Will they be able to spin this one?

So the truth regarding the assassination of Rafiq Al-Harriri is finally out. The Melhis report boldly points a finger at top Syrian intelligence officials. Surprise, surprise!

Rafiq al-Harrii

I wonder how believers in conspiracy theories in the Arab world (and there are loads of them) will spin this one? How will they find a way to pin the blame on the favorite Middle East culprits, the US or Israel? It will be interesting to watch. Never underestimate the creativity of analysts in the Middle East.

The admirable Lebanese people never fell for his trap, immediately pin-pointing the culprits. Who can forget the demonstrator’s famous chant "Bashar itla3 Barra" or "Bashar get out of here!"

One thing I have been thinking about for the past week or so: How do Syrians feel about the findings of the Melhis report?

UPDATE: Here is a quick wrap up of comments from Syrian bloggers:

  • Sarroujah doesn’t believe that the report identified Syrian officials.
  • Amarji is hopeful.
  • The Damascene blog describes the anxiety among Syrians ahead of the release of the report.


  1. Linda October 21, 2005 at 12:10 pm

    I will not go into the report and this whole who killed hariri thing because we all know that Syrian officials played a major role in this. I think we can all agree on that.
    The only thing I found offensive, (and it maybe because I am not understanding your last question/rhetorical question the right way) but why are you asking Syrians how they feel to be Syrians?
    It is not like the Syrian people played a role. JUst Because Bush went into Iraq and Killed thousands upon thousands of Iraqis and is having our American soldiers killed for unjust war does not mean I feel bad to be an American.
    You need to seperate the government from its citizens. Syrians should be proud to be Syrians. JOrdanians should be pround to be Jordanian. Americans should be proud to be Americans, because walla if someone easily betrays, denies, or forgets his or her roots, then it is easy for them to betray, deny, or forget any one and everything else.

  2. Linda October 21, 2005 at 12:12 pm

    Oh yeah natasha,
    Do want to hear a syrian say, “oh Im so embarrased to be syrian, or I hate being syrian”? am just wondering?

  3. natasha October 21, 2005 at 12:16 pm

    Dear Linda,
    You over-analyzed my comment;-) My question was meant to ask how do Syrians feel about these accusations and about the possible collapse of Bashar’s regime! Major changes will happen in Syria…Frankly, I’m a bit worried.

  4. hatem abunimeh October 21, 2005 at 12:33 pm

    Notwithstanding, the new heap of evidence appearing in the Melhis reprt is still missing all of the W/H questions : The Who…What…when …Where…and Why… ??? Until then, the truth is still obscure.

  5. Hamako October 21, 2005 at 12:50 pm

    Not to be presumptious, but don’t you guys think that the official who ‘committed suicide’ will largely be blamed, 3 of his cronies would be indicted; one would go to jail, the other to exile and the other perhaps committs suicide/gets shot as well? I see something along those lines happening. Syria will deny, and the identity of the perpetrator would be added to the long list of conspirecy theories while the psuedo scapegoats would take the full heat. Ironically (as per people’s notion of justice), as long as someone goes to jail, people would have somewhat of a closure, doesn’t matter who.

  6. Ayman October 21, 2005 at 4:05 pm

    Well I think any Syrian -including myself- would feel offended by this question “How does it feel to be Syrian?”
    Imagine me asking how does it feel to be Jordanian (and “Hashemite”) after reading about late King Hussein’s meetings with Israeli officials at the height of Israeli aggression against Arab countries. Won’t you feel offended?
    I won’t discuss my opinion about Mehlis’ Report here, but even if the government of Syria was really involved in the assassination of Hariri, this should not make Syrians ashamed of their belonging to Syria.
    I do believe this was not what you really meant, Natasha. I read your reply to Linda’s comment, and I think you should change the question to “How do Syrians feel about this” so you won’t be misunderstood.

  7. natasha October 21, 2005 at 4:09 pm

    You got it Ayman:) I think it was bad semantics on my part, my apologies . I will rephrase the question now:)
    But I would love to hear your opinion about the whole thing.

  8. Sinan October 21, 2005 at 7:10 pm

    The Syrian people are definitely the biggest loser, and the least significant part in the whole equation. It’s a war between the States, and the Syrian government and the fuel of it is us. The question that bring itself to me as a Syrian, what should I do? What side should I pick? Should I be the good soldier who abides the rules and take orders?? Or should I being looking for the greater good wherever that is and stick by it?? Or should I stand still and observe?? Unfortunately I don’t have this answer myself for the time being, but I do know one thing for sure it’s time to make a difference and we as Syrian individuals better start taking some major steps and start working on it, better than let any one do our dirty work.
    To further read about my opinion on the subject refer to:

  9. Nas October 22, 2005 at 6:25 am

    Did anyone here actually read the report?
    it implicates both Syrians and Lebanese people.
    lol and when did a report by the UN ever carry any leverage? is that it? should we take it as gospel and submit to its will? whatever happened to organization that appeared out of nowhere and claimed responsibility the next day? where did they dissapear to?
    most arabs feel the need to blame israel and the US for everything because most of the time they are involved. so it’s not about how do we spin this, its about what it already is and what the report wont say it is.

  10. Global Voices Online October 22, 2005 at 5:32 pm

    From the Jordanian Blogosphere

    The Candy Man by Roba Assi
    With Saddam Husseins trial and the finding of the Melhis report, political sentiments arerunning high in the Jordanian blogosphere. In regards to the uncovering of the Melhis report, Deeb…

  11. Linda October 22, 2005 at 6:23 pm

    the only thing that troubles me is that most people who think the UN is a load of crap and did not listen to them in regards to invading Iraq are the very same people who are holding this Hariri report as gospel. Pick one people, either the UN sucks or does not suck!
    I believe it is an organization that is truly needed and should be taken more seriously.


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