Posted by: sean | February 15, 2008

Car bombs, protests and earthquakes for 200, please

I’ve been missing in action for a while, even after my trip to Ethiopia, which I’ll have a lot more on later.

Since I’ve been back, however, a lot has happened. Imad Mughniya was killed in a car bomb in Damascus (shortly after Michael Totten said I was one of the “notorious leftists who endlessly excuses Hezbollah” and accused me of spreading propaganda when I mentioned that car bombs were used by the American side as well in the comments here). Yesterday was the third anniversary of Hariri’s assassination. And finally, there was just a small earthquake (more of a tremor, really) here in Beirut.

I don’t have much to say about the first topic, but I will say that I always feel uncomfortable with any kind of extra-judicial killing and assassination, no matter whom it’s done by. Also, this seems to be either a very serious breach of Syrian security or evidence that Damascus gave the Israelis or Americans the ok to carry out the attack as part of a larger deal. In any case, it signals an escalation between Hezbollah and Israel, so it wouldn’t surprise me if there’s an external (outside of Lebanon and Israel) attack against Israeli (or even American) interests. After all, the 1992 Israeli embassy bombing in Argentina was retaliation for the assassination of Hezbollah Secretary General Abbas al-Musawi, who was replaced by Nasrallah. Such escalation is always a bad thing for all parties involved.

As for the February 14 event, I went downtown to give it a look as Geagea was speaking, and it wasn’t too big, although I didn’t show up until about noon. One big reason for this was that it was rainy and cold. I was a bit worried about clashes arising last night between mourners of Hariri and Mughniya, but the cold rain was probably a blessing in disguise in that it’s hard to get riled up to go out looking for trouble when you’re soaking wet.

Finally, the earthquake: I didn’t feel it, but I heard a rumble. All of my colleagues seem to have felt it, which might just mean that I’m insensitive, so to speak.

It’s just occurred to me that there aren’t very many places in the world where I could post about an earthquake, a car bomb and a protest against an assassination in the same piece. How’s that for potpourri, Alex Trebek?



  1. Good to see you’re back… am waiting for the Ethiopia stories though!

    And the earthquake, well, I definitely felt the wall I was sitting against move back and forth a few times – quite heavily: I thought the next-door demolition workers had accidentally hit the wrong building…

  2. For some reason, I’ve just now seen this comment, so sorry for taking so long to reply.

    I’m not sure what exactly I want to say about Ethiopia and my time there, but as soon as I decide, it’ll be up…

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