Who Killed Rafik Hariri?


I do not know, what follows is speculation.

Consider this hypothesis: Rafik Hariri was declared a "collaborator" by the Iraqi Sunni Insurgency, who killed him.

Who stands to gain?, and why?

1. Israel: because it increases US pressure on Syria, and could lead to a weakening of Hizbollah (1) (Jansen, Jordan Times, 17 Feb.),

2. U.S.A.: provides an opportunity to push ahead with the neo-con Middle East Campaign, by increasing pressure on Syria, which the US accuses of aiding the Iraqi (Sunni) Insurgency (3) (Fisk, 16 Feb.)

3. al-Qaeda: striking at a Saudi-linked political power — Hariri had dual Lebanese-Saudi citizenship — with close ties to the West (France) and who was opposed to Hizbollah attacks on Israel (2) (Fisk, 15 Feb.), (5) (Juan Cole 14 & 16 Feb.)

4. Iraqi Sunni Insurgency: to draw Syria further into the Insurgent struggle against the U.S.A. — and Shi’ite electoral power — for the control of Iraq.

A map readily shows how easily one could build pipelines from Iraq through Syria and then Lebanon to the Mediterranean. A shortcut. This natural route is also one we could expect the Insurgent groups tied to the former Saddam Hussein regime (probably the officer corps and the intelligence service) to withdraw along. In Damascus, there must be banks for secreted funds, and refuges in which to regroup, plan, and store munitions. That much Iraqi wealth flowed along this channel in the past only reinforces this logic, which is the basis of US accusations against Syria regarding the Iraqi resistance.

The clarity of this logic would be evident to the Syrians from the start, who would no doubt insist that their Iraqi Insurgent allies not tarry in Syria, so the Washington cops don’t finger Syria as an accomplice. So, hide out in Lebanon.

Think of this exile population, accustomed to power, still possessing wealth, munitions, intelligence capabilities and some connections, as similar in many ways to the anti-Castro Cubans in Miami. Their focus becomes to subvert the power of the government granting them asylum (or cover, perhaps with some blackmail), so as to bring it to bear against their enemies in the homeland. An Iraqi Sunni Insurgency gains if Syria faces the same attack from the U.S. In killing Rafik Hariri, this (hypothetical) exile Insurgency does Syria a "favor" it really doesn’t need, and whose consequences might force Syria to join in the Insurgency, widening the war dramatically.

This hypothesis is like the plot of the Alfred Hitchcock film "Strangers On A Train," in which two men trade murders — initially in jest — so as to free themselves of burdensome restrictions without either being implicated in crime. In the film, one fellow played by Robert Walker actually commits the murder-as-favor he promised, and the second man, played by Farley Granger, is drawn into a perilous struggle to break the blood-bond of murder conspiracy he finds himself in. Syria may be in a similar spot, entrapped by the exile Insurgency and under tightening suspicion by the world’s Top Cop.

There may be no way out for Syria however they respond to the exile Insurgency and the Hariri assassination. The difficulty for them may be that in this case the interests of the U.S., Israel, al Qaeda and the Iraqi Sunni Insurgency all coincide.

Manuel Garcia, Jr. can be reached at: mango@idiom.com


[1] Michael Jansen, "Who Stands to Gain from Hariri’s Death?," The Jordan Times, 17 Feb. 2005,

[2] Robert Fisk, "The Killing Of Mister Lebanon," 15 Feb. 2005,

[3] Robert Fisk, "The Blame For Hariri Hit Falls On Syria," 16 Feb. 2005,

[4] Robert Fisk, "In Death, Hariri Unites The Lebanese," 17 Feb. 2005,

[5] Juan Cole, comments of 14 & 16 Feb. 2005

Weekend Edition
October 9-11, 2015
David Price – Roberto J. González
The Use and Abuse of Culture (and Children): The Human Terrain System’s Rationalization of Pedophilia in Afghanistan
Mike Whitney
Putin’s “Endgame” in Syria
Jason Hribal
The Tilikum Effect and the Downfall of SeaWorld
Paul Street
Hope in Abandonment: Cuba, Detroit, and Earth-Scientific Socialism
Gary Leupp
The Six Most Disastrous Interventions of the 21st Century
Andrew Levine
In Syria, Obama is Playing a Losing Game
Louis Proyect
The End of Academic Freedom in America: the Case of Steven Salaita
Rob Urie
Democrats, Neoliberalism and the TPP
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
The Bully Recalibrates: U.S. Signals Policy Shift in Syria
Brian Cloughley
Hospital Slaughter and the US/NATO Propaganda Machine
John Walsh
For Vietnam: Artemisinin From China, Agent Orange From America
John Wight
No Moral High Ground for the West on Syria
Robert Fantina
Canadian Universities vs. Israeli Apartheid
Conn Hallinan
Portugal: Europe’s Left Batting 1000
John Feffer
Mouths Wide Shut: Obama’s War on Whistleblowers
Paul Craig Roberts
The Impulsiveness of US Power
Ron Jacobs
The Murderer as American Hero
Alex Nunns
“A Movement Looking for a Home”: the Meaning of Jeremy Corbyn
Philippe Marlière
Class Struggle at Air France
Binoy Kampmark
Waiting in Vain for Moderation: Syria, Russia and Washington’s Problem
Paul Edwards
Empire of Disaster
Xanthe Hall
Nuclear Madness: NATO’s WMD ‘Sharing’ Must End
Margaret Knapke
These Salvadoran Women Went to Prison for Suffering Miscarriages
Uri Avnery
Abbas: the Leader Without Glory
Halima Hatimy
#BlackLivesMatter: Black Liberation or Black Liberal Distraction?
Michael Brenner
Kissinger Revisited
Cesar Chelala
The Perverse Rise of Killer Robots
Halyna Mokrushyna
On Ukraine’s ‘Incorrect’ Past
Jason Cone
Even Wars Have Rules: a Fact Sheet on the Bombing of Kunduz Hospital
Walter Brasch
Mass Murders are Good for Business
William Hadfield
Sophistry Rising: the Refugee Debate in Germany
Christopher Brauchli
Why the NRA Profits From Mass Shootings
Hadi Kobaysi
How The US Uses (Takfiri) Extremists
Pete Dolack
There is Still Time to Defeat the Trans-Pacific Partnership
Marc Norton
The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution
Andre Vltchek
Stop Millions of Western Immigrants!
David Rosen
If Donald Dump Was President
Dave Lindorff
America’s Latest War Crime
Ann Garrison
Sankarist Spirit Resurges in Burkina Faso
Franklin Lamb
Official Investigation Needed After Afghan Hospital Bombing
Linn Washington Jr.
Wrongs In Wine-Land
Ronald Bleier
Am I Drinking Enough Water? Sneezing’s A Clue
Charles R. Larson
Prelude to the Spanish Civil War: Eduard Mendoza’s “An Englishman in Madrid”
David Yearsley
Papal Pop and Circumstance
October 08, 2015
Michael Horton
Why is the US Aiding and Enabling Saudi Arabia’s Genocidal War in Yemen?