A good article in the WP concerning the fallout of the former Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri's assassination by car bomb.
"Syrian officials say Hariri's assassination has worked against their interests by uniting Lebanon's Christian, Druze and Sunni parties, some of which battled one another during years of sectarian strife. The opposition does not control a majority in Lebanon's parliament, but the fresh surge of anger over Syria's presence has strengthened its position heading into elections scheduled to be held as early as April."
Maybe his death will unite the country in ridding Lebanon of Syrian involvement and further isolate the Baathist regime. No one knows if Syria was responsible, but this paragraph is troubling:
"As an increasingly important voice against Syrian influence, Hariri threatened Assad's control over Syria's ruling Baath Party, whose senior members have substantial economic and political interests in Lebanon. Many of the officials with the most to lose from a withdrawal belong to Syria's security and intelligence services, which have a history of acting without orders. An attempt in the 1980s by Syrian intelligence agents to down an Israeli airliner in London was thwarted by Israeli intelligence. The plot was never revealed to Hafez Assad, the current president's father, who died in June 2000."
While we don't know for certain if Mr. Assad ordered the car bombing, or his security people did it on their own, or whether Al-Qaeda organized the murder, we do know what the Lebanese presume. The Lebanese have good reason to fear Syrian involvement and hopefully their April elections will begin the process of getting Syria out of Lebanon.
Ironically, Syria may be helping bridge the divide between the US and France. French President Jacque Chirac was a good friend of the slain former Prime Minister. The US and France are both putting pressure on Syria to quit Lebanon militarily.
Syria must be in a weak position if it is looking to build an alliance with Iran. It is isolated on every border it has.