The Sunday Times, citing Israeli intelligence officials, reported today that Imad Mughniyeh, the Hezbollah commander, was killed by a powerful bomb planted by Mossad inside his Mitsubishi Pajero’s headrest.
On Tuesday 12 February, Imad Mughniyeh was attending a ceremony at Iranian Cultural Center in Damascus celebrating the 29th anniversary of Iranian revolution. At 10:35 pm he decided to go home, hugging and kissing Sheikoleslam Ahmad Mousavi, his host and Iran’s new ambassador to Damascus. Minutes later as he sat behind the wheel of his SUV, the bomb went off killing him instantly.
On the day Mughniyeh was buried, The Sunday Times reports, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert summond Mossad chief Meir Dagan to his office to complement him on the job and reportedly extended his term as head of Mossad until he end of 2009.
This guy elevates the israelis to the level of supermen in virtually everything he writes, which I do not agree with. The israeli PR Machine is often better than israeli performance, as was evidenced in their brief war against Hizbollah in Lebanon last year. But if you can get past Avnery's glorification of israelis there's often some valuable information in what he writes.
Blood and Champagne
By Uri Avnery
Every people elevate the profession in which they excel.
16 Feb 2008
....As chance would have it, the "liquidation" was carried out only a few days after I wrote an article about the inability of occupying powers to understand the inner logic of resistance organizations. Mughniyeh's "liquidation" is an outstanding example of this. (Of course, Israel gave up its occupation of South Lebanon some years ago, but the relationship between the parties has remained as it was.)
In the eyes of the Israeli leadership, the "liquidation" was a huge success. We have "cut off the head of the serpent" (another headline from Haaretz). We have inflicted on Hezbollah immense damage, so much that it cannot be repaired. "This is not revenge but prevention", as another of the guided reporters (Haaretz again) declared. This is such an important achievement, that it outweighs the inevitable revenge, whatever the number of victims-to-be.
In the eyes of Hezbollah, thing look quite different. The organization has acquired another precious asset: a national hero, whose name fills the air from Iran to Morocco. The "liquidated" Mughniyeh is worth more than the live Mughniyeh, irrespective of what his real status may have been at the end of his life.
Enough to remember what happened here in 1942, when the British "liquidated" Abraham Stern (a.k.a. Ya'ir): from his blood the Lehi organization (a.k.a. Stern Gang) was born and became perhaps the most efficient terrorist organization of the 20th century.
Therefore, Hezbollah has no interest at all in belittling the status of the liquidatee. On the contrary, Hassan Nasrallah, exactly like Ehud Olmert, has every interest in blowing up his stature to huge proportions.
If Hezbollah has lately been far from the all-Arab spotlight, it is now back with a bang. Almost every Arab station devoted hours to "the brother the martyr the commander Imad Mughniyeh al-Hajj Raduan".
In the struggle for Lebanon - the main battle that occupies Nasrallah - the organization has scored a great advantage. Multitudes joined the funeral, overshadowing the almost simultaneous memorial parade for his adversary, Rafiq al-Hariri. In his speech, Nasrallah described his opponents contemptuously as accomplices to the murder of the hero, despicable collaborators of Israel and the United States, and called upon them to leave the house and move to Tel Aviv or New York. He has gone up another notch in his struggle for domination of the Land of the Cedars.
And the main thing: the anger about the murder and the pride in the martyr will inspire another generation of youngsters, who will be ready to die for Allah and Nasrallah. The more Israeli propaganda enlarges the proportions of Mughniyeh, the more young Shiites will be inspired to follow his example.
The career of the man himself is interesting in this respect. When he was born in a Shiite village in South Lebanon, the Shiites there were a despised, downtrodden and impotent community. He joined the Palestinian Fatah organization, which dominated South Lebanon at the time, eventually becoming one of Yasser Arafat's bodyguards (I may even have seen him when I met Arafat in Beirut). But when Israel succeeded in driving the Fatah forces out of South Lebanon, Mughniyeh stayed behind and joined Hizbullah, the new fighting force that had sprung up as a direct result of the Israeli occupation.
And now for something completely different....
Not a particularly logical claim. Plausible I suppose but much more likely a misdirection play intended to take the spotlight off of israel.
US: Hezbollah behind Mugniyah killing
Mon, 18 Feb 2008
The United States alleges that Hezbollah may be behind the assassination of one of his senior commanders Imad Mugniyah in Damascus.
The US intelligence chief Mike McConnell claimed Sunday that internal Hezbollah groups or Syria may be to blame for the killing of Mugniyah.
McConnell added that the United States is still reviewing the case following the death Mugniyah in a car bombing in the Syrian capital of Damascus last week.
Hezbollah has blamed Israel for the assassination of its senior commander, vowing to retaliate for his killing.
Regarding Hezbollah remarks McConnell said he considers the threat to be primarily against Israel.
But he said US intelligence officials are keeping close watch and taking any necessary action 'to protect the United States'.
Mugniyah was on top of the US most wanted list with a $25 million bounty on his head.
Some Israeli analysts had earlier hinted that the assassination plot was hatched by Mossad, blaming the Israeli spy agency for its ill-measured act.
Notwithstanding McConnell’s assertion that internal Hezbollah struggles might have been the cause of Mughniyeh’s assassination, the retaliation will be aimed against Israel.
Today, Ehud Barak speculated that Iran and Syria might help Hezbollah retaliate for Mughniyeh’s assassination.
Israel has already put its forces on heightened alert. This is a dangerous situation.
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