In the case of Syria the question is whether it was murder or suicide and, beyond that, how much longer can President Assad hold onto power? For whatever the cause of Brigadier General Ghazi Kenaan’s death, it can be only a serious blow to the dictatorship. He was one of Mr. Assad’s most trusted henchmen. Before he was appointed interior minister in 2003, he ruled Lebanon for about 20 years as Syria’s security chief there. Why would one of the most powerful men in Syria suddenly take his own life?
. . .
Mr. Mehlis’s report is due by October 25, and it’s not hard to imagine Damascus wanting to transfer any blame it receives to Kenaan. He won’t be available to defend himself, and Mr. Assad can conveniently try to wash his hands of the affair. It is also possible that Kenaan believed he would be blamed by Mr. Mehlis – if Syria was behind the murder, Kenaan is the prime suspect in the hunt for the architect – and so took his own life to avoid the possibility that Mr. Assad would hand him over to save his own skin. Danielle Pletka, vice president of the American Enterprise Institute, told The New York Sun that it’s “hard to believe that a person with a track record of murder, drug trafficking, and unspeakable things, would suddenly feel guilt” and take his own life.
More at the NYSun.
Update: Captain Marlow comments,
There is another possibility: Kanaan might have been thinking of taking Assad’s place (after all, he was the second most powerful man in Syria after him)or Assad might have suspected as much. Either way I am glad to note that every move by Assad seems to be the wrong one.
The Captain’s right.