Friday, June 03, 2005

Samir Kasir's Assassination: Puzzling Timing

Beirut -"It was 1045. I was getting ready for university, and I have never head an explosion before, but I knew a bomb went off when the glass in my room shattered. I ran out to tell my stepfather, but the maid explained that he had already gone out." explains the stepson of Samir Kasir assassinated yesterday morning outside his house in Achraffyie.

Marouane Khoury standing next to the cordoned off area in the late afternoon continued: "Investigators said it was the same material used for Hariri, just in smaller quantities, but I don't know. They don't really know at this point."

And no one really knows. No one really understands why and why now. Those are the questions many fellow Arab journalists and friends expressed when asked about Al Nahar journalist, Samir Kasir's, assassination yesterday morning.

Palestinian of origin, Samir Kasir: journalist, writer, professor, and political activist was famous for his strident commentaries and critiques of the Lebano-Syrian security apparatus set up in Lebanon.

Over the course of spring described in the French language paper, l'Orient du Jour, as the Intifada of Independence, Kasir became bolder and more vocal in the critiques of the apparatus and the Syrian regime.

In a radio broadcast of a press conference led by opposition leaders yesterday evening, fingers pointed to Damascus, and to the residues of the Lebano-Syrian regimes. MP Marouane Hamade explained that the murder is a clear indication the Lebano-Syrian security apparatus in still operational throughout the country.

At this stage of the investigation however, there are no sure culprits. Speculations and accusations are founded on deductive reasoning and political mud-sligging, during this complicated time of Lebanese politics defining its sovereignty.

Maybe it is only when people come clean about the Lebanese politics as a whole that one can really sort out the perpatrators of the crime.

In the meantime, friends and family are to mourn and wonder why now. As one journalist from another Arab newspaper said: "It isn't like Samir's stance was unknown. If they weren't happy with it before, why didn't they do it then. But now that the Syrians are out.? It isn't like his work will take down a government".

So a day later, on a beautiful spring day in Beirut, people are puzzled. And as a store keeper explained: "It is a great shame."