The general consensus seems to be that Syria assassinated pro-western x-premier Rafik al-Hairi in Lebanon; but I say, the timing was inoppertune for two reasons: UN Res 1559, demands the withdrawal of Syria's l5,000 troops from Lebanon (inevitable implementation,France onboard); AND..Syria's efforts to schmooze the USA about harboring Ba'athists (and their money) while supporting the insurgency in Iraq. Sooooo, if Syria is in doubt, what other country stands to benefit from a big media murder spotlite in Lebanon?
Let's think about this..Iran has been manipulating the young Assad since day one..all terrorist organizations have HQs in Damascus..they have free reign and the respect of all those who hate Israeal, the USA and the marginalization of Islam throughout the civilized world. However, a terrorist attack in Lebanon throws immediate & unwanted scrutiny, not only on Syria but also on Iran..the Walmart of Middle East terror shops, so to speak. True, a major assassination diverts attention from Iran's nuclear problems..but they got too much negative press when l50,000 Lebanese mourners flooded the streets and hugged the coffin of their deceased savior, pledging revenge to "whoever" did it..
Getting back to the orginal question...who stands to gain? Today I heard the Syrian Ambassador imply(after a caller outright accused) that Israel would have the most to gain by focusing international attention on the two harshest enemies of the State of Israel..Hmmmm, Hamas already broke the ceasefire, Iranian sponsored Hezbollah lurks on the border of Lebanon with missile sites aimed at the Golan Heights, Israel claims that Iran will go nuclear in 6 months(US intel says 5yrs)..at this time, with fragile hope for peace with Palestine, Sharon relieved of Arafat and "friendly" with Abbas..AND the international community didling with Iran's atomic bomb(while Israel burns?)..I could imagine that Israel might feel the need for speed..it wouldn't be the first time.