Shatah Assassination: Who Will Benefit From the Accusations?

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People attend a candle-light vigil at the site of a car bomb that targeted former finance minister, Mohamed Chatah, in Beirut on December 28, 2013. (Photo: AFP - Anwar Amro)

By: Ibrahim al-Amin

Published Saturday, December 28, 2013

No one needs to explain to people that the Future Movement and March 14 are accusing Hezbollah of being behind the assassination of former minister Mohammed Shatah. Their logic is based on a political – or maybe non-political – conviction that Hezbollah is capable of assassination, does not want any opposing voices, and wishes to terrorize its adversaries in Lebanon.

For the past nine years, at least, the same group of people have been accusing Hezbollah and the Lebanese-Syrian security regime of being behind the series of political assassinations in Lebanon, which mostly targeted March 14 figures. This was even before their posing as a political coalition, or Syria’s withdrawal from Lebanon.

At first, they said Hezbollah and Damascus were behind it, and that those entities did not expect that all hell would break loose if they killed this or that person. They also said that those who planned the assassinations did not anticipate the reaction, and did not take people's anger into consideration. This group insisted on accusing the same side, saying that Hezbollah continues to terrorize its opponents. Much was said about how the party is a pawn of the Syrian regime and that it only knows how to kill when confronting adversaries. Others said the party wanted to disrupt the work of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL). They said Hezbollah wanted to expand the war from Syria to Lebanon to block the path of all attempts to rebuild genuine political life in the country.

March 14 has reached the same conclusion on every occasion: The killer continues to spill blood and lose.

In many cases, it’s understandable that anger, tension, and hatred could lead to political accusations or even fabrications against an opponent. But in our case, we might need to ask questions that are naive or spiteful:

– Is Hezbollah stupid to the extent of not learning the lesson of the first assassination? Does its resumé indicate a deficiency that could make it a prisoner of this game?

– Did the outcome of those assassinations benefit Hezbollah, as a resistance movement, a political group, or a side that is the center of polarization for Arab Shia?

– Is Hezbollah working for its enemies, providing them with ammunition whenever they face a difficulty, and facilitating a climate to take measures and steps that would make it a central target?

– Doesn't Hezbollah possess other methods of terrorizing its opponents, after failing the first, second, and third time?

– Does Hezbollah, which is up to its neck in a more substantial confrontation in Syria and the region, find itself in a situation forcing it to toy with its local opponents through such an assassination?

– If Hezbollah today opposes the formation of a de facto government, why does it give its local, regional, and international opponents a tool to force such a government into being?

– Did Hezbollah pledge to kill an opponent every time there is a landmark in the STL, leading to more actions against the party?

– If the party was professional to the extent of doing all what its opponents say, why does it not choose a more representative personality from the opposition?

There are other calculations, based on facts and information, saying that Lebanon is heading toward more madness and more blood. And, as usual, Lebanon becomes big enough for an international congregation of assassins. Those who do not want to hear the voice of reason could let the tears cover their eyes and anger control their muscles, marching steadily to an abyss.

Lebanon, which is struggling under the weight of the Syrian crisis, will become more agitated as the scene changes in the Levant. Every single intelligence agency is in Lebanon, carrying information about the "open arena" for "generations of terrorists." Those who attempt to ignite the situation politically, taking steps akin to adventures, are similar to those attempting to turn Lebanon into a launching pad for terrorist operations related to the Syrian situation. There are those like them, who think that such a crime would turn the political tides to the benefit or one or another party.

It is clear that such a discussion does not have a middle ground in the midst of political and security madness. It is even more clear that March 14 wants to keep on dancing over the blood, exploiting it here or there. And it is more than clear that someone wants to push Lebanon into a more cruel situation in the international war in the region, especially in Syria. However, they only aim for reactions, strife, and madness. In this case, how could one take a step backward, to look at the whole picture, while the only thing we see is a country by name only?

Ibrahim al-Amin is editor-in-chief of Al-Akhbar.

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.


hahaha, Mr justice ur a joke. what sickens me most is how israel and the western propaganda has affected you to an extent that israel and the west are the good guys and hezbolah who have done nothing but defend lebanon from israeli opression. ive never seen such ignorance and stupidity. their is a war on shiat aal mohammad, has been going on since the days of the cunt that is yazeed and banni oumayah, fought bani hashem. your all gonna get it wen the imam arises!

I'm glad I read this article. It confirms to me why I spend so little time viewing this site.
I'm never disappointed in finding every possible logical contradiction, which can sometimes make for amusing cheap journalism. But this is all very offensive and callous when the article covers a vicious act of terror. Knowing some of the people at al-Akhbar personally, I am once again convinced that this is a publication by the mentally confused for the mentally confused.

Great article! Unfortunatley the hatred is deep rooted in m14 and their kin's hearts therefore cannot see the situation with logic and reason.

Once again I respond to those, which I will now call my very own personal critics, for their wonderful name calling. Wow I am truly impressed that I have rattled so many out of their sewers to send me their venomous appreciation for confirming my accurate conclusion about Hezbollah. The fact is that the truth hurts and hurts most those who take up their full hatred against me while by the same token they expose themselves to the rest of us Lebanese.

Before closing…I want to personally thank ‘Anonymous’ and of course ‘hezbeleb’ for making me feel so important. I truly appreciate your kind responses on this (Shattah) issue. It’s not every day that my great analytical comments are so well revered. Thank you very much.

What an honor. I have been singled out by the King himself. I am not a critic, I am merely a student My Furher.

Again, please don't stop commenting. And leave comments on the blog that honors your genius.

Activist4Isrehell more like. Discourse on this platform requires a higher level of intelligence. Tell your boss at the ministry of information (propaganda) that the stink is far too obvious. You can fool the people sometimes, but you can't fool the people all the time......

Two points, one particular and one general. The particular point, which follows a comment I made yesterday, is that one would be justified in being more frank than merely to say "why (ex hypothesi) did Hezb'ollah not choose a more representative member of the coalition?" One could say more frankly that the unfortunate and doubtless sincerely lamented Mr Shattah was expendable to the coalition because he was not a major figure, a leader of it. Why did Hezb'ollah (again, ex hypothesi) not choose a leader of the coalition, or even several of them?

The more general point is this. The West has spent a number of years trying to refocus the hatred its people originally felt against al-Qaeda, onto Shi'a, and indeed the West is now, we may say, 'officially' allied with al-Qaeda against Shi'a. But what few understand is that the entire terrorist program of assassinations is counter-productive in exactly the same way Mr al-Amin is describing here today. It has never been rational, from a revolutionary point of view, to assassinate anybody except direct military adversaries, in which case the term 'assassination' is not really appropriate, though the enemy will of course still use it, since the enemy never recognises guerrilla warfare as 'legitimate' in terms of its own inter-governmental 'laws of war'.

That was hilarious. you got me all thinking that Ibrahim Al-amin was in fact accusing Hezbollah, but then you used his words to convey a different truth a darker and a more disturbing truth, but in a funny and catchy way. damn you ActivistFourJustice for being so damn funny and smart. I can't stop laughing but I am frightened at the same time. What do you think of the blog where I am archiving your comments.
You're so damn funny.

Assad has already asked Hezbollah for major assistance in Syria. Despite Israeli propaganda and the like, Hezbollah is a small organization as is it's military fighters, many of whom are part-time lay people. Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the US and Israel among many others are doing whatever they can to undermine and destroy Hezbollah. As such, it is doubtful that Hezbollah would run again to Syria's aid and assassinate a Lebanese leader who was critical of Syria, and acquire more enemies and open yet another front. Assad and possibly Israel are the more likely culprits and benefactors here. Assad did little to defend Lebanon, just a few yards away when Israel was bombing it unmercifully, so it is Assad who owes Hezbollah a great debt for its assistance in the war in Syria and not the other way around and that is why I don't believe Hezbollah would benefit from making such an assassination. Assad should go but Hezbollah is not to blame for all of Assad's dastardly deeds and I now for a fact that Hezbollah is critical of Syrian politics and tutelage, but is also caught up in them. I didn't read the article, I'll read it know.

Someone further explain this article to Activist4Justice, the poor sod has clearly misunderstood the entirety of the article and has missed all points by a country mile.


I commend Ibrahim al-Amin, editor-in-chief of Al-Akhbar, for his opinion hits the nail right on the head. Mr. Shattah's assassination benefits only one group and one group alone. It is Hezbollah and every single person in Lebanon whether friend or foe, knows this. Hezbollah together with Syria murdered Hariri. This fact has already been proven. Thus anyone that's a Lebanese personality opposing Hezbollah, I say to them, check your cars before you get into them and make sure that the people who protect you are indeed your supporters. Otherwise what happened to Shattah may well happen to you. Like I said, we all know that Hezbollah and Hezbollah alone benefits from such murders. lets not give these Sewer rats the opportunity to do more damage to our nation.

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