Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Heralding Our Next Darkest Hour

I'll dispense with the pleasantries in openning up this post and will, instead, attempt to provide a quick summary of the overall climate and specific events we can expect, if not in the following weeks, then at least in the month of May.

With respect to Hassan Nasrallah's latest speech, I will only say that it was a speech designed to act as a red herring for his movement's upcoming retreat from the untenable position he - and the rest of Syria's allies within Lebanon - had forced themselves into through the paralysis of the country's consitutional institutions and the attempted usurping of legislative and executive powers accorded to the country's anti-Syrian parliamentary majority in the 2005 elections. It was an inflammatory speech, the major audience for which was Hizballah's own constituency.

The retreat I'm referring to is one that will see the expansion of Prime Minister Fouad Seniora's current government to one of approximately 30 ministers, including a number of ministers from outside the anti-Syrian parliamentary majority, but more importantly, denying pro-Syrian groups' demands that they be given a veto over cabinet decisions. That deal is done ladies and gentlemen.

Of course, I haven't forgotten the International Tribunal, but for most intents and purposes, its fate has already been determined: it will pass, most likely before the end of the month, and most likely under a Chapter 7 mandate. The International Tribunal is un fait accompli.

From that perspective, it becomes evident that Lebanon is now entering a new (and as always, dangerous) phase, the herald of which was Hassan Nasrallah [in his last speech]. As the International Tribunal makes its way into the dominion of the international community, as it now gets played out in an arena in which Syria can no longer maim and kill, it is to Iran that Syria has turned to fight its miserable fight.

In Lebanon, there has been a shift in the ranks of the "opposition" forces. Where veto powers within the Lebanese cabinet were a neccessity for the Syrian regime, they are a tool for Iran to show its 'goodwill' to the Saudis and their allies in Lebanon. Iran had, after all, agreed to yield on that issue back in January.

That goodwill, however, is bound to be overshadowed by Iran's own international game. It is no coincidence, for instance, that on the same day that Hassan Nasrallah performed his song and dance, Iran's other prominent stooges were doing dances of their own, all coordinated, all projecting Iran's saber-rattling message.

The issue of Lebanon's future (and that of the Syrian regime) has now been transferred to that international game. A game where Iran will have no qualms about using its Foreign Legion (aka Hizballah, more on that later) to carry out attacks on UNIFIL forces in the south of the country, if it wants to; a game where the lives of countless mothers, fathers, and children in southern Lebanon will be sacrificed in an attack on Israel, if Iran feels the need to; and a game in which Hassan Nasrallah has turned our country into a Persian pawn, to be abused, violated, torn apart and subjugated.

That is the future Hassan Nasrallah has announced in his speech, that is the future his lieutenant has paved the road for in his interview, and that is the future that every Lebanese should stand up and reject, with every bone in his/her body, for the sake of his/her childern and for the sake of his/her country.


  1. Does it bother you that neither American nor Israeli intelligence believes that HA operates under orders from Teheran or Damascus?

    I can appreciate those who would like to see HA and its allies defeated, but I wonder if misrecognizing the enemy is not the first step in assuring their victory.

    I can also appreciate the deep antipathy toward the Syrian regime, but I wonder if promulgating such a black/white world really, in the end, serves your cause.

  2. Lebanese Nemesis9:53 PM

    Long Live Syria..and Long Live Iran and Nasrallah

  3. "Does it bother you that neither American nor Israeli intelligence believes..."^

    [For our reader's sake, Apokraphyte is referring to this blurb, quoted and endorsed on his blog, and originally written by Philip Giraldi.]

    Personally I think Philip Giraldi is wrong (either intentionally or unintentionally) in stating that Hizballah operates independently of Iran and/or Syria, and that Nasrallah:

    "is a fairly nuanced and astute politician who has maintained his independence from the Mullahs."

    A Google search will provide you with links and sources from security consultancies in which Giraldi doesn't consult to back that up.

    As far as considering Hizballah the enemy, I think it is very important to emphasize that if I believed that Hizballah was an organisation taking the paramilitary and political positions it has taken purely on the basis of national drives and objectives, or even solely on behalf of their national constituent sect, then I would have no problem in respecting those stances (minus the co-opting of Lebanon's defense policies and capabilities) and encouraging (in my own humble little way) serious, and sustainable, negotiations with the group on the future path our nation should take.

    But I don't. I believe they are taking orders from Tehran, that they are jeopardizing the country's current and future sovereignty and integrity, and that they will, without any hesitation cause the deaths of thousands of Lebanese, just as they did this past summer, and just as they are likely to do the next time they heed the call from Tehran.

    This is getting lengthy, but I'll add that this isn't to say that they don't have a national agenda, just that it is clear that that agenda takes a back seat to the external orders the movement and its leader continue to recieve.

  4. That is just it. There is no "solely" national, not here, not there, not anywhere. It's called politics and people everywhere fight over what is the nation and what is the national interest.

    Thanks for your response. Weird how I think we would agree on the preferred end, but find no commonality on the means.

    I will supply additional sources if you like, but I don't find the anti-Syrian coalition to be taking orders from the Americans, the Saudis or the French, although that case can also be made.

    I guess what is disturbing is the highly ideological, almost Manichean tone. I know, I know, blogs are like that (and I am guilty of the same), but it just seems a disappointing mirror to the political stalemate.

    Happy blogging.

  5. If you are interested, here is Anthony Cordesman during the summer war:

    "One key point that should be mentioned more in passing than as a lesson, although it may be a warning about conspiracy theories, is that no serving Israeli official, intelligence officer, or other military officer felt that the Hezbollah acted under the direction of Iran or Syria."


  6. BV, apokraphyte;

    Iran and Syrian essentially control Hezb, because; "Qui donne, ordonne". q.e.d.

    Occam rules!

  7. Jeha,

    If that were true, Moses would have skipped the 5th Commandment.

    And there is only one maxim I follow in trying, however feebly, to understand Lebanese politics: monstra mihi pecuniam.

  8. The issue of Lebanon's future (and that of the Syrian regime) has now been transferred to that international game.

    Only because Lebanese themselves are comparitively inert, I think. By waiting for your "leaders" (who are scared of assassination) to act rather than taking to the streets yourselves, whether as individual noisy martyrs or invading Hezbollahland en masse, you hand the initiative - and therefore the eventual victory - to the active opposition.

  9. Apokraphyte, I understand the point that there are international considerations on either side of the political divide, but I also refuse to equate those "conspiracy" theories on the US's greatear Middle East plans for Lebanon with either the actual destruction Hizballah wrought on the country this past summer, or the bloody trail leading from every assassination over the past two years to Damascus.

    There is no moral equivalence.

    As to the ends and the means. It really isn't surprising to me that we should agree on a brighter future for our country. The end, in this case, is a matter of principal, an almost utopian concept, our little country realizing its entire potential. The politics comes in the means, of course, and our differences seem to reflect a divergence in our prioritization in what ails Lebanon, and what should be given up to cure those ails.

    In any case, I appreciate your visit. I was hoping we could exchange blog links so as to keep this exchange of ideas open indefinitely, but I think we tried that once and one (or more) of your co-contributors objected (correct me if I'm wrong). Either way, the door remains open and I hope we can keep this up.

  10. Anonymous6:13 PM

    Yes of course! LONG LIVE SYRIA AND LONG LIVE IRAN but a quick and nasty death to BASHAR al KHANZIR and AHMADINEJAD al MAJNOON.

    Now, if anyone believes that HA does not take their orders from Iran or Syria please wake up. His holiness Naskharrah does not have enough intelligence to open a can of Tuna on his own...he is merely a very effective mouth piece that in fact spews a-lot of nonsense and half truths to blind the already brainwashed followers He is something akin to a "pimp" or a "front man" the to give too much licence to what Israeli and US intelligence is dangerous since im not sure they are that intelligent.


  11. I will add your link -- david

  12. Alright David, I'll do the same here.



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