TEL AVIV -- Three years after the assassination
of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri, Syria and its Hezbollah ally (its invasion army) appear determined to block the full implementation of UN Resolution 1701, which sought to stabilize the region by requiring the Lebanese army to guard their borders with Syria and Israel, and the abolishment of Syrias Hezbollah army in Lebanon.
By preventing the election of a new president, in succession to Emile Lahoud, whose term ended last Nov. 23, both Syria and Hezbollah have two clear objectives:
* Syria wants to prevent at all costs the appointment of the international court that is to try Hariri's assassins. All fingers point to Damascus as having masterminded the assassination.
* Hezbollah wants to make sure any future president and government would not try to disarm this pro-Iranian Shiite terrorist organization, as called for by Resolution 1701.
Because of these two uncompromising positions, all outside efforts to find a solution to the vacant presidency have failed.
Despite its skepticism, the U.S. had allowed France to mediate in this crisis. After many international conferences and great effort by France, the effort has failed. Syria promised to be "co-operative" but in reality blocked any compromise.
Then came an Arab effort. Following a unanimous decision by 22 Arab foreign ministers, including the Syrian minister, the Arab League presented a simple and clear cut proposal that met everyones approval except Syria which threw up many hurdles. Hezbollah and its Christian ally, Gen. Michel Aoun, wanted an agreement on the future government even before the election of the new president. They also wanted an agreement on the future army chief of staff in order to make sure he wouldn't try to disarm Hezbollah, as called for by Resolution 1701.
In other words, the Syrians don't want their murderous guilt proven before the world and they have no intention of ending their takeover attempt of Lebanon. They would rather see all of the Lebanese dead first.
With the French and Arab League failures, a frustrated Amr Moussa, last of the Arab League representatives to try, returned Saturday to Cairo, leaving to the rival Lebanese leaders the impossible task of finding a solution to their crisis. The result was as expected. Leaders from both camps engaged in reckless rhetoric, threatening each other with a renewed civil war.
The most furious rhetoric came from Democratic Gathering leader, Druze MP Waleed Jumblatt. He said Hezbollah's leader, Sheik Hassan Nassrallah, and his Christian ally, Gen. Michel Aoun, are "tools" in the hands of the "most despicable" people, meaning the Syrian regime.
Jumblatt accused his rivals of preparing for the return of Syria to Lebanon. "Whatever your potency and whatever mercenaries you use, we are not afraid," he said. "We will never kneel to Syria... If you want chaos, we welcome chaos... If you want war, we welcome war..."This sharpened war of words came on the eve of the third anniversary of the assassination of Rafiq Hariri on Feb. 14. Prime Minister Fuad Siniora and leader of the pro-government coalition, Saad Hariri, are organizing a mass rally in only 2 days, on this coming Thursday in the Martyrs Square in Beirut, similar to the one-million rally that led to the withdrawal of the Syrian troops from Lebanon.
Hariri and his economic empire are organizing transportation to Beirut from all over the country. Hariri donated $52 million from his own pocket to finance various development and education projects in northern Lebanon, where Syrian influence is particularly strong. This man is pouring his own personal fortune into ridding Lebanon of the Syrian invaders.
The U.S., France, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel are following with great concern this instability in Beirut. While the silent majority in Lebanon is still a majority, it is feared Hezbollah and its pro-Syrian allies would use violence to disrupt Thursday's rally, which could degenerate into an open civil war.
As for Israel, the major concern in Jerusalem is that the chaos in Lebanon will spill over its northern border. According to Resolution 1701, the border is monitored jointly by UNIFIL and by the Lebanese army.
Israel fears Hezbollah will use this instability to infiltrate back into Southern Lebanon. Israel is aware of such an eventuality and is preparing itself for such an unwelcome development.Lebanon could erupt into civil war in only two more days. This is serious business as it literally means war between Lebanon and Syria. It may seem strange to us in the West, but Lebanons best ally is Israel. Lebanons loyalties are divided between groups loyal to Syria and those loyal to Lebanon, and the latter are allies of Israel. This is simply because they support a peaceful, not-aggressive Lebanon and this is exactly what Israel wants as well.
In the event of a Lebanese civil war, would Israel come to the aid of their allies? And if they did, would the Syrians attack them? Israel would retaliate, of course, which would infuriate Russian and Iran and we might have to come to the defense of Israel.
I'm sure you can see now where a civil war in Lebanon could lead. The next few days are crucial.
Crossposted from IslamaNazi.com
Labels: Hezbollah, Israel, Syria, war in lebanon
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