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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Hizbullah and Israel meet in arrogance

Hizbullah and the Israeli war machine have a lot in common. Both believe that war is peace, and both arrogantly dictate the lives of people under their mercy. And they both are trying to kill whatever is left of Lebanese sovereignty.

Starting with Hizbullah, their latest unilateral attempt to “protect Lebanon” by kidnapping Israeli soldiers began by “firing in every direction.”

...shortly after 3 P.M. on Monday, Hezbollah fighters indeed broke into the village, firing in all directions. Some ran toward the Israel Defense Forces outpost, but found it empty. Others headed for the entrance to the village, where the house in which Markovich and his comrades were stationed was located.

"Everything around us was shaking," said Markovich, who began his army service just eight months ago. "One of the gang identified a terrorist. I shot him. Then they identified two more. I fired, and then again. The shelling generated a bit of pressure, but we functioned well. A comrade said, `There's a terrorist,' and I fired. It's all a matter of seconds, the entire business lasted about a minute." Altogether, Markovich killed four Hezbollah gunmen. But he insisted on sharing the credit with his comrades. "I'm not the hero of the day," he said.

"There were four of us there. One spotted and I shot. It's a team, with a commander. We simply ended up at the center of things ... This is what we train for."
Four young Lebanese men, men who swore allegiance to a cause sullied by their party’s unholy affiliations with murderers and despots, four Lebanese men in the prime of their youth died. WHAT FOR? For this:

IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz noted that it was Hezbollah that requested the cease-fire - a development that he termed "a refreshing change." Moreover, he told reporters during a tour of the northern border, the Lebanese government also asked Israel to halt the fighting. "In so doing, the Lebanese government in effect acknowledged that it bears responsibility for what happens on the northern border," he added.
While Halutz is smugly bragging about his soldiers, Hizbullah was busy lying:

At 2:54 p.m. (1254 GMT), the Islamic Resistance confronted an Israeli force omposed of two military vehicles that had penetrated the Lebanese side of the village of Ghajar. A violent exchange ensued leading to the destruction of the two vehicles, and dead and wounded in enemy ranks, as well as three dead among the resistance fighters.
How can you tell it’s a lie? The Manar TV site refers to it as “operation” and has published a transcript of an Israeli TV broadcast detailing how Hizbullah tried to kidnap soldiers.

Siniora and Saad Hariri, cornered and rendered ineffective by Hizbullah, have issued statements supporting the “resistance”. Saad’s statement came from the safe island of Curacao.

Algeria meanwhile reportedly blocked a UN security council statement that would have called on Lebanon to extend its authority to all Lebanese territories.

The Algerian representative said this makes Hizbullah and the Lebanese government look like they are two separate authorities, while in fact Hizbullah is a legitimate Lebanese party and part of the Lebanese government," he said.

"Basically, what the Algerians said was they needed more time to study the document. And the U.S. representative made it clear they will not accept the statement unless it says that Hizbullah initiated the violence," he said.
To add insult to injury, Israeli warplanes intruded into Lebanese airspace today, dumping anti-Hizbullah leaflets addressed to "Lebanese citizens":

Who is protecting Lebanon, who lies to you? Who throws yours sons into a battle for which they are not prepared? Who wants the return of destruction? Hezbollah brings a strong prejudice to Lebanon. It is an instrument in the hands of its Syrian and Iranian masters. The state of Israel is watching over the protection of its citizens and sovereignty...
Nobody will condemn this or see its arrogance. Not when Hizbullah’s arrogance and danger to Lebanon these days match if not exceed Israel’s perceived danger.

Who lost here apart from the families of those young fighters? We did. The few Lebanese who have been calling for Lebanese sovereignty. Hizbullah started this last round, and Israel came in and put the final touches. Well done.

It's good to hear (or to read) the voice of reason
What do you expect from Israel dude? To just sit there and take it?
Good post Kais. Informative and I agree with the gist of it.

Two points:
1) Four young Lebanese men, men who swore allegiance to a cause sullied by their party’s unholy affiliations with murderers and despots, four Lebanese men in the prime of their youth died. WHAT FOR?

I am not sure what the "cause" is here. And if there guys were not underage, they take responsibility for their actions (and maybe they did). You (and I) ask "What For"? I suspect hundreds of young HA militants can answer that question for you.

I guess what I am saying is you appear to be in the Saad/Seniora boat, somehow praising the "resistance" though certainly not this action.

2) As to the Algerians, they can stick their opinion where the sun don't shine. They do not tolerate this kind of crap in their country.
Good analysis Kais.

I have to wonder that the solution starts and ends with "overall better economic conditions".

The Shiites of Lebanon have to reach a better level of living and Hezbollah will be nothing but a distant memory.

I believe however that it is somewhat unfair to ask from the other Lebanese communities to support the central government in doing so, but this must be done for a better long term future.
Problem is: in the short term the government has o lira to spend on social issues, and if Siniora plans to resurrect the economy and deal with the debt he cannot let public spending inflate.
Syria, Iran and the Mehlis Report .

Detlev Mehlis report, as many expected had an immediate impact on Syria. The
United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1636 calling
on President's Assad regime to fully cooperate with the UN investigators
into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. At
the insistence of Russia and China, the final version of the resolution
failed to include sanctions, but it did let the possibility of "further
action" open, in case the regime choose to ignore the international
community once again. Mehlis has hinted that Hariri could not have been
killed without the complicity of top security officials of Syria and
Lebanon. Although no Syrian officials have yet been named as suspects, the
UN inquiry has implicated President Bashar Assad's brother, Maher and
brother-in-law, as well as other Syrian military intelligence officials. In
response, Syria has pledged to cooperate with the UN inquiry while
maintaining its innocence over the assassination.

James Watt, the British Ambassador to Lebanon told Reuters that the EU
firmly supports the UN resolution and encourages the Lebanese government to
take action in that aspect.

Saad Hariri, declared in a statement released by his Beirut office that the
UN1636 resolution was the "worlds gift" on the 61st birthday of his
assassinated father. "Early justice will certainly be administered against
those who plotted and executed the biggest terrorist crime in the Middle
East in modern times, whoever and wherever they are in Lebanon or outside
Lebanon," further said Hariri.

But, if the UN 1636 has the support of the Occident and that of Lebanon's
government, in Syria this resolution was attacked and looked with distrust
by the members and sympathizers of the Baath party, and also by the average
citizens who fear that Syria might become a military target, as Iraq did two
years ago.

Dr. Fayez Al-Sayegh, editor in chief of the Al Thawra Newspaper wrote in an
editorial that,"This is not the first time Syria is facing such tremendous
pressure that is well-prepared and programmed by Zionist circles under
various brands and at different positions and places in the world." ......
Official Mouthpiece Liars of the Baath of Syria's Alawite Assads.

In Lebanon, Hezbollah did not disappoint its friend and long-time supporter,
Syria. Hezbollah's media representative said that the UN resolution 1636 was
part of the US imperialist scheme to use Hariri's murder to "re-tailor the
Middle East to the measurements of the United States." Hezbollah, as part of
Premier Foud Saniora's government, which supports the UN resolutions 1559
and 1636 should have adopted the same policy line. However, Sheikh Nasrallah
decided once more that Hezbollah's place is not in the same camp with the
Lebanese parties, but rather with Syria.

At the time of the parliamentary elections, it was crucially for the country
to be unified. Therefore, Saad Hariri's Future Movement and its Druze allies
believed it was in the interest of the nation to have the Shiit Hezbollah
and Amal represented in parliament. Further more, for the first time since
its existence as a political party, Hezbollah has ministers who are either
its members, or are affiliated with its Islamic and politic creed.

In the last months, it became obvious that Hezbollah had little interest, if
any in cooperating with the Saad Hariri's alliance. Walid Jumblatt, the
Druze leader and President of the Progressive Socialist Party of Lebanon
engaged in discussions with Hezbollah's leadership, but eventually the
negotiations stagnated. General Aoun, the opposition leader invited them to
an open, friendly dialogue, but there were no visible positive results of
it. Meantime, Amal's leader and Speaker of the Parliament, Nabih Berri has
chosen the middle way - the party did not abandon Syria, while trying to
co-operate closely with the pro-Lebanese (as opposed to the pro-Syrian
Lebanese government who functioned in the country in the last three decades)
government of Premier Siniora.

The UN 1559 resolution was meant not only to disarm, but also to isolate
Hezbollah. It failed in both cases, but it is not yet the end of the road.
Although there were some discussions with its leadership, there were no
final conclusions in this regard. The Israeli security forces repeatedly
warned that if Hezbollah will kidnap, attack massively the IDF soldiers or
will contribute in any other way to the deterioration of the security
situation along the Israeli-Lebanese border, Israel will hold the Lebanese
government responsible for it. The challenge for the Lebanese government is
to convince Hezbollah's supporters from within the country, that what the
armed wing is doing is not in the best interest of all. Furthermore, it has
to come up with a solution that Sheikh Nasrallah finds acceptable, so that
to minimize any possible rifts between the Shiias themselves, or the Shiias
and the other confessions of Lebanon.

A crucial source of Hezbollah's influence over the Lebanese political arena
stems from its hostile rhetoric toward Israel and the United States. It acts
similarly as its patron, Iran. Thus, shortly after the message of the
Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that "Israel must be wiped off the
map", in Tehran, Berlin and in some other places, Lebanon included, there
were marches celebrating the Jerusalem Day. The late Ayatollah Khomeini and
the Iranian Islamic government instituted this festivity in 1979, to express
the Muslims commitment to liberate Jerusalem of the Jews. Hezbollah's
leadership used this event to tie the fate of the Palestinians with that of
its own-armed wing. Thus, along side Hezbollah's flags there were flags and
banners of the Palestinian militant factions, such as Hamas, Al Aqsa
Brigades and Islamic Jihad.

Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah told the rally, "What we are witnessing today is the
using of the Mehlis report to punish Syria for a crime that it has not been
convicted of, as a punishment for its political and strategic options. We
frankly feel that there is incitement, from more than one international
report to sabotage the relations between the Lebanese themselves, the
Lebanese and the Palestinians and Lebanon-Syria ties."

The Ya Libnan, a Lebanese political magazine, reported on its website that,
"Some 6,000 Hezbollah fighters, in khaki, brown or black military fatigues
but carrying no weapons, marched in formation in front of cheering crowds
waving the group's yellow flags and chanting 'Death to Israel, Death to
America' and 'Oh, Jerusalem, we are coming.'"

Such a behavior raises the question: where does Hezbollah stand, after all?
Is it asking that truth be reveled in Hariri's case, even if Syrian top
officials will be proven guilty or it will ally itself with Iran and Syria?

The Senior Lebanese Shiia cleric, Sheikh Fadlallah told the Daily Star, "the
central issue of the US policy in Lebanon is not for Lebanon's interest,
freedom and independence, but it is the disarmament of the resistance and
the tangling of Palestinian refugee camps for Israel's interest."

The 1559 Resolution, which was adopted last year in September called for the
withdrawal of all foreign troops and the disbanding and disarmament of
Lebanon's Shiite militia Hezbollah and that of the Palestinian groups
present inside the refugee camps. The report echoed by France, US and UN
emphasized, "The existence of armed groups defying the control of the
legitimate government which by definition is vested with a monopoly on the
use of force throughout its territory, is incompatible with the restoration
and full respect of the sovereignty, territorial integrity, unity and
political independence of the country." Back then, both Amal and Hezbollah
attacked the conclusion of the report. Sheikh Naim Kassem, the deputy leader
of Hezbollah declared, "We do not know what the US intelligence apparatus
would insert in any help to Lebanon and we do not know what FBI
investigators are now doing in Beirut. When the Americans intervene, Israel
is automatically present." He went on, "We do not need anyone to teach us
how to protect our country."

Amal's message was less strong, but nonetheless it carried the same idea of
"No, to imported security." Strangely they have raised such slogans now, and
not during the three decades of Syrian hegemony over Lebanon.

Many inside Lebanon sustain that the only effective way of dealing with
Hezbollah is through an open dialogue. The idea is here that if you push its
numerous members and even more numerous sympathizers in a corner, it's
likely that they will fight back tooth and nail to regain their respected
position and even more. The latter possibly being the transformation of
Lebanon into an Islamic Republic.

The change has to come from within Hezbollah's ranks. Its leadership should
voluntarily disarm, act only as a political party, and it definitely should
be loyal to Lebanon's short and long-term national interests, regardless of
Iranians, Syrians or Palestinian goals. That's if they consider themselves
primarily as Lebanese.

On the other hand, those who support the party's armed wing must have the
guarantee of the government that they will be not less safer without
Hezbollah's arms, than they are now with Hezbollah protecting them and the
South of the country. Here the pragmatism of politics comes down to earth
and it entirely depends on the trust the Southerners may have or not in the
government, mainly in the Christians and Sunni Muslims leadership. Those
people need the guarantee that their fellow citizens will protect them, if
Israel decides to attack Lebanon. Unfortunately, there is no such trust.
And, what is more upsetting is that there is little willingness of the
Lebanese most important institutions, such as the Presidency, the Government
and the Parliament to help build the mutual trust between those who want
Hezbollah to hold on to its weapons and guerilla fighters, and those who
strongly oppose the idea.

It is important for everyone involved in the process of disarming Hezbollah
to see the whole image. The party does have an armed militia, but it also
provides countless social services (health care, education, charity) for the
politically marginalized and economically disenfranchised Lebanese Shiia
community all over the country. Practically, Hezbollah is doing what the
State failed to do in the South, and in few other underdeveloped, mostly
rural areas. A solution is to see a serious engagement backed by immediate
actions from the State in those areas, while the Lebanese Army moves some of
its troops on Lebanon's border with Israel, replacing Hezbollah's units. In
case that none of the above works, then the last resort is to consider
Hezbollah as an outlaw party, who undermines the integrity and sovereignty
of Lebanon and deal with them accordingly. But, surely there are other
options that need to be tested, before using this one.

There is a lot of tension now, between Lebanon and Syria, Syria and US, and
in such an environment facts have to take the lead above the emotions, or
the tensions will be transformed in armed conflicts and Lebanon will be once
again put in the middle. Although, it has not been yet proved beyond the
doubt in a court of law, the car bombs explosions, the row of assassinations
and attempts of assassination which started with MP and ex- Minister Mr.
Elie Hobeika in 2002, all are thought of being carried out from Syrian,
Iranian, and Hezbollah orders.

On January 24, 2002, Hobeika's car was blown up by a remote controlled bomb
placed in a parked Mercedes along a street in the Hazmieh section of Beirut.
The bomb exploded when Hobeika and his three associates, Fares Souweidan,
Mitri Ajram, and Waleed Zein, were driving their Range Rover past the
TNT-laden Mercedes at 9:22 am Beirut time. The Range Rover's four passengers
were killed in the explosion. In case Hobeika's car had taken another route
through the neighborhood, two additional parked cars, located at two other
choke points, were also rigged with TNT. The powerful bomb wounded a number
of other people on the street. Other parked cars were destroyed and
buildings and homes were damaged. The Lebanese president, prime minister,
and interior minister all claimed that Israeli agents were behind the

The Syrian hit team was ordered by Assef Shawkat, the number two man in
Syrian military intelligence and a good friend and brother in law of Syrian
President Bashar Assad. The order to take out Hobeika was transmitted by
Shawkat to Roustom Ghazali, the head of Syrian military intelligence in
Beirut. Ghazali arranged the Hit with local Thugs from well known in-country
organizations..... and positioned the three remote controlled cars to be
parked along Hobeika's route in Hazmieh; only few hundred yards from the
Barracks of Syrian Special Forces which are stationed in the area near the
Presidential palace , the ministry of Defense and various Government and
officers quarters .

Then it was February 14th 2005 , Rafik Hariri, and continued with other
outspoken anti-Syrian personalities, such as Samir Kassir, May Chidiac and
Marwan Hamade, all too, are thought of being carried out from Syrian order,
possibly with the help of the Palestinians who are living as refugees inside
Lebanon. So far, Syria proved to be a close ally of the Palestinian militant
movements and they will likely keep the same line of policy, as long as the
Palestinians do not sign a definitive peace treaty with Israel. To minimize
the Syrian influence in Lebanon and their ability to arouse conflicts within
the country, the Palestinian refugees should be disarmed, in accordance with
UN 1559.

For years, the Syrian army had taken care of the refugee camps, actually
helping to transform the camps from a civilian establishment into hot beds
of terror. Now, that the Syrian army is out of Lebanon, the Lebanese army
keeps itself away from the camps, being worried not to 'disturb' the
activities of the militants. The Palestinians should be reminded peacefully,
that they are guests on the Lebanese soil and they are not above, below or
outside the laws of the country. They have to respect the Lebanese laws and
authorities, whether they like or not, as long as they are there as
refugees. In return, the Lebanese state should provide them with decent
living standards in terms of accommodation, jobs, education and healthcare
services, and assure them that what happened at Sabra and Shatilla will not
happen again. Both sides have done mistakes, and it would be foolish to
repeat them.

Lebanon's future should be decided by the Lebanese, in a national wide
accepted consensus, not by this or that self-called resistance or militant
faction. The Lebanese citizenship carries with it a strong commitment of
loyalty towards the independence and sovereignty of Lebanon, above the
selfish interests of the Muslim, Druze or Christian sect. The soon everyone
understands this fact, the better.
Good post Kais.Keep the good work.

Wait let me get this straight bcs I don't understand -

Hezbollah tries to kidnap 4 young Israelis in the prime of their life and instead 4 Hezbollah terrorists "resistance"? fighters die.

And this is evidence of "Israeli arrogance"?

Hezbollah fires rockets and mortars at the Israelis and they dump fliers in Lebanon and Israeli arrogance is the problem?

The only way Hezbollah can be reigned in (if it is possible) is hopefully for the Lebanese to reign them in. Israel doesn't want to get caught up in another Northern war.

So somehow this is "Israeli arrogance"?

See most countries if you fire mortars into their country they do a lot more than dump fliers over your capital.

And that's the real reaon why Hezbollah does it and knows it will get away with it. Because they know that the "arrogant Israelis" won't do shit to them.

And by the way, the UN condemned Hezbollah by name afterall.
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