Who Was Pierre Gemayel
Two days from today, the showdown between 14th of March and 8th of March was supposed to take place. Today, a whole day of exchange of words between 14th of March and 8th of March(Aoun's block included) each being more "patriotic" and "lovable" to their country.
The late 34 year old Pierre Gemayel, Minister of Industry, was assassinated and hell has opened its gates in this political chaos of bi-polar camps. This has impacted Lebanon to kingdom come.
Pierre Gemayel is a "Christian" Maronite Leader, who was a third generation of controversial family. Pierre Gemayel is the grandson of the founder of the Phalange Party, whose name is Pierre Gemayel. Pierre's uncle and father were Presidents of Lebanon. Bashir Gemayel was assassinated in the middle of the Israeli Invasion once made it to President, while his father became President after the assassination of his brother. Both were labeled as Pro-US allies. To say the truth, even though I never liked the Phalange, but I am over shocked about the name of the assassinated, and moreover that pushes me to worry about the future of the nation.
Pierre Gemayel was last of the line to be assassinated among the Gemayels. He is the 6th of the Gemayel Family to be assassinated, not to forget that his grandfather was almost assassinated.
Pierre Gemayel also represented the tradition of the Maronite leaders, and he is represented the Phalange Party while mass support was directly from the Lebanese Forces. Already on Lebanese TVs reflected in the hospital how his supporters were accusing Syria and the 14th of March's arch-enemy: Aoun. Pierre Gemayel comes from a powerful ex-military organization. If the supporters tonight decide to retaliate, then tomorrow we shall witness the return of the Civil war.
The Timing of the Assassination
The late Pierre Gemayel also was assassinated in the middle of his "supporters'" area. This is also a clear message to the 14th of March that whoever is behind these assassinations, they can reach them in their Strongholds. The timing was even more dramatic. Pierre Gemayel was murdered in the middle of Press Conference by his close ally Sa'ad el Harriri (Son of Rafiq el Harriri). The timing couldn't have been better for whoever did this assassination: Harriri was accusing Syria of his father, and now he re-inforced the accusations public to aggravate worse.
Meanwhile, the assassinations have restored the grassroot support for 14th of March. Hence, now Lebanon has two over-charged camps lining up against each other, just as Hezbollah's schedule to hit demonstrations were two days from now. Everytime a 14th of March figure was assassinated, their grassroots were lined-up and charged with anger (Personally I can't blame them) and Sectarianistic line-ups would become worse. From the other side, the 8th of March (Free Patriotic Movement included) were already ready to hit the streets, so technically both camps are charged and let us hope no confrontation would take place.
To send the country in a chaotic hell, now one minister is less in the Government and this threatens the Seniora government. Clearly attempts to send this nation to turmoil has worked by assassinating the young Pierre Gemayel. Sadly people do not notice where we are heading to. In Lebanon, just as his uncle was assassinated, there were two camps: one celebrating and one crying. The nation is charged, and the masses now are more charged than ever. This assassination attempts to hinder the International Court which was a major controversial topic that increased the split.
Worse, Pierre Gemayel is another name, except for Rafiq el Harriri and attempt on Marwan Hmaidi, that were a symbolic Christian Figure. The rest were all Christians: Samir Qassir, George Hawwi, May Chidiac, Jubran Tuieni, Elias el-Murr, Bassil Fliehan... even though by-standers were standing and got killed (today reportedly by LBC two were killed). This has over-charged the Christian Street more than ever, specially with the assassination of a third generation of the Gemayels, whose histories reflect massive support by the Christian side, we will be standing at a dawn of a civil war (second threat) if 8th of March proceeds with this demonstration.
Now, the question is who stands behind those assassinations?
I am sure I will reject the stupid allegations that Sulieman Frangieh did: "14th of March were behind this assassination".
Whoever did this assassination gambled on sending nation to another turmoil Already these two days represent the mourning of the late Rene Mou'awad who paid with his life in opposing all foreign intervention inside Lebanon.
When CNN correspondent Brat Saddler was asked who was behind this assassination? He answered it can be blamed on anyone... Syrian, and Israel.
Syria would be avoiding the International Court from forming inside Lebanon with UN intervention. Israel would succeed in sending the country into a civil war in order to wound Hezbollah. The altenatives are not ending. For example, if Syria is blamed while Israel committed this assassination, then Israel played a game of the life-time. Vice-Versa, if Syria did this murder, then it would have secured its interests in keeping Lebanon in a weakened position for future interests.
As we move on:
All 14th of March pointed fingers to Syria. Different blocks agreed on accusing Syria. PSP figure Bou Fa'our, along with Neyla Mou'awad have accused Syria. Only difference he asked for all the Lebanese to be patient and calm rather draw Lebanon to a civil war.
The first to denounce this assassination were the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (Syrian not for current Syria even though Loyalty to them, but Syrian for Greater Syria). The Syrian Social Nationalist Party were the first to denounce the Crime and called it an attoricity. They were involved in Assassination of Bashir Gemayel in beating the Lebanese Communist Party during the Civil War to assasinate them. At least they demanded both sides to remain calm and warned that this assassination is attempted to split the nation to a civil war.
Now on TV Bou Fa'our and a minor 14th of March figure were interrupted as people were screaming "14th of March! Hit the Street! Walid Beik join us to the street). This is exactly the fear where tonight's escalations might trigger a civil war.
Amin Gemayel entered the hospital, father of Pierre Gemayel, the supporters yelled Pierre Gemayel is Alive within us. Amin Gemayel asked that this night is a night of prayer and people should not behave out of instinct. This saying used to be said in reference to Bashir Gemayel by the Lebanese Forces and Phalange party. Ex-President Amin Gemayel is asking everyone not to seek revenge and everyone to remain calm. Walid Junblatt is hugging Amin Gemayel. Junblatt demanded all Lebanese to be calm, but insisted that the International Court is coming to Lebanon to get all the assassins to Justice.
Walid Junblatt and AMAL movement asked all Lebanese to mourn. Now at least all factions are calming things down... Aoun is probably terrified because this would cost him his "masses". His group did not say anything yet. We heard he is doing a meeting at his "People's" house in Rabbieh.
Jaajaa demanded that President Lahoud should resign and asked the Shiite ministers to return to the Cabinet (Hezbollah and AMAL), Lahoud said that he understands how he feels with Amin Gemayel because "Pierre Gemayel is like his son" (Go figure that out since it was Pierre Gemayel asking him to resign. President Lahoud canceled his "Independence" welcoming festival of Independence.
6:43, Bolton denounces the assassination on Pierre Gemayel, he argues that democratic forces need to be protected. He considers the International Tribune is the solution. Burns labels the assassination as a terrorist act and says that the US administration would give unlimited support to the Seniora Government
6:45, ex-President Amin Gemayel is accepting condolences in St. Joseph's Hospital
7:05, Gemayel's escort, Samir Shartouni, died from wounds.
7:10 The Phalangists burnt tires and closed a bridge on Byblos protesting on the assassination, security officials scattered the demonstrators and put the fire out as well as re-opening the route to Tripoli.
7:15, Moscow Denounces Political Assasinations (which is ironic since they already got a case on it).
7:25, Seniora Government declares that there will be three days mourning (friday included).
7:25, Minister Phar'oun's Media Office in Ashrafieh declares that the ones who shot on their office ran in a white Suzuki Car.
7:25, General Aoun finally speaks: denounces the assassination on Pierre Gemayel and asks that internal conflict takes place and considers this an attempt to divide the Christians(less than 5 minutes speech)
7:32, European union, France, and Egypt denounce the assassination (most probably half of them are safe-guarding interests).
7:32, Moubarak streses that all Lebanese should go to Dialogue (which is ironic since he is an oppressor of his own people and refuted to kick out the Israeli Ambassador during the July War).
7:38, LBC reporter says that there was a car standing next to Pierre Gemayel's car, and shot at a point blank distance on Pierre while the driver of Pierre went directly to the hospital.
7:40, Seems Burial Ceremony will take place in St. George in Down Town one O'Clock
7:45, clashes between Syrian Social Nationalist Party and the Phalange in Bikfaya (historic Phalanges Stronghold). In Bikfaya, the branch of the SSNP is on Bikfaya Square (Matn). Rumours say that the SSNP and Phalange exhanged words and an SSNP shot a bullet, while the Phalange started breaking cars. The Army interverned and formulated a siege. In all cases, it is fortunate that the Lebanese Army controlled the situation because there are neighboring villages up there that are either Lebanese Forces or SSNP.
8:03, European Union, Egypt, and France denounce the assassination.
8:03, France is sending its Foreign Minister to participate in the funeral tomorrow
8:03, Moubarak advices the Lebanese to resort to dialogue rather enter an internal conflict (no need to remind Moubarak about his totalitarian regime!)
8:04, LBC reporter, Bush Administration denounces the assassination of Pierre Gemayel and considers it a terrorist act (my personal opinion that Bush is the last to speak since his record of terrorism is dozens of pages long).
8:04, European Union expresses unlimited support to Seniora as they denounce the assassination.
8:04, LBC reports Hezbollah's block send condolences to Amin Gemayel and considered that this is an attempt to trigger a civil war.
8:15, Tony Blair denounced this assassination and argues that Democracy should be protected (I think he is still celebrating "democracy" in Iraq). He also considered there was no reason for it (you don't say Mr. Blair? how about a Civil War or total Chaos?)
8:30, UN representative in Lebanon was shocked from this terrorist act and will make sure that this case is part of the International Tribunal.
8:40, LBC gives full report about all parties and ex-MPs denouncing the crime and agreed at least it was aiming to trigger a civil war
Between 9:30 - 12:00 updates
Bush has showed special interest in it as he has hopes it is Hezbollah to pitch in marginalizing them.
Kofi Annan denounced the assassination and confirmed the importance of the International Tribunal.
Syria: Considered that Lebanon's weakness is a weakness to Syria. (We can thank them for that part at least).
UN Security Council: Stressed on the importance of the International Tribunal, and confirmed that the International Tribunal has been voted on to investigate the assassination of Harriri, Pierre Gemayel is to be included within the line-up. They denounced the assassination on Pierre Gemayel and considered it that the assassination on the minister was due to the fact he was a symbolic figure in the "Cedar Revolution" (well I still call it 14th of March demonstration). Actually this was an offensive on what "Pierre Gemayel signified as political freedom".
Jordan: National Unity should be a priority
Arab League: denounced the Assassination of Pierre Gemayel
14th of March: Meantime, a whole set of meetings took place in the Phalange Branch in in Beirut, where all figures appeared. They decided to make the funeral on Thursday on 1:00.
Merkel: Expressed worries on this assassination because it is a threat to block the Lebanese to reach national unity
Personal Analysis: The Assassination of Pierre Gemayel has restored the Gemayels in the power play competition on the Christian Street between Aoun and 14th of March.
8th of March common points: The Government and officials should work as soon as possible on the investigation of Pierre Gemayel. It is important to report that the supporters of 14th of March accuse on diversified manner: Syria, Lahoud, and a small minority Aoun.
Marwan Hmaidi (first in line of these series of assassinations, but survived it): Accuses Syria directly to kill Lebanon.
AFP: Lebanon salute the confirmation of the International Tribunal
Rice: Calls PM Seniora to confirm unlimited support to 14th of March (someone tells that imperialist it is none of her business and it is her intervention causing all that chain reaction).
Amin Gemayel: Urges his supporters to remain calm again...
Let us hope Lebanon won't enter to civil war...