Assad and Annan teeter on the brink

There is a real possibility that Bashar Assad has missed his chance of joining the war against terror, and as fallout from the same debacle, Kofi Annan's administration of the UN faces its gravest crisis.

Syria is going to face some serious consequences, including almost certainly UN sanctions arising out of the murder of Rafik Hariri. There is still a real chance that someone in the Syrian government or military will depose Assad and make a deal with the civilised world.

The evidence of Syrian involvement in Hariri's murder is now clear - right up to the Assad family itself. The consequences of this are fundamental for Syria, and for increasingly corrupt UN administration of Kofi Annan.

Despite pledges to publish the full report by German prosecutor Detlev Mehlis the report was heavily edited to remove the names of guilty parties. Not only that the timing of the edits show that they took place while Mehlis was in a meeting with Annan.

Which raises a fundamental question. Why do prosecutors produce reports if they expected to excise the names of the guilty parties?

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