Friday, May 13, 2016

Saddam's legacy

One arguable theory of the modern Middle East is that the single event which started the downward spiral still ongoing is Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait in 1990. The many open strands of that unforced error have plagued the region ever since,

Yet another case in point. Mustafa Badr al-Din. Or Mustafa Badreddine (for some reason, a more Francophone-type spelling is being used for him) -- Hezbollah's senior commander in Syria, killed in a mysterious attack today.

It's quite an achievement for a man who was under a death sentence in Kuwait in the 1980s to have been alive until today. But that's the puzzle: no one knows exactly how he got out of jail in Kuwait, except that it happened in the chaos of the Saddam invasion, and may have involved transit via Iran back to Lebanon.

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