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US engineers provocation following assassination in Lebanon
It is not yet known who is behind the assassination of Hariri, who was killed along with at least 11 others in an explosion in Beirut. What can be said for certain is that the US government has seized on the killing as a pretext for advancing its own interests in the region.
Washington’s belligerent response began only hours after the killing. At a noon press conference on Monday, White House spokesman Scott McClellan warned that the US would consult with members of the United Nations Security Council “about measures that can be taken to punish those responsible for this terrorist attack, to end the use of violence and intimidation against the Lebanese people, and to restore Lebanon’s independence, sovereignty and democracy by freeing it from foreign occupation.”
By foreign occupation, McClellan was referring to the 15,000 Syrian troops in Lebanon. Later, McClellan was more specific, declaring that the Lebanese people must be “free from Syrian occupation.”
The American media by Monday evening was full of unfounded speculation that Syria was responsible for the attack, along with discussion about the possible retribution that would be meted out by the American government.