Southern Lebanon is a giant hardened in depth defensive position. Israel faced an enemy able to stop it in the 2006 war there when Hezbollah proved itself a capable conventional military force able to go toe to toe with the IDF. Keep this in mind.
Stephen Harper has allied Canada with the rightwing Isreali government in a most biased way (see Peter Kent, Rights and Democracy, and this).
So I went and saw the bombastic George Galloway the other night because it seemed like a better idea than reading theory in my office at 9pm. Showman that he is, he said all the right things in the right way, and had the mixed crowed standing and clapping and sometimes laughing. Still, even without some of his less than stellar life moments (ahem Saddamn, ahem)there's just something about the man I instinctively do not trust. It could be the whiff of politician's sulphur about him. However, I will say that, one, if Canada had a politician half as scrappy and blunt as Mr. Galloway, we'd have a much different Ottawa right now, and Stephen Harper would have very capable opposition. The man clearly delights in a righteous fight. And two, on that note he seems to have adopted our Jason Kenney as a cat adopts a mouse. I would not want to be a Jason Kenney with a Mr. Galloway licking his chops like that.
Anyway, Galloway brought up something else which set off quiet bells in my head. CBC released an investigative report the other day which seemed to finger the head of security for Lebanese PM Rafik Hariri along with Hezbollah as conspirators in his assassination. According to Galloway, there is heavy Canadian involvement in the UN investigative tribunal which is potentially reaching these conclusions. Conclusions which, he claimed, when layered on top of Sunni-Shia schisms, and local politics which threaten to renew civil war in the Levant (no Ezra, not you). Galloway ran through the reasons why Syria, Hezbollah and others wouldn't benefit and fingered Israel as the party who would most.
There are wheels within wheels in that part of the world and there could be any number of opaque and complex reasons for assassinations and I am not knowledgeable enough to critically comment on the veracity of his rationales. However, a Lebanese friend was quite fearful and the audience, which included a great many Arabs, seemed to loudly agree.
Moreover, ours is a government with declared bias to a state with arguably the most to gain from a weakened Lebanon. If Israel can no longer easily beat Lebanon militarily, then why wouldn't they attempt to break it through the tried and true political skulduggery of spooks, assassins and agents provocateur?
Questions do arise when one factors this with the secretive Harper government's declared alignment and support of Israel's government and the Canadian involvement in things inquiring Hariri. Have we entered the fray as a non-neutral party and de facto agent of the current Israeli government?