I don't know about you, but I am getting tired of all the assassination talk. First it was Suleiman Franjieh predicting that a major incident similar to the Hariri assassination will rock the nation of Lebanon. And now March 14 deputies are predicting killings to "muddle the International Tribunal's work and monopolize people's decisions before the 2009 parliamentary elections".
These prognostications are taking place against a backdrop of high level visits to Assad's Syria and Iran, making the situation seem all the more absurd.
Nothing protects you against murder and inspires confidence like sending your top general to meet and seek military assistance from those who killed your country's former prime minister and massacred a bunch of MPs and journalists!
Sending the army commander so soon to Syria, and without any kind of coordination with the cabinet, sends another signal that Lebanon's military, exclusively led by the president, is following its own convoluted agenda. Michel Suleiman is using his meeting with Bashar a couple of months ago as a mandate to appease the Assad regime and force a normalization of ties between the two countries before borders are even demarcated. And just last week, this same president signed a 5-year "security pact" with the Iranian regime to supply Lebanon with "defensive weapons to be agreed upon in the framework of a defensive strategic system the Lebanese will formulate".
These activities make any fears about the harmful effects of engagement by the US and Europe look ridiculous, since the parties who will allegedly get hurt are now doing a lot worse (mind you Jumblatt is not too happy, and neither is March 14, but they're postponing any real opposition until after the elections). But if Lebanese officials are driven by a morbid sense of pragmatism, mixed with good old subservience and treason by some, there is no reason for some Western powers not to offer them all some backbone. Do Lebanese people not deserve carrots? Talk to the Syrians and Iranians all you want, but unless you have masochistic desires to see Lebanon turn into an Iranian satellite, do direct some effort to warn the delusional and disillusioned against signing the country away in defense agreements and joint security committees.