Thursday, February 14, 2008


Hizbullah's Mughniyeh: Not Everyone Is Replaceable - Amir Oren
Mughniyeh's assassination will challenge the myth that "everyone can be replaced." This myth aims to keep Israel and other countries from targeting senior figures in terrorist organizations, under the theory that there is no point in taking such action if it further enrages the masses and stokes their determination to rally to the cause. Moreover, sometimes the successor is more effective and worse for Israel than his predecessor. The standard example is the killing of Hizbullah leader Abbas Musawi 16 years ago. If Musawi was trouble, his successor, Hassan Nasrallah, is worse trouble.

Judging from the behavior of Nasrallah and Mughniyeh, we can conclude that they doubted the assumption that they are replaceable. Whoever decided to murder Lebanese leaders Bashir Gemeyal and Rafik Hariri did not avoid such attacks because other leaders would have filled their spot. The murderers assumed, justifiably, that the quality of the original cannot be imitated. Mughniyeh belonged to the blacklist of arch-terrorists whose organizations will find it very difficult to replace them. (Ha'aretz)

Report: Nasrallah's Political Deputy Also Killed in Damascus Blast (Jerusalem Post)
Haj Hussein Khalil, Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah's political deputy, also died in the Damascus blast that killed Imad Mughniyeh, the Iranian FARS agency reported Wednesday.

Dead in Damascus - Editorial (Wall Street Journal)

  • Before Osama bin Laden took the spotlight, Mughniyeh was probably the world's most wanted and elusive terrorist, a man with an FBI price tag of $5 million on his head. He masterminded some of Hizbullah's deadliest attacks in the 1980s and 1990s, including:
    • The 241 U.S. Marines and 58 French soldiers who died in the 1983 truck bombings in Beirut along with 63 civilians, including 17 Americans, who died in the simultaneous bombing of the U.S. embassy there.
    • Robert Stethem, the Navy diver whose beaten body was left on the tarmac during the 1985 hijacking of TWA Flight 847.
    • William Buckley, the CIA station chief in Beirut who was kidnapped, tortured and killed in the mid-1980s.
    • Twenty-nine people who died in the 1992 bombing of Israel's embassy in Buenos Aires and 85 more killed in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish Center in Buenos Aires.
  • Mughniyeh died in a car bombing, probably orchestrated by the Mossad, though Israel denies it. It'd be nice to think the CIA was up to this, but we have our doubts.   
See also Mughniyeh Directed Execution of U.S. Peace Envoy in Beirut - Sara A. Carter and Bill Gertz
A classified Defense Intelligence Agency report stated that Mughniyeh "was in charge of the execution" of Marine Corps Col. William Higgins, who was captured by Hizbullah terrorists while serving the UN on a peacekeeping mission in Lebanon in 1988. (Washington Times)

Quote of the Day (BackSpin)
"It's very fitting that it was a car bomb.”

Lance Cpl. Eddie DiMarco, a survivor of the 1983 suicide attack on the US Marine barracks, on the death of Imad Mughniyeh.

No comments: