Right Wing Nut House



Filed under: Middle East — Rick Moran @ 7:59 pm

The chances for violence in Lebanon increased dramatically yesterday as talks broke down between the factions on a new power sharing arrangement that would have granted the Shiite block more political representation.

The impetus for the talks was the result of Hizbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah agitating for the resignation of the Lebanese cabinet to be replaced by a “government of national unity.” In effect, Nasrallah wanted a bloodless coup where Hizbollah, through an increased number of Shia ministers, would have absolute veto power over decisions made by Prime Minister Siniora’s government.

After the talks broke down, the democrats of the March 14th forces accused Damascus and Tehran of meddling in Lebanese affairs and seeking to re-establish Syrian hegemony over Lebanon, something that the United States warned about 2 weeks ago during a visit by Druze leader Walid Jumblatt.

The timing of the Shia minister’s walkout is telling. The cabinet was about ready to take up discussion of a law that would have allowed Lebanese participation in the International Tribunal set up to try the assassins of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri. Hizbollah, doing the bidding of their Syrian patrons, is adamantly opposed to any tribunal, fearing that the real culprits in the Syrian government - leading to the highest levels - would be exposed. The walkout now prevents any substantiative action by the government on the tribunal or any other pressing matter. That’s because under the Taif Accords that ended the civil war, all sects must be represented in the cabinet. Without the Shia ministers, all Siniora’s government can do is handle the mundane, day to day operations of the country.

If the Shia ministers cannot be coaxed back into the government, Lebanon is in deep trouble. It isn’t likely that the March 14th forces would agree to new elections (the result of which probably wouldn’t change the parliamentary lineup very much) and Nasrallah cares little for democracy anyway. What Nasrallah wanted he got - a confrontation with the government that will now move to the streets. And that’s where his Iranian trained fighters, mostly absent from the war with Israel this past summer, will be used to great effectiveness. The other sectarian militias have no force comparable to the highly trained and motivated core of Hizbollah fanatics. Nor do they have much in the way of heavy weapons. Hizbollah has all the support they need from Syria and Iran in the form of money, weapons, and diplomatic cover. And if fighting does break out, Hizbollah may cruise to a quick victory.

A local observer, quoted in La Libnan, is optimistic:

One local observer told Ya Libnan, the main issue here is that ‘Siniora and his allies should not panic as a result of the resignation of the Shiite ministers. This is not the first time they resign and every time they returned to the government because it is the only venue where they can get the legitimacy they require. If they don’t return then Prime Minister Siniora should seriously consider replacing them with anti- Syrian Shiites, who are the silent Shiite majority’. He added ‘ Every time Hezbollah has to chose between support for Lebanon or Syria they always pick Syria. It is obvious that they quit because they don’t want to be part of the discussions of the Hariri tribunal which scares the Syrian regime.”

Twice before the Shia ministers have boycotted cabinet meetings only to return after concessions by Siniora’s government. But the concession they seek this time - veto power over government actions - is just unacceptable to the March 14th forces. They won outright control of Parliament in elections in the Summer of 2005 and besides, they are convinced that Hizbollah’s alternate agenda is to give Syria and Iran a say in Lebanese internal affairs.

An editorial in The Daily Star sums up the problems facing the government and the people of Lebanon:

So what do Lebanese politicians want? Hizbullah’s critics accuse it of planning to make Lebanon an Islamic republic whose government would answer to Tehran and Damascus. The resistance denies the allegation, but its deeds have subjected Lebanon to great peril in more ways than one, opening it up to all manner of suspicions. Do the March 14 Forces really want to make Lebanon a Finlandized statelet whose government sells its soul to the United States and Israel? The coalition denies the charge, but its members have made enough ill-timed trips and uttered enough questionable comments to set off alarms in many a mind.

If Hizbollah takes to the streets, look for the March 14th forces to organize counter protests. And unless cooler heads can prevail; unless Siniora can somehow reconstitute his government and do it quickly, clashes between the two sides may be inevitable and the possibility of a renewed civil war would be in the offing.

And waiting in the wings to once again come to Lebanon’s “rescue,” is Bashar Assad and the Syrian army - ready and willing to resume what they feel is their rightful role as Lebanon’s “protector.”

Trouble is brewing in this beautiful, tragic country. And at the moment, it is hard to see how any result could benefit the Lebanese people and the fragile coalition of men and women who have worked so hard and sacrificed so much to give their country a chance at freedom.


  1. There’s an interesting discussion related to this going on over at Micheal Totten’s site (http://www.michaeltotten.com/archives/001298.html). For three threads, a bona-fide member of Hezbollah has been debating everyone in the comments and giving their side of the story. Although deluded, he’s a polite and skilled debater. Check it out but be prepared for a long read.

    Comment by Andy — 11/12/2006 @ 11:53 pm

  2. Why am I not surprized?

    Comment by Drewsmom — 11/13/2006 @ 6:20 am

  3. [...] First, Al Qaeda needs to sow the seeds of doubt in Europe and Australia (and possibly Canada). They need to attack there so the people in those countries pull a Spain like America just did (elect the Surrenderers-in-Chief). Second, the democracies or pro-West nations in the ME need to be toppled or, at least, distracted. That means Lebanon is a target [new] for toppling the still weak government [new] there. This would allow Syria, Iran and Hamas Hizbollah to begin round two of their campaign on Israel from Southern Lebanon. The other big target now is Pakistan. The fastest path to the Islamo-fascist’s nuclear bomb is taking over Pakistan [new]. That is the number one strategic goal, while eliminating Israel is more a political goal. [...]

    Pingback by The Strata-Sphere » Blog Archive » Democrats Act To Surrender Quickly To Al Qaeda — 11/13/2006 @ 12:07 pm

  4. optimistic…. ugh
    I don´t know..

    un saludo, from Spain


    Comment by LV — 11/13/2006 @ 3:48 pm

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