A brilliant article by Chris Sanders:
In retrospect his assassination should probably be less of a surprise than the fact that he survived as long as he did. He and his patron Fahd symbolise an old equilibrium in the politics of the region that became untenable once the United States decided on a global offensive informed by the regional priorities of its client Israel. The Taif Agreement of October 1989 legitimised the presence of Syrian troops in Lebanon and committed Saudi largesse as part of a larger strategic plan to stabilize the region under the aegis of the United States, an important part of which was the commitment of the latter to bring about a peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians. It was this basic framework that made possible the coalition assembled by the US during the Gulf War in 1990, which, be it not forgotten, included Syrian troops.
The adoption by Messrs. Cheney, Rumsfeld & Bush of a strategic plan that is basically Israeli in origin and orientation swept away the basis for the existing regional equilibrium. Indeed, sweeping away the equilibrium is exactly what that plan is intended to do. The Taif equilibrium bound Israel to find a settlement with the Palestinians toward which Israel’s leadership was at best equivocal, because that equilibrium neutralised Israeli freedom of action to unilaterally define its role in the regional political economy. With the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and the assumption of power by Binyamin Netanyahu in the mid-90s, equivocation became open hostility. The Israeli, or rather Zionist, dilemma was and is really quite simple. A settlement with the Palestinians and regional peace means openness, openness means Palestinian access to Saudi funding, and Saudi funding plus the Palestinian birthrate spell the end, ultimately, of an Israeli state defined by a Jewish as opposed to a national identity.
Another analysis which adds another culprit (Israel) to the already big list of enemies to Rafic Hariri