’s grim history, when the 1975-1990 Civil War made the country notorious for kidnappings, car bombs, and political assassinations. The associated Press went on to say that even the war’s end, Lebanon has been a proxy battleground for the regional conflicts, and the seaside capital has been a prey to sudden and often unexplained violence shattering periods of calm. As usual State Department spokes-woman Victoria Nuland condemned the bombing. She said the U.S. had no information about the perpetrators. Meanwhile, Syrian information minister Omran Al-Zouebi denounced the bombing, calling it a “terrorist and cowardly” attack. At the same time, Syria’s top ally in Lebanon the Shiite Hezbollah movement also condemned the attack expressing its “state of great shock over this terrible crime.” 
As in every crime scene we need to first assess who the instigators might be, and who would benefit from these acts of violence. Should we just gather the usual suspects and bury the truth? Or should we expand our horizon and explore other possible suspects.