Before a car bomb killed him this morning in Beirut, Mohamad Chatah was a well-known Lebanese politician who'd served as finance minister, ambassador to the United States and most recently as a senior adviser to former prime minister Saad Hariri. He was also a member of Lebanon's Sunni Muslim community and an outspoken critic of the Syrian government and its most prominent Lebanese supporters, the Shiite militant group Hezbollah, among others.
Chatah's criticism often took place, in recent months, on his Twitter account. His final message, posted just hours before his death, accused Hezbollah of seeking power over Lebanon akin to Syria's years-long occupation of the country. Given that Hariri hinted that he believed that Hezbollah was likely responsible for the attack (Hezbollah quickly condemned Chatah's killing), it's awfully ominous to read now:
#Hezbollah is pressing hard to be granted similar powers in security & foreign policy matters that Syria exercised in Lebanon for 15 yrs.
— Mohamad B Chatah (@mohamad_chatah) December 27, 2013
Others of Chatah's recent tweets, re-read now in light of his death, help make clear his outspoken criticism of groups within and outside Lebanon, particularly Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad and his allies. Here are a few:
Arafat then Assad then Nasrallah. If Lebanon is not saved from its current path history will tell how the 3rd blow led to its final downfall
— Mohamad B Chatah (@mohamad_chatah) December 22, 2013
The Xtian civil war aka the 30 yr war left 8 mill dead & Central Europe in ruin. With barrel bombs & suicide bombers we may do even better.
— Mohamad B Chatah (@mohamad_chatah) December 25, 2013
Mr. #Kalashnikov just passed away. But the rifle he invented will go on killing about a quarter million people a year.
— Mohamad B Chatah (@mohamad_chatah) December 23, 2013
— Mohamad B Chatah (@mohamad_chatah) December 18, 2013
Any china left to shatter? PLO, Syrian army, Iran's Hezbollah: 3 successive elephants strolling our fragile store over the past 45 years.
— Mohamad B Chatah (@mohamad_chatah) August 23, 2013
Since both the US & Russia fear terror & chaos in Syria, they should send a joint force there to impose order & run the transition directly
— Mohamad B Chatah (@mohamad_chatah) August 21, 2013
Many tweets criticize Hasan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah:
As always, Mr. #Nasrallah last night came across as a good lawyer for a bad cause.
— Mohamad B Chatah (@mohamad_chatah) December 4, 2013
He also frequently went after Iran, which backs Hezbollah and Assad:
As Iran ends its nuclear winter & promises an economic spring should Lebanon languish as host to the Levant Subsidiary of Iran's Resistance?
— Mohamad B Chatah (@mohamad_chatah) November 27, 2013