Syria feels the squeeze

Suicide bullet mustn’t stop the truth behind Hariri’s assassination emerging. As Arabian Business has reported over the past two weeks on the mounting international pressure on and the rising tensions within Syria in the wake of the UN investigation into the killing of Lebanese premier Rafik Hariri, it comes as no surprise that Syria’s interior minister and the former head of the security service within Lebanon apparently took his own life last week.

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By  Stuart Qualtrough Published  October 16, 2005

|~||~||~|Suicide bullet mustn’t stop the truth behind Hariri’s assassination emerging. As Arabian Business has reported over the past two weeks on the mounting international pressure on and the rising tensions within Syria in the wake of the UN investigation into the killing of Lebanese premier Rafik Hariri, it comes as no surprise that Syria’s interior minister and the former head of the security service within Lebanon apparently took his own life last week. Ghazi Kanaan’s name and that of Rustom Ghazaleh, also a former head of Syria’s intelligence apparatus in Lebanon, has been indelibly linked and implicated in the bomb blast death of the popular billionaire businessman. Two weeks ago, Arabian Business quoted a high-ranking source close to the investigative committee as saying: “This [assassination] was a political decision. What is certain is that Mehlis will implicate other security officials [Ghazi Kanaan and Rustom Ghazali]. The finger of suspicion is undoubtedly going to be pointed at them. What is certain is that these people didn’t act alone. In my opinion a high-ranking official in Syria made a political decision in this issue. “It’s not possible that the buck stopped with a security official as to the decision to assassinate a personality like Rafik Hariri.” Kanaan apparently took his own life just days before judge Detlev Mehlis is due to deliver his report to the Lebanese government and the UN Security Council. Hours before dying, Kanaan is reported to have contacted a Lebanese radio station, concluding with the words: “I believe this is the last statement that I could make”. Without doubt there will be those in Lebanon and beyond who will rejoice at the news of the demise of Kanaan, an individual that represented to many Lebanese the despised occupation of their homeland up until April 26, when the Cedar Revolution culminated in Syria’s eventual withdrawal. The big question that remains is who the Mehlis report will now hold responsible and, if it is indeed Syria, how far up the upper echelons of the government it will reach.||**||Boeing bombs|~||~||~|It may rank alongside a small developing country in terms of size and turnover, but Boeing must surely finish at the bottom of the list when it comes to simple respect and decency. An advert for the Seattle-based plane making giant showed a team of soldiers abseiling out of its latest military aircraft onto the roof of a mosque, labelled “Muhammad Mosque” in Arabic. Above the picture the banner headline read: “It descends from the heavens. Ironically it unleashes hell.” The text underneath added: “Consider it a gift from above.” Despite a full and immediate apology from the bosses at the US manufacturer, the damage has already been done. How can the American government counter claims that the war on terror is not a war on Islam, when their leading military supplier openly tries to cash in on a stunted raid on a structure of civilian worship? Apparently now Boeing has had to increase security to protect its local workforce — ironic, considering it was just six months ago that it stated its intention to focus heavily on the Middle East.||**||Shared vision|~||~||~|Last week General Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and UAE Defence Minister, revealed his vision for the media in the region and called on journalists to be bold, transparent and unbiased in their reporting. Arabian Business prides itself on its ability to deliver an accurate, compelling and relevant message to readers without fear or favour. It is extremely welcoming to receive such support and we look forward to continue earning the trust and respect of our readers. We understand and appreciate our duty to deliver nothing but the truth. As Sheikh Mohammad said, it is our responsibility to “create a very conscious public opinion which supports nothing but the truth, justice, freedom and success”.||**||

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