Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Security in Light of Gemayel's Assassination

Mr.Gemayel was assassinated by a gunman and not by a bomb. This in itself is very extraordinary. I actually cannot recall the last time a politician was killed by a lone gunman. During the war some leaders, for example Franjieh, were killed in a hail of gunfire by whole militia squads.
But from Bashir Gemayel over to Rene Mouawad on to the string of assassinations since February 14th 2005, all those killing involved the placing of an explosive device in a strategic location.

The practice of targeting victims through bombs distances the assailant from the crime and makes it harder for our already incompetent security officials to make any arrests.
This time, a shooting in broad daylight in a densely populated area and after Gemayel's car was stopped by having the attacker's car crash into it, should make it much easier for our security services to follow up on leads and make an arrest within the hour.

This event shows that the safety measures which the state provides for its citizens (let alone for polticians)are totally inadequate. Watching press interviews of Sinora, Hariri and others this very minute made me realize that none of them are keen on improving security or ensuring us that they will do everything in their power to find the perpetrator. They are happy enough pointing fingers and pitying the country and themselves.
If no arrest is made very soon, then anybody with a gun can kill any memeber of cabinet at any time and get away unscathed, which is a very scary thought. At which point also Interior Minister Fatfat will have to resign.
Security is the most important feature which citizens of any country demand from their government. In Lebanon, no matter who is in power, this feature is at present almost non existent.

19 comments:

  1. Gunfire, not a bomb. I hadn't thought of that. Very interesting.

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  2. Good point Wissam. The security was clearly inadequate. But I recall that it was the opposition forces who opposed installing cameras in Beirut for various reasons also.

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  3. yes yes let fatfat resign and the government fall so that the criminal in chief bashar al assad and his tools take over Lebanon once and for all. This is the silliest thing to be said now, indeed.

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  4. Anonymous8:14 PM

    I didn't know about opposition to the cameras...didn't the bill pass?

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  5. Yes Ib the "ruling participating opposition" (if any one figure that out)was the hurdle. Not only did the pro-bashar camp oppose installing security cameras in greater Beirut area, they also attacked the police forces in a bid to undermine the state. In addition they opposed the unification of intelligence gathering proposed by the interior minister in September. The plan was defeated by Hassan Nasrallah and Nabih Berri who should be also held responsible for having security services that are not linked to each other.

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  6. I am not sure whether it passed or not anonymous but I know it was opposed by the opposition for various reasons.

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  7. Anonymous8:23 PM

    The plan to unite the security services was unconstitutional!

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  8. Al Loubnaniya8:25 PM

    Ahmad Fatfat is an idiot. But why help the Syrians bring down the government by having him leave now? Besides, isn't Saba3 still the official minister?

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  9. Ib it passed after several days and several pages of retort. But look what happened the ministers of Hizballah insisted that be send via the long bureaucracy via a public bidding process. SO you WILL NOT CAMERAS BEFORE THE SPRING!!!
    While the majority position was special funds be made available and get it done in 2 weeks.

    It's seems the ministers of Hizbullah were working on the agenda that the international tribunal fate will be determined with 3 months max, and by that time the coup plot and the annexed violence will have already occurred.

    This is the legacy of the pro-bashar representation in the government, to be the Trojan horse than makes any decision useless

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  10. Stop hiding behind false pretexts of neutrality and objectivity. I have no intention to accept hypocrisy. If you have a political opinion that you wish the share be frank and shoot, don't feel ashamed to share it!!!

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  11. I was right from the begining to point out the gravity of the coup plot, and you dam know it. You guys are a bunch of fools who think that by reading a book or 2 can you become experts on Lebanese politics and history.

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  12. Anonymous8:36 PM

    Indeed, this was an incredible broach of security. Unfortunately, this government doesn't seem interested in advancing anything except foreign agendas at the expense of issues of vital importance to the average citizen; concerning this post, one of those issues is security.

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  13. That's the point debate. I have no political affiliation.
    I do not belong to any political party and feel ashamed for my fellow Lebanese who behave like sheep and blindly follow politicians without even understanding the core issues on hand.

    You, Debate, do not criticize inadequate security, unprofessional behaviour, corruption and lack of political experience but you, like most Lebanese, love to play the sectarian card, take sides and point fingers.

    I urge you to reason and argue and find a way to unite the country rather than ripping it apart by your constant defending of the "March 14" people and your constant attacks on the "March 8" people.

    So really, as you can see, I am sincerely worried about security and not about pointing my finger at other people. That is something that you will never be able to understand

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  14. Many bloggers tend to forget that in Lebanon we have a Lebanese armed militia in addition to 2 paramilitary Syrian army units, one led by Ahmad Jibril and the other by Abu Musa.

    Talking about security in Lebanon now and forgetting these facts makes any security analysis inherently flawed.

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  15. Hey Ibi, well the camera issue.
    First of all, would there have been a CCTV camera in this particular area of Jdeideh?
    CCTV cameras would not have prevented this. CCTV cameras are only useful for detection and prosecution. In a quasi "drive by shooting" case like this actually all you need is a simple ski mask to hide your identity.

    After all, cameras did not prevent the London underground bombings but did help expedite and reconstruct the investigation and if those guys actually looked out for the cameras and hid their faces accordingly they also would not have been identified.

    Those cameras serve as deterrence against thefts and rapes in car parks, tracking missing children and following up on all kind of abductions but I highly doubt they would have scared away or even helped identify Mr.Gemayel's killer.

    Crime fighting works well in most industrialized countries in the world and none of them have CCTV cameras installed on their streets due to privacy reasons.

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  16. Well yes debate, but all those militias are not actually preventing our police and army from doing their job in preventing murders and catching the suspects. Especially in an area like Jdeideh. That's my point.

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  17. what about throwing grenades on the police every other day campaing?

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  18. Anonymous,

    I am puzzled by your utter regard for what is strictly constitutional (placing the cameras) and your utter disregard of more important issues like the assassination of a minister and the ability of catching the criminals. I guess you care deeply about constitutional in this and other entries. Relax, the law was approved so you can sleep tonight knowing it is constitutional to place those cameras. As for the other post by another anonymous, yes yes March 14 are imperialist, colonialists allied with the West. How about March 8? I guess you think they have no external agenda, in which case I tell you: Ignorance is bliss.

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  19. Wissam,

    As I said earlier, I see your point. There was a major security problem and assassinating a minister in broad daylight in this fashion obviously indicates it. But the example of the cameras is meant to show that security in Lebanon is more of a political issue. No government in Lebanese history investigated and implicated those who commited political crimes and it is a fact that security forces appointments (chiefs let's say) are subject to sectarian constraints and loyalty whithin those establishments are subject to the same sectarian constraints. It is a complicated issue to address security in Lebanon

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