Video: Bombings in Beirut, Kabul

posted at 8:31 am on December 27, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Today’s news starts off with two bombings in war zones. In Beirut, it appears that Hezbollah has taken revenge for an earlier bombing by al-Qaeda on the Iranian embassy by targeting a political opponent of the Iranian proxy terrorist group. A car bomb assassinated Mohamad Chatah, a former finance minister and ally of pro-Western anti-Assad activist Saad Hariri:

A strong car bomb tore through a business district in the center of the Lebanese capital Friday, setting cars ablaze and killing a prominent pro-Western politician and four other people.

The bomb targeted Mohamad Chatah, a former finance minister and a senior aide to former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, in his car as he drove through central Beirut, Lebanon’s National News Agency said, confirming what security sources had told numerous foreign news agencies. Chatah was also a former ambassador to the U.S. …

Hariri heads the main, Western-backed coalition in Lebanon, which is engaged in bitter feuding with the militant Hezbollah group, which is allied to Syrian President Bashar Assad. Several recent bombings have targeted senior Hezbollah figures or districts where the Shiite group dominates.

In a statement Friday, Hariri implicitly accused Hezbollah of killing Chatah in the explosion and warned, “Those who assassinated (Chatah) … want to assassinate Lebanon.”

It’s not the only car bomb in the news. In Kabul, the Taliban conducted a suicide car bombing attack on a NATO convoy. At least three ISAF troops were killed, with an American reportedly among them according to NBC, although that has not yet been confirmed.

The two bombings are not connected. Both show, however, that the conflicts in their respective regions are at risk of spiraling further out of control. Afghanistan’s Hamid Karzai has all but sabotaged any effort by the Obama administration to negotiate a continuing NATO presence after the 2014 stand-down date on combat operations. As this shows, trusting the Taliban to negotiate isn’t a winning strategy.

The situation in Beirut is worse. Lebanon struggled for years to rid itself of civil war, only to find itself under the thumb of Assad in Syria. Now with Assad under fire, Lebanon finds itself a proxy battlefield for the fight between the Iranian satellites of Hezbollah and Assad on one hand, and the Sunni terrorists of al-Qaeda and its allies on the other. The assassination of high-ranking political figures sounds very much like a return to chaos for Lebanon, unless the Lebanese can push both sides out of its country quickly — which would take a miracle. The cancer of Syria’s civil war is metastasizing.


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Here we go again…

OmahaConservative on December 27, 2013 at 8:41 AM

Being pro-western is more dangerous than ever.

forest on December 27, 2013 at 8:42 AM

We have a Army Reserve unit here in Lexington KY that is supposed to be deploying to Afghanistan in April for a year. I have a feeling they are not going to be sent unless this SOFA nonsense is worked out soon.

Johnnyreb on December 27, 2013 at 8:43 AM

Muslims being muslim.

thuja on December 27, 2013 at 9:16 AM

Sad to say… they’re probably just getting warmed up in Lebanon.

AQ and the Hezzies will trade punches, and Iran will view it as a great opportunity to hi-jack Syria’s dominance in Lebanon…

…that whole region is going to become a Sunni vs. Shiia shooting gallery, and any non-muzzies (or non-Sunni’s and Shiia) will count as bonus points.

CPT. Charles on December 27, 2013 at 9:18 AM

arab-on-arab violence doesn’t make it to mainstream world news.

arab-on-Israel violence doesn’t make it to mainstream world news.

only Israel’s retaliatory strikes make it to mainstream world news.

and we wonder why the world thinks that Israel is the only aggressor in the middle east…

sultanp on December 27, 2013 at 9:22 AM

Now with Assad under fire, Lebanon finds itself a proxy battlefield for the fight between the [Shia] Iranian satellites of Hezbollah and Assad on one hand, and the Sunni terrorists of al-Qaeda and its allies on the other.

Added [Shia] to make clearer the sectarian nature of the conflict, for those that don’t have a scorecard.

bofh on December 27, 2013 at 9:29 AM

Hezbollah is distracted in Syria, I wonder if a Lebanese-Israeli temporary alliance could flush that cancer entirely from Lebanon, securing Israel’s northern border.

rbj on December 27, 2013 at 9:30 AM

Why Sunnis Fear Shiites

Should we be involved…something to think about:

It is tempting, naturally, for Americans to stay out of a fight between two holy armies who oppose the United States and its allies. To put it very mildly, neither radical Shiite nor radical Sunni groups share our values or serve our interests. Still, as a practical matter, this does not mean that one of our enemies is not a more potent threat than the other. Of all the distasteful regimes in the region, only Iran’s has defined itself from its foundation as our mortal enemy and acted accordingly ever since. Moreover, Iran’s capacity to pursue hostile action toward America is currently growing. Thus, Iran presents the more serious threat to our well-being. If it emerges the victor in the fight for the future of political Islam and regional dominance, American interests will probably be endangered to an extent not seen since the Cold War. This is especially true if an Iranian victory is coupled with the regime’s attainment of a nuclear weapon. Not only will America’s ally Israel be under constant threat of annihilation, but American influence in the Middle East will be made hostage to credible Iranian policy blackmail. And yet, given the current status of the Sunni–Shia conflict, this is where we’re headed. “Iran grows more powerful day by day,” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani recently gloated. It’s hard to disagree.

kcewa on December 27, 2013 at 9:35 AM

Yet, we keep allowing more Muslims to immigrate to the U.S.

bw222 on December 27, 2013 at 9:49 AM

To say that I don’t understand those folks over there would be a huge understatement.

Cindy Munford on December 27, 2013 at 9:51 AM

Cindy Munford on December 27, 2013 at 9:51 AM

Bunch of rabid animals is how I see ‘em…

OmahaConservative on December 27, 2013 at 9:54 AM

No one is madder about this than Obama…

right2bright on December 27, 2013 at 9:57 AM

Hezbollah is distracted in Syria, I wonder if a Lebanese-Israeli temporary alliance could flush that cancer entirely from Lebanon, securing Israel’s northern border.

rbj on December 27, 2013 at 9:30 AM

I suspect the bombing which took out Chatah was the first (Iranian-backed) step in forestalling just such an alliance.

The next step will probably be “cautions” (veiled threats) from Washington to Jerusalem to “not interfere” in Lebanon. The last thing this Administration (of radical Eastern Mystic fanatics) wants to see is a replay of Operation Peace In Galilee. Precisely because it worked, shutting down Islamist terrorist activities south of Beirut itself for nearly a decade.

The most likely next step from “our side” (and I use that term very loosely) will very likely be more “secret talks” with Iran, on the subject of exactly how much control of Lebanon they are willing to settle for in the near term. The endgame with them, of course, being “drive the Jews into the sea”, and an Iranian-run caliphate from the Hindu Kush to however far west they can get us to retreat- before nuking us.

The present administration’s gameplan seems very like Nixon’s in China and Vietnam. That is, give the enemy everything he wants and then some, on the condition that it doesn’t become obvious until the present lot over here are safely retired.

It’s “kick the can down the road” in foreign policy, just like everything else. Except with the vision of a someday Utopian Caliphate in their eyes and minds.

Just so long as they can’t be blamed for it.

clear ether

eon

eon on December 27, 2013 at 9:59 AM

Build a fence around the whole area, set up stadium seating, sell popcorn.

worldtvlr on December 27, 2013 at 10:15 AM

And with us tonight, the legendary foreign policy stylings of the US political left. Take it away, Barack Obama.

BKeyser on December 27, 2013 at 10:26 AM

Here we go again…

OmahaConservative on December 27, 2013 at 8:41 AM

Brought to you by the Religion of Pieces, bits and pieces. Boom!

Muslims being muslim.

Yup. Its just what they do. With so much muslim immigration, we can expect them to do act of the very same nature here some day.

hawkeye54 on December 27, 2013 at 10:45 AM

Let the whole region bomb themselves into oblivion for all the world to see as a witness to the uncontrollable dark side of the muslim culture. F ‘em.

HiJack on December 27, 2013 at 11:15 AM

Yup. Its just what they do. With so much muslim immigration, we can expect them to do act of the very same nature here some day.

hawkeye54 on December 27, 2013 at 10:45 AM

And their will be a backlash against muslims like there has never existed in the history of the world.

HiJack on December 27, 2013 at 11:16 AM

To say that I don’t understand those folks over there would be a huge understatement.

Cindy Munford on December 27, 2013 at 9:51 AM

Well, then, what you need to do is read the Koran. It’s all in there. If you can stomach it.

HiJack on December 27, 2013 at 11:19 AM

The Long War.

thebrokenrattle on December 27, 2013 at 11:32 AM

And their will be a backlash against muslims like there has never existed in the history of the world.

HiJack on December 27, 2013 at 11:16 AM

Should it come to pass, that backlash would sadly be well earned, especially since the “moderate” muslims typically have done or do little or nothing to discourage, or tamp down on the mindset and teachings of the “radicals” who would do such things.

hawkeye54 on December 27, 2013 at 11:36 AM

The Long War.

thebrokenrattle on December 27, 2013 at 11:32 AM

As long as islam exists, the Endless War.

hawkeye54 on December 27, 2013 at 12:08 PM

Build a fence around the whole area, set up stadium seating, sell popcorn.

worldtvlr on December 27, 2013 at 10:15 AM

It would really irritate them no end if you were to sell beer, too.

Kevin K. on December 27, 2013 at 12:51 PM

It would really irritate them no end if you were to sell beer, too.

and bacon on a stick too. A fine addition to go with that beer. :)

hawkeye54 on December 27, 2013 at 1:06 PM

Fox news panel had an excellent conversation about the lack of any coherent foreign policy in this administration. It’s emboldened terrorists, to say the least. Anyone can see that…except Hillary and the president.

scalleywag on December 27, 2013 at 1:42 PM

Fox news panel had an excellent conversation about the lack of any coherent foreign policy in this administration. It’s emboldened terrorists, to say the least

Emboldening terrorists actually does seem to be the foreign policy in this admin. Muslim terrorists that is.

hawkeye54 on December 27, 2013 at 2:02 PM

Emboldening terrorists actually does seem to be the foreign policy in this admin. Muslim terrorists that is.

hawkeye54 on December 27, 2013 at 2:02 PM

Really, is there any other kind?

HiJack on December 27, 2013 at 2:39 PM

Lebanese TV interrupted by blast from bombing in Beirut HERE

JetBoy on December 27, 2013 at 2:54 PM

The two bombings are not connected. Both show, however, that the conflicts in their respective regions are at risk of spiraling further out of control. Afghanistan’s Hamid Karzai has all but sabotaged any effort by the Obama administration to negotiate a continuing NATO presence after the 2014 stand-down date on combat operations. As this shows, trusting the Taliban to negotiate isn’t a winning strategy.

Don’t be ridiculous. I have it on very good authority –almost messianic authority — that al Quaeda is on the run.

There Goes the Neighborhood on December 27, 2013 at 5:03 PM

No one is madder about this than Obama…

right2bright on December 27, 2013 at 9:57 AM

Would someone please tell him whose ass to kick? That’s all he needs to know.

There Goes the Neighborhood on December 27, 2013 at 5:06 PM