Worried Lebanese

thought crumbs on lebanese and middle eastern politics

Is the international tribunal timely?

Posted by worriedlebanese on 07/01/2007

For some odd reason, there hasn’t been a debate in Lebanon over the timeliness of the international court that is to be set up to find the criminals behind Rafic Hariri’s assassination. No one questions the importance in principle of such a court. Justice is obviously of paramount importance. And such a trial might put an end to political assassinations by rogue regimes in the region, would  argue the overly optimistic.

But let’s be realistic, what exactly can be expected of this Court?
– It is an ad hoc structure that will disappear after it has judged those found responsible for the assassination of Rafic Hariri. This will certainly not prevent or have a dissuading effect over similar crimes, because the judicial reaction was slow and only came about after painstaking efforts that could have been avorted by many factors: internal political pressure in the country where the crime happened, diminushing interest in the international community, a political decision by one of the veto holding powers in the Security Coucil…
– If it does find the perpetrators of the assassination and those who ordered it, the court’s decision could very well be seen as a politial one regionaly. It is a foreign court, and everything foreign is usually seen with a lot of distrust by middle-easteners, population and analysts, who are staunch believers in conspiracy theories.
– It is quite likely that the assassination was ordered in Syria, by parties “close” to the regime. If this is the case, what will the political repercussion of such a judgement be? What is the international community likely do? What will be Syria’s reaction? What will Lebanon have to suffer because of that?
Why isn’t anyone discussing these eventualities publicly?

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