Thursday, January 13, 2011

Lebanon's Political Crisis Deepens

Lebanon's political situation remains exceedingly fragile as Hizbullah has pulled out of the government and has forced the Lebanese President to bring about talks for a new Prime Minister. Those talks are scheduled to begin on Monday.

Hizbullah didn't like the fact that Prime Minister Saad Hariri was backing efforts to investigate the assassination of his father, Rafik Hariri. His assassination has been tied back to Hizbullah and its terror masters in Syria and Iran and Hizbullah is doing all it can to avoid responsibility and culpability.
Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah said that his party will "calculate our steps" after withdrawing from the Lebanese government, at a meeting of party leaders on earlier on Thursday, Al-Jazeera reported.

Nasrallah explained that his party left the government because the "expected result of the international tribunal for the former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri is aimed at the resistance."

Suleiman asked Hariri, as well as other members of his party, to remain in their positions in a transitional government, Lebanese news sources reported on Thursday.

Hizbullah told Suleiman that it will not allow Hariri to continue as prime minister, according to a Thursday report by Lebanese paper Al-Akhbar.

"He is not fit to have this responsibility, as experience has proven," a Hizbullah source told Al-Akhbar.

Another Hizbullah source told Lebanese daily A-Safir that Hariri will not be prime minister anymore "because he is part of the problem, not the solution."

Thus, it has resorted to bringing down the Hariri government.

Iran is playing its role in all this as well. It's claiming that the fall of the Hariri government is the fault of the Israelis and the US government, which makes no sense unless you think that getting to the bottom of Rafik's assassination and bringing those responsible for his assassination to justice is somehow blame-worthy.

Hizbullah isn't a resistance group. It's a terrorist group that continues operating in contravention of UN SCR 1701, which requires that all militias operating in Lebanon be disarmed. Hizbullah continues to maintain a significant military force, particularly in Southern Lebanon and UNIFIL attempts at disarmament have been limited at best. Hizbullah may at one time have been a resistance group when Israel had invaded Lebanon to deal with the PLO in 1981-2 and thereafter, but Israel has withdrawn from Lebanon since 2005. Hizbullah is not resisting Israel's occupation of Lebanon - it's resisting Israel's existence and uses its position in Lebanon to maintain a destabilizing element on Israel's northern border.

The US is working through France to try and keep Syria on the sidelines and to avoid any violent outbreaks in the coming days and weeks. France has long had a relationship with the Levant and still has good relations in Lebanon and Syria dating back to France's colonial days.

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