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.