Powered by WebAds

Friday, July 14, 2006

Pigs can fly part 2 - Lebanese government lays groundwork to assert control over Southern Lebanon

Another "pigs can fly" moment.

The Washington Post reports this morning that some Lebanese legislators have been laying the groundwork for the Lebanese government to reassert control over Southern Lebanon, taking it out of Hezbullah's hands. The article follows with a fair analysis of the situation in Lebanon. If the result of this war is that the Lebanese government re-asserts control over the South and Hezbullah is no longer there, I think the IDF would withdraw and Israelis would be pleased. Of course, getting Hezbullah thug Hassan Nasrallah to agree to withdraw from the Southern border area is going to take a lot of doing. And that's why Israeli jets are bombing Dahiya...

Lebanese critics as well as allies of Hezbollah insist that the Israeli response was disproportionate. But at the same time, in meetings Thursday, Lebanese officials began to lay the groundwork for an extension of government control to southern Lebanon. Hezbollah largely controls southern Lebanon, where it has built up a network of schools, hospitals and charities.

"To declare war and to make military action must be a decision made by the state and not by a party," said Nabil de Freige, a parliament member. He belongs to the bloc headed by Saad Hariri, whose father, Rafiq, a former prime minister and wealthy businessman, was assassinated in 2005, setting off a sequence of events that forced the Syrian withdrawal. "It's a very simple equation: You have to be a state."

After a cabinet meeting Thursday, the government said it had a right and duty to extend its control over all Lebanese territory. Interior Minister Ahmed Fatfat said the statement marked a step toward the government reasserting itself.

Other government officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, went further, calling it a first move in possibly sending the Lebanese army to the border, a U.N.-endorsed proposal that Hezbollah has rejected. The officials described the meeting as stormy and contentious but said both sides -- Hezbollah and its government critics -- were especially wary of public divisions at a time of crisis.

"It is becoming very clear that the state alone must bear responsibility for the country's foreign policy," said Samir Franjieh, a parliament member who is close to the Hariri bloc. "But our problem now is that Israel is taking things so far that if there is no help from the international community, the situation could get out of hand." [Well, the situation was out of hand when Israel starting taking things in hand. CiJ]


Along with Lebanon's president, Emile Lahoud, Hezbollah remains one of Syria's main allies in Lebanon. The governments of Syria and Iran provide Hezbollah with funding and arms, although the countries' influence is a matter of debate. Analysts here say Iranian influence has become ascendant following the Syrian pullout, though foreign policy in the two countries has so far largely overlapped. The United States renewed its call Thursday for those countries to intervene to get the two Israeli soldiers released.

"It's really time for everybody to acknowledge that these two states do have some measure of control over Hezbollah," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters in Washington. "And the international community has called upon them to exercise that control, to have these two individuals released."

Few dispute Syria's influence over Hezbollah. But some experts questioned whether Syria, isolated by the United States and suspected by many in Lebanon of having a role in Hariri's assassination, actually ordered the operation against Israel.

"I don't think that Syria is in a position to assume the consequences of such an attack or order such an operation," said Walid Charara, an author and expert on the movement. "That said, Syria maintains relations of consultation with Hezbollah and Hamas, both of which enjoy a large scope of autonomy of action."

Jumblatt, an outspoken opponent of Syria, went further, suggesting Damascus ordered the operation.

"They don't make independent decisions," he said. "Lebanon is being squeezed on one side from the Israelis and on the other side by the Iranians and the Syrians through proxy. Unfortunately, now Lebanon is a battleground."

Read the whole thing.


At 10:37 PM, Blogger Exile said...

There may be hope here. If the majority of the Lebanese government allied itself WITH Israel, they may be able oust the thugs of Hezbollah. Raznallah and all his cronies should be rounded up and deported back to Syria where they belong. They have no place in a peaceful Lebanon.


Post a Comment

<< Home