By yesterday evening many aspects of Sassine explosion were already clear, while the overall situation in Lebanon seemed dimmer. It was clear that there wasn’t any small explosion followed by a bigger one à la Iraqi mode. The magnitude of destruction was more comparable to that caused by St. George explosion that killed Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri in February 2005. No ordinary political figure was targeted… It was ISF Information Branch chief Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hasan the one and only target.
Soon after the explosion took place, and before any news about al-Hassan occurred March 8 politicians accused Israel while March 14 figures said it is Syrian regime exporting terror to Lebanon.
The role of al-Hassan in discovering and leading investigations in Mamlouk-Smaha plot was well known. Discovering the terrorist plot in which 1st rank Syrian officials are involved was a slap to both Syria and it’s Lebanese allies. Even far before, Al-Hasan was a target of fierce attacks by pro-syrian media. Al-Diyar newspaper claimed yesterday morning he was arming militants in north Lebanon to attack Syria. Other pro-syrian speakers claimed he was an israeli agent…
It is worth to note that threats to kill, destroy, start a war etc… are not an unfamiliar lexicon in the speech of some pro-syrian politicians. Hence, what Gen. Mustafa Hamdan said 2 days ago as an example.
After it was known al-Hassan was assassinated pro-syrian media (the same media that was few hours ago accusing him of all devilish deeds) started lamenting him. Al-Hasan became their dear friend and martyr. Al-Diyar newspaper, didn’t even wait Saturdays issue to mourn him. A farewell letter by its chief editor was posted Friday evening in which C. Ayoub addresses al-Hasan “My dear martyr Wissam… I lost you”. Al-Akhbar newspaper lamented him claiming he was dear to Hezbollah gen. Sec. Nasrallah “whom he always referred to as ‘his Eminance the Sayyed’” Al-Manar TV hosted ex-minister W. Wahab, who tried hard to show the martyr was so dear to him. He said al-Hasan was a dealing with serious anti-Mossad files and accused Israel of committing the crime.
On the other hand March 14 had only one culprit: “Bashar Hafiz al-Assad killed him”, said both MP Joumblat and former Prime Minister Saad Hariri.
Lebanese horizons seem very dim. Youth of March 14 set their tents in down town Beirut in a scene similar to 2005 protests. Some voices raised in a call for Prime Minister Miqati to resign. Political division after al-Hasan’s assassination is reaching a new zenith.