Egypt’s President Mubarak shared with the Obama administration his view that the Syrians (and the Qataris) were “sycophants to Tehran” and “liars.” What is shocking is that the Obama administration ignored the advice of not only Mubarak and Prince bin Zayed, but also that of Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu. Instead, Obama chose to rely on the (Islamist) Turkish government and the Qataris.
According to Maariv, an Israeli daily, the WikiLeaks dispatches exposed the fact that during Israel’s 2006 war against Hezbollah, Lebanon’s Defense Minister Elias Murr guided Israel’s Air Force on where to attack Hezbollah targets in Lebanon and ordered the Lebanese Army not to interfere. Murr had hoped that by weakening Hezbollah, the Lebanese Army would be able to become the dominant force in Lebanon. Other leaks included Hezbollah’s warning that if implicated in the murder of Prime Minister Hariri, it would commit a coup d’état and take over power in Lebanon.
In November of this year, sources close to the Special Tribunal on Lebanon, the committee charged with investigating Hariri’s murder, suggested that the tribunal might point to leading members of Hezbollah as being responsible for the murder. Hezbollah’s General Secretary Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah responded by threatening that “he will cut off the hands of anyone trying to arrest his men.”
In a recent visit to Beirut, Bashar Assad, the Syrian dictator, made it clear to Saad Hariri that he could not guarantee the future of the Lebanese government or the stability of the political situation until the indictment issue is resolved. This is a clear indication of Syrian control over Hezbollah, at least on the ground.
This reporter asked Joseph Hakim, a Lebanese native and Vice President of the International Christian Union, to comment on the current turmoil. Hakim, who is closely connected to the leadership of the Cedar Revolution, had this to say about the situation:
Lebanon is at this time in imminent danger of Hezbollah taking over Lebanon with the collusion of Michel Aoun and the entire March 8 movement. This would be followed in a couple of years by Hezbollah’s systematic liquidation of all the March 8 movement groups including Michel Aoun, and other operatives.
Hakim further pointed out:
The Hezbollah leadership is wise enough to know that it is being watched by the international community, and therefore would seek to open fire on Israel in order to drag the entire Lebanese government, people, army and the opposition into war. This would weaken the Lebanese government, and enable Hezbollah to assert further its power grip on Lebanon. Incidentally, the Hezbollah used the same tactics during its 2006 war with Israel, when it hailed itself as the victor over Israel.
When questioned on how the Lebanese Christian community would react to Hezbollah’s takeover of its country, Hakim responded by saying:
If Hezbollah takes over the country it would cause a bloody war inside Lebanon. I believe that the Christians will fight to the end, and they will stand united for the most part. I do not anticipate a serious fight with the Aoun’s [Christians who are allied with Hezbollah at the moment] group. It will however be “the straw that broke the camel’s back,” and I believe that it may result in a likely end to the Christian’s existence in Lebanon.
Hakim cautioned that if the international community remained passive and failed to react to a Hezbollah takeover, Lebanon would become, within two years, a radical Muslim state. He added, that “the Saudi support of the Sunni-Muslims and Palestinians in Lebanon is also endangering Lebanon’s democracy, the Christians, and other minorities.”
The turmoil in Lebanon is, in part, a consequence of the Obama administration’s weakness and lack of resolve to block the machinations of Iran and Syria with Hezbollah as their blunt instrument. The U.S. administration must show strength if the Middle East is to avoid a major conflagration triggered by the radical takeover of Lebanon.
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