Hizballah races to form an anti-West government to beat STL indictments
Lebanon's ex-prime minister Saad Hariri returned home to Beirut Friday, Jan. 14, two days after his opponents led by Hizballah toppled his national unity government. He landed in the middle of a hectic race by Hizballah's leader Hassan Nasrallah to negotiate an alternative government to Hariri's pro-West regime in order to fend off indictments against his top officials for the murder of Saad's father six years ago.
Suspense is high in Beirut where the Special Lebanese Tribunal prosecutor Daniel Bellemare is expected momentarily to hand his findings to the pre-trial judge Daniel Fransen for a decision on their publication.
Nasrallah believes he can beat the rap by a bloodless coup through parliament.
Saad Hariri has vowed to stand solidly behind the tribunal and its right to try his father's murderers. But on his return, he said noncommittally that he would cooperate with President Michel Suleiman's efforts to stabilize the situation in Lebanon.
The above represents an update on the situation. Now we see what the future may hold:
A Hizballah-dominated cabinet in Beirut would hit Israel with the force of a strategic earthquake. Instead of being 1,200 kilometers away, its archenemy would sit on its borders at point blank range. In Beirut, Tehran would be able to add a Northern Front to the Eastern Front it is establishing in Baghdad. Iranian military steel.
Already present in the form of Revolutionary Guards officers, would be on the spot for backing Lebanon's complaints about Israel's gas strikes in the eastern Mediterranean.
Hizballah has made no bones about its plans to extend its "resistance" operations to supporting Hamas on Israel's southwestern border. This only awaits a settlement in Beirut and the completion of the brand-new fortifications Iran's military engineering experts are building for Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
Coordination between these two terrorist groups isn't surprising, given that they are both funded and controlled by Iran. Still, this little footnote in the article represents a disturbing development.
Speaking of Iran, below we see confirmation of what most of us assumed anyway:
Report: Iran ordered Hariri assassination
And we wonder why all of this turmoil in Lebanon is occurring now. Perhaps Iran, who pushes all of the buttons in the region, is attempting to keep these facts from becoming highly public:
Sources say UN tribunal will present evidence showing murder of former Lebanese premier was committed by Iran's Quds force and Hezbollah at Khamenei's order. 'They considered him Saudi agent,' source says
Sources familiar with the investigation into the assassination of Rafik Hariri in 2005 told Newsmax that the United Nations Special Tribunal for Lebanon will accuse Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei of giving the order to murder the former Lebanese prime minister, according to the Lebanese website Naharnet.
The sources told Newsmax, an American news website, that the tribunal will lay out evidence showing that the murder was committed by Iran's Quds force and Hezbollah.
How interesting. And this new information reveals how the chain of command works in the region - not just involving the murder which is being exposed, but we can see the template for political and military action involving Hezbollah:
The order to murder Hariri was transmitted to Imad Mughniyeh, Hezbollah's top commander at the time, by Quds force chief Qassem Suleymani, sources familiar with the investigation told Newsmax.
The sources said Mughniyeh and his brother-in-law, Mustapha Badr al-Dine, put together the hit team that carried out the attack. "The Iranians considered Hariri to be an agent of Saudi Arabia, and felt that killing him would pave the way for a Hezbollah takeover of Lebanon," one of the sources said.
According to the sources, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and his brother-in-law, Assef Shawkat, the head of Syrian intelligence, also played key roles in the assassination plot.
And finally, we see this:
Hariri: Opposition has gun to my head
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri told Druze leader MP Walid Jumblatt on Friday that the opposition wants him to "surrender and present concession after concession … to top it all of, they have a gun pointed to my head."
Political sources said the talks centered on the efforts to end the political crisis. One of the sources said Hariri's main concern is to reach an honorable settlement "but the opposition's proposals don't coincide with this aim."
The caretaker prime minister also said the opposition cannot be counted on to respect agreements, according to the sources
Hezbollah, which is supported by Iran and Syria, expects a UN tribunal to accuse its members over the 2005 killing of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. It has denied involvement and called for Lebanon to withdraw all support for the tribunal. The Shiite group has hinted that it would seize control of Lebanon if its members are charged.
This situation is still evolving, but both sides are firm in their position. The question becomes "who will blink first?". The ramifications are enormous. If Hezbollah is successful and gains control of the government, then there is no telling what would come next, but we do know it will not be good for Israel.
Stay tuned, more news will be coming in rapidly as this situation evolves.