Friday, December 01, 2006

Hizbullah Rallies and the World Shrugs

Hizbullah carried out its threat to rally in Beirut today, and thousands turned out. They want to bring down the Lebanese government, headed up by PM Siniora, claiming that it is under the sway of the United States. Sure it is.

Here's what Nasrallah really had to say. Now consider what he said with what Nasrallah and Hizbullah actually did. They brought nothing but death and devastation to Lebanon by unilaterally choosing to plunge the country into a conflict with Israel. Hizbullah's hatred of Israel sparked a 34 day war that inflicted billions of dollars of damage on Lebanon and northern Israel, resulted in hundreds of deaths and casualties, and Hizbullah remains firmly in control of South Lebanon despite the fact that the UN and Lebanon are committed to the disarmament of all militias within Lebanon to ensure territorial integrity and sovereignty (UN SCR 1701, 1559, 425, and 426 - all ignored by Hizbullah, UNIFIL, and the Lebanese government that has been paralyzed because of Hizbullah and Syrian influences).

Abu Kais, writing at Michael Totten is looking on the situation glumly. The Lebanese people - the March 14 supporters (including protest babes) are all watching and waiting for someone else to step up and call Nasrallah out for his destruction of Lebanon, with Syria as a willing accomplice and/or guiding hand.

If Hizbullah gets its way, UNIFIL could be history. That's not a surprise. Neither is the fact that if Hizbullah gets its way, Israel would soon be back under attack on the Northern Front, which combined with the continued problems in Gaza spells another crisis for the Olmert government that was lackluster (to be charitable) in its handling of the fighting in Lebanon.

Abu Kais has more on today's rallies. Some of the more salient points:
In fact the Sunni Mufti, the Maronite Patriarch and the anti-Hizbullah Tyre Shia mufti have all spoken against "street protests". The Shia mufti, Ali al-Amin said the protest served the political interests of its organizers and not the people or the country. In a show of solidarity with the cabinet, the Sunni Mufti today led prayers in the government building (Serail).

The Maronite Patriarch, Mar Nasrallah Sfeir, yesterday addressed a group of widows and relatives of assassinated March 14 leaders, saying protests such as the one planned by Hizbullah never solved anything in Lebanon, "a country of 18 sects" that have to "live side by side". Following Sfeir's speech. Pierre Gemayel's mother told the assembled that "Any Christian who demonstrates on Friday will be digging Lebanon's grave".

In reaction to the Sfeir statement, Franjieh said on Hizbullah's TV that the patriarch must have been "turned on" by the widows and mothers who visited him.

It is no wonder then that many Christians stayed home after such insults were hurled at the patriarch-- an act seemingly condoned by Aoun, who, in addressing the Shia Islamists and pro-Assad crowds, wore his secularist garb and delivered a boring and defensive speech.
The Lebanese Political Journal has more on the March 14 movement's success on the AUB campus.

Open Lebanon is also posting current news.

Hizbullah is planning on setting up tents outside Siniora's office until they force the government to collapse. Hizbullah thinks that they know what's best for Lebanon, and that means forcing their brand of Islam and violence on the entire country by hook, crook, and force. Syria and Iran are both salivating over the possibilities. So how is Hizbullah trying to accomplish this? They're attempting to hide their true intentions and nature:
Hezbollah is even trying to play down its militant character. Instead of flying their own Islamist flag, with its fist and Kalashnikov, they urged protesters to carry the Lebanese national flag. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah likewise didn't show up, but Christian leader and Hezbollah ally Michel Aoun said: "I wish that the prime minister and his ministers were among us today, not hiding behind barbed wire and army armored carriers. He who has his people behind him does not need barbed wire."

Saniora did his best to ignore the demonstration, which the AP reported was even larger than the one for Gemayel last week. But on Thursday, he vowed that his government would not fall and warned that "Lebanon's independence is threatened and its democratic system is in danger."
It is hard to understand why Aoun would side up with Hizbullah given that Aoun has historically opposed Syrian involvment in Lebanon and even went to war against Syria over their continued presence. Apparently he's overlooking that detail to try and forge a common alliance and coalition government and thinks that the March 14 movement is taking the country in the opposite direction. Sorry, but he's dealing with the devil in Hizbullah and it bodes poorly for Lebanon and the region at large for him to think that Hizbullah has any part in a future prosperous Lebanon.

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