Saturday, October 22, 2005

Soft on Syria

Ok, I am an idiot and I apologize. On Thursday, I said:

…it is to be hoped that Annan won’t interfere with this report.

It now appears that, not only the version of the report to be distributed to Security Council members was watered down on the express request of Kofi Annan, but thanks to the incompetent idiots running the UN show, the document released included the corrections!

THE United Nations withheld some of the most damaging allegations against Syria in its report on the murder of Rafik Hariri, the former Lebanese Prime Minister, it emerged yesterday.

The earlier version says two weeks after the adoption of the resolution, “Maher Assad, Assef Shawkat, Hassan Khalil, Bahjat Suleiman and Jamil Al-Sayyed decided to assassinate Rafik Hariri.'' Khalil is Shawkat's predecessor as chief of military intelligence, Suleiman was the head of internal security and was removed about two months ago, and Sayyed is chief of the General Security Department.

Unless…(long shot) this was done with a US nod, a sort of “treading softly” to promote consensus at the Security Council…

To be fair, the justification for editing the report seems reasonable:

From the introduction: "In producing this report the Commission has endeavored to ensure that nothing it does or says undermines the ongoing criminal investigation and any trials that may follow. The Commission, at this juncture cannot disclose all the detailed elements and facts it has in its possession, beyond sharing them with the Lebanese authorities."

Syrian dismissal of the report as "political gossip" signals either an underestimation of its implications (which would be a big mistake) or a state of total confusion.

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