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Lebanese and Syrian Bloggers Early Reaction to Mehlis Report

The Lebanese Blogger Forum came to this Conclusion:

There is probable cause to believe that the decision to assassinate former Prime Minister, Rafik Hariri, could not have been taken without the approval of topranked Syrian security official and could not have been further organized without the collusion of their counterparts in the Lebanese security services.

While the Lebanese Political Journal says:

The streets of Beirut are incredibly quiet. The last time I experienced this was the day after Hariri was assassinated when no cars roamed the streets. Today, is not like that day, but the city is in an unusual state.

Ramzi stayed up till dawn last night, frantically switching between live feeds from news channels, all clamoring to get the scoop. He can't wait to read this (full report in PDF).

Mustapha is digging out worthy press OP-EDs, analysis or interpretations of the Mehlis investigation. For example, he points to Hariri-owned Almustaqbal Newspaper which calls on the Lebanese youth to visit Hariri's grave in celebration of “The Day of the Truth. The event will take place at 8 p.m. Beirut time. While, Naharnet calls the Syrian allies a “5th column” and reports that Ahmad Gebril wants to sue Mr. Mehlis.

On the other hand, Mustapha wonders how the internal political battle is shaping up after the Mehlis Report. He says that it is too early to predict exactly how the political scene will look like in Lebanon in the next few hours, but enough is already known to have an general idea.

Kais writes – Ghazali: Let Hariri be the laughing stock:

From the Mehlis report. This is how Syria ruled Lebanon and turned Lebanese people against Rafik Hariri. Some bloggers are speculating that Mr X might be Nabih Berri.

On the Syrian side, Ammar of A Heretic's Blog says:

I shall not attempt to analyze or dissect it. Many, with much larger analytical skills and expertise than me, will be doing that on their blogs and in their articles. Suffice it to say, however, that all the necessary ingredients for a UNSC Resolution against Syria are there. It remains to be seen, however, whether the US and France have managed to gather enough support in the Council to pass such a resolution. Will China and Russia cooperate? Or will they push to give their not-so-precious lion-cub another chance at trying to make things right?

It does not really matter. Regardless of his recent assertions on CNN, Bashar is bound to squander any chance he is given. He is simply too riddled with incompetence and guilt to take advantage of anything.

Mehlis didn't please anyone. Sasa of The Syrian News Wire writes:

Worryingly, he accused the Syrian government of trying to mislead the investigation. He says Foreign Minister Farouq Ash-Sharaa lied in a letter to the investigation.

But no Syrian official has been implicated – the worry was that a figure close to the President would be blamed, implicating the President. Mehlis found no evidence that Bashar or any of his inner circle were to blame.

Joshua Landis of SyriaComment says ‘BYE, BYE HARIRI’:

Hamdan talked very negatively about Hariri, accusing him of being pro-Israeli, the witness said. The general then ended the conversation by stating, “We are going to send him on a trip — bye, bye Hariri,” the report said.

The Mehlis commission interviewed more than 400 people, reviewed 60,000 documents, identified several suspects and established numerous important leads in its first four months.

Other figures that unidentified witnesses linked to the assassination plot included Gen. Rustom Ghazali, head of the Syrian military intelligence service in Lebanon and Brig. Gen. Jamil al-Sayyed, head of a Lebanese security force.

The report did not, however, mention Gen, Ghazi Kanaan, the former head of Syrian military intelligence in Lebanon, who Syrian officials said committed suicide on October 12.

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