Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Drama in Lebanon

Thats the title to one of many articles circulating today regarding the rapidly evolving situation in Lebanon. We've all been waiting for this, and now it has actually happened. Fortunately we have a reasonably good secondary article which discusses the ramifications of this scenario, but first the facts:

Hizbullah topples Lebanese gov't ahead of Hariri findings

Lebanon's year-old unity government collapsed Wednesday after Hizbullah ministers and their allies resigned over tensions stemming from a UN-backed tribunal investigating the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri.

At first glance, that would seem like a good thing, but not so fast - the situation is far more complicated than that:

The walkout ushers in the country's worst political crisis since 2008 in one of the most volatile corners of the Middle East.

The tribunal was widely expected to name members of Hizbullah in upcoming indictments, which many fear could re-ignite sectarian tensions that have plagued the tiny country for decades.

Here is some background information on this situation:

Rafik Hariri's assassination in a suicide bombing that killed 22 other people both stunned and polarized Lebanese. He was a Sunni who was a hero to his own community and backed by many Christians who sympathized with his efforts in the last few months of his life to reduce Syrian influence in the country. A string of assassinations of anti-Syrian politicians and public figures followed, which UN investigators have said may have been connected to the Hariri killing.

At the time, it seemed clear that this assassination was engineered by Syria and carried out by Hezbollah. Further investigation has made that fact clear. That takes us to the current "crisis":

The tribunal was widely expected to name members of Hizbullah in upcoming indictments, which many fear could re-ignite sectarian tensions that have plagued the tiny country for decades.

Hizbullah, which is backed by Iran and Syria, has denounced the tribunal as an "Israeli project" and urged Western-backed Prime Minister Saad Hariri — the son of the slain politician — to reject any findings by the court even before it announced any indictments.

But the prime minister has refused to break cooperation with the tribunal.

Hariri formed the current national unity government in November 2009, but it has struggled to function amid deep divisions. The crisis over the tribunal has paralyzed the government in recent months.

Violence has been a major concern as tensions rise in Lebanon, where Shiites, Sunnis and Christians each make up about a third of the country's four million people. In 2008, sectarian clashes killed 81 people and nearly plunged Lebanon into another civil war.

More below, with additional information extracted:

Hezbollah and allies resign, toppling Lebanon government

They played down prospects of a repeat of the violence of May 2008, when gunmen took over Beirut after government moves against Hezbollah. But Sunni power Saudi Arabia, which backs Hariri, warned the resignations "will cause clashes once again."

Announcing the resignations, Christian government minister Gebran Bassil blamed Washington for obstructing the Saudi-Syrian efforts and called on Lebanon's president to "take the required steps for forming a new government."

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Lebanon's coalition crisis was a transparent attempt to subvert justice, but vowed that the work of the U.N.-backed tribunal would go on.

So what does all of this mean?

Below we see an interesting commentary from the Jerusalem Post:

Analysis: Israel needs to be concerned

Hizbullah’s decision to topple the Lebanese government was exactly what OC Northern Command Maj.-Gen. Gadi Eizenkot expected would happen with the completion of the United Nations probe into the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Harir.

While such a move means political instability in Beirut in the immediate term, this does not mean that Eizenkot can rest with the IDF concerned that political deadlock in Lebanon could potentially lead to violence along the border with Israel.

In recent weeks, senior intelligence officers voiced minimal concern with the possibility that Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, fearing the repercussions of Hizbullah being blamed for the Hariri assassination, would decide to attack Israel to divert attention away from the tribunal.

It is no secret that Hizbullah has superior military capabilities and better trained soldiers than the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), which means that if it wants to Hizbullah could take over all of Lebanon, likely within a matter of days. If it decides to take to the streets and attempt a coup, a civil war would erupt which could potentially lead to a war with Israel as well.

It is important to understand why Nasrallah is so concerned with the findings of the Hague-based tribunal, mainly because if Hizbullah is found guilty, as expected, of assassinating Hariri then this would contradict the image it has tried to create over the years as being the defender of Lebanon. If it was defending Lebanon, why did it assassinate the country’s prime minister?

The problem for Hizbullah is that toppling the Lebanese government does not ensure that this image will be retained. What it is trying to do is force the current prime minister Saad Hariri to denounce the tribunal’s findings and clear Hizbullah’s name.

Israel will in the meantime continue watching Lebanon from afar but this time its eyes will not just be on the weapons shipments that cross from Syria into the Beka Valley. It will also be keeping close tabs on Beirut where political chaos is currently prevailing.

As with most situations in the Middle East, this one is complicated and unstable. Hezbollah has worked too hard and too long to allow their grip on Lebanon to be released. The general consensus on this situation during the build-up to this development was that if Hezbollah took this action as they now have, a coup attempt could ensue, leading to civil war. Such a civil war would almost certainly lead to Hezbollah dominance, given their military superiority. At that point, they would have no restraint in their dealings with Israel.

We may be seeing the early stages of that worst-case scenario. Israel also has significant concerns, as instability in Lebanon, coupled with Hezbollah (and of course their allies, Syria and Iran) potentially attempting a coup can only lead to more violence and bloodshed.

This situation is just emerging and more will be seen in the coming hours and days.

We'll be watching this very closely for further developments.


Mrs.C said...

God tells us of His Judgment to come against Lebanon, in the Book of Ezekiel. God has Ezekiel devote three Chapters to the destruction and Judgment of that nation.( Chapters 26 through 28) It will be brutal! Especially for the "prince of Tyrus"...amazing in His Word, He sounds like He is describing Hezbollah. He will "bring strangers upon thee"
Ezekiel 28:7-8

7.Behold, therefore I will bring strangers upon thee, the terrible of the nations: and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall defile thy brightness.
8.They shall bring thee down to the pit, and thou shalt die the deaths of them that are slain in the midst of the seas.

Scott said...

MRS C - Nice to see you!

I agree and thanks for pointing that out. I also see Lebanon as part of the Psa 83 - Isa 17 scenario, and its possible that Lebanon will tangle with Israel prior to Gog-MaGog. In fact, with these developments, we could be leading into these last steps.

Its going to be so interesting to follow these developments and see who will have control of Lebanon.

God Bless

Mrs.C said...

Hi Scott (hug):)Its a privilege to be here!Yes, I too see Lebanon as part of Isaiah 17. The surrounding enemy nations that rush in to finish off Israel, are "rebuked" by God Himself when towards the end of this horrendous war, that is when He steps in. He tells us why, so as Israel is not completely wiped out. At this moment, the "rebuking" by Him, I believe are the fulfillment of His Judgments (Ezekiel 25-32), against these nations. God tells us in Ezekiel, that Lebanon will be no more..."never to be found again"...
Ezekiel 26:19-21
19 “For thus says the Lord GOD: ‘When I make you a desolate city, like cities that are not inhabited, when I bring the deep upon you, and great waters cover you, 20 then I will bring you down with those who descend into the Pit, to the people of old, and I will make you dwell in the lowest part of the earth, in places desolate from antiquity, with those who go down to the Pit, so that you may never be inhabited; and I shall establish glory in the land of the living. 21 I will make you a terror, and you shall be no more; though you are sought for, you will never be found again,’ says the Lord GOD.”
God Bless You,

Scott said...

I'm right there with ya on this. And don't forget the prophecies around Tyre and Sidon, which I need to go dig up, having not read these in a while, but I recall a couple of years ago during the last conflict between Israel and Lebanon; I believe are in chapters 26-28 but also found elsewhere (just can't put my finger on them at the moment. But those scriptures further bolster this view IMO. Egypt could get hit at this time as well.
God Bless and tell that husband of yours I said hello :)

Anonymous said...

Scott, are their prophecies re
Eygpt getting attacked by Israel
in the end games here ?? Please
tell me, I want to know that ....


Stephen in Hawaii !!!!

hartdawg said...

stephen, im not speaking for scott but its believed by many that the hagarites is a reference to egypt in psalm 83 so many would say yes. egypt is part of psalm 83. personally i think it could go either way.

hartdawg said...

scott i`d like to ask you something, i`m in no way asking for a definite answer cuz we could only speculate....i`m asking for your opinion/guess only: what`s your guess as to what`s like to occur this year? which ones do you think is likely (tho not for sure)? 1)psalm 83/isa 17 2)Gog/magog 3)rapture of the church 4)start of the 70th week 5)collapse of american economy 6)creation of a palastinian state. which ones do you think are likely and unlikely to occur this year? i totally realize one cant say for certain....just a guess.

Mrs.C said...

Yup, in agreement, Egypt and others too, as you said, not just Lebanon.:)and big hello from hubby,my better half :)

Ezekiel 25:1-14 Jordan
Ezekiel 25:15-17 Gaza
Ezekiel 26-28 Lebanon
Ezekiel 29-32 Egypt
Gods Word says there is great Judgment coming to those nations surrounding Israel, and His Judgments could very well coincide with the Isaiah 17 war. God had Ezekiel dedicate 8 Chapters to the destruction, Judgment, of these nations. Ezekiel 25-32

Scott said...

I think you have the order that I would expect - the only "wild card" mixed in there being #5, as that (IMO) could occur at any point on this continuum.

Stephen - I think Hart has it here - re: PSa 83, and then, Mrs C bringing it with the Ezekiel scriptures.

hartdawg said...

my question is this:if you were a betting man, which one of these is (if any) is likely to occur this year? in your opinion.

Scott said...

Well, I said all last summer that a conflict (which according to almost everybody that I read - was expected) - would trigger a lead-in to all of these last events, so I may not be the best person to ask.

I think I am to the point now, where I expect every summer to reach the triggering point, and set off the last cascade - which in my opinion will happen very quickly once it gets started - by quickly, I am thinking a matter of months, +/- 6 months.

We'll see - but as I said, I thought this would all start last summer...Who knows, maybe this crisis in Lebanon will serve as the trigger (?)

hartdawg said...

fair`re as good person as any. by all accounts the wars should have already occurred. the ONLY reason they havent is the Lords staying hand. here is my OPINION: without the Lords staying hand number 1 is likely this year. number 2 and 3 is unlikely this year but seems very likely next year or more likely the year after. number 4 seems likely the year after next. number 5 is as you said the "wild card" number 6 in my view is a bust and a failed palastinian state attempt combined with the current lebenon crisis will trigger the wars....again that`s what SEEMS likely. we`ll wait`n see...or hopefully NOT see (from here that is)

Scott said...

Hart - you just hit on a point I have made so many times (oh, and thanks for the complement :) - but I absolutely 100% believe that God is keeping things at bay...There is no other explanation for how things could stay just on the brink, as they have, and not have already exploded. This was my predominant thought over the last couple of years. And it well could be that the "lifting of His hand" happens at the time of the rapture. IOW, everything now might be hanging on the timing of the rapture. THAT could be "the triggering mechanism" for the dominos to fall.....we'll see.

Expected Imminently said...

Rapture expect imminently!

Earthly doings = when the RESTRAINER is removed out of the way.