Thursday, November 02, 2006


let's see, the british are reaching out to syria and the israelis are beginning to negotiate with hezbollah. suddenly the people bush wants to marginalize aren't looking so marginal anymore. what is the president to do?

why accuse syria, hezbollah and iran (you always gotta throw in iran these days) of trying to overthrow the lebanese government!

the charge is somewhat ironic since the bush administration's green light of israel's attack on lebanon last summer probably did more to endanger the siniora government than anything else. back in those days, bush supporters poo-pooed the dangers to lebanese democracy. such things don't matter in the midst of the glorious crusade against lebanese infrastructure.

but back to today's accusation. how precisely are those dastardly syrians and hezbollahians gonna take down siniora? well, as majikthise points out, it's a two pronged attack on lebanese democracy: first, syria is trying to prevent the formation of an international tribunal to prosecute suspects in the rafik hariri assassination. second, hezbollah is calling for demonstrations to demand early elections in lebanon because the shia are underrepresented in the lebanese government.

how syria's objection to an international tribunal amounts to a coup plot is rather murky. by that logic the bush administration's opposition to the international criminal court would amounts to a coup plot against the government of serbia. syria's objection, that the tribunal would be biased against it and would include politically motivated prosecutions, in fact, echoes the bush administration's beef with the international criminal court. it seems like the only difference here is that a politically-motivated prosecution of syrian officials is something that the bush administration wants.

as for hezbollah's demand for greater representation of the shia in the lebanese government, well, the shia are underrepresented in the lebanese government. i guess calling for new elections to change the lebanese government could be called "a plot to bring down the government", but it's not what i would call a "coup." in fact, it seems more like that middle eastern democracy that bush occasionally claims to be his goal.

i'm not a fan of either the syrian government or hezbollah, but the public reasons given for the bush administration's charge are simply ridiculous. and yes, some administration officials are citing undisclosed intelligence to support their charge as well. but considering strength of its public reasons, it's really hard to give the administration much benefit of the doubt.