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Thursday, May 08, 2008

Civil war coming in Lebanon?

Hezbullah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah today accused the Lebanese government of declaring war on Hezbullah as his group blocked roads leading to Beirut's airport for a second straight day.
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said Monday that the Lebanese government's decision to declare the Iranian-backed group's telecommunications network illegal was tantamount to a declaration of war.

"This decision is first of all a declaration of war and the launching of war by the government... against the resistance and its weapons for the benefit of America and Israel," Nasrallah told a news conference, vowing to "cut off the hand" that tries to dismantle it.

He was commenting on a government decision to dismantle and take legal action over the group's network.
But Nasrallah's 'telecommunications network' isn't just directed at 'America and Israel.' It's also directed against the Lebanese government.

An official Lebanese government report reveals that Iran is setting up an illegal telecommunication network across Lebanon, capable of intercepting all telephone conversations in the country, the Saudi-owned daily al-Sharq al-Awsat reported Sunday.

According to the report, Iran has set up this network to aid the Lebanon-based guerilla group Hezbollah.

In an interview with al-Sharq al-Awsat, Lebanese Telecommunications Minister Marwan Hamadeh said that the “issue of communications has been under discussion for a long time, but we were waiting for them [Hezbollah] to respond to the security authorities who requested they stop all infringements.”

According to Hamadeh, the Lebanese cabinet is planning to discuss this Iranian network on Monday, and later bring the issue before the United Nations Security Council as well as the Arab League, al-Awsat reported.

In the interview, Hamadeh added that Hezbollah was making efforts to link all the militias in Lebanon, Syria and Iran via a vast telecommunications network.

“Their goal is not security resistance. They want to connect between all the Iranian and Syrian militias and they want to eavesdrop on everyone,” Hamadeh said.

Here's a videotape with some of today's 'action' from Lebanon.

Will Nasrallah cause Lebanon to descend into another civil war? He's started a fight from which neither side can afford to back down:
"It's double jeopardy: the cabinet can't retreat or it is practically finished and can't go through with it to the end because of the balance of power on the ground," columnist Rafik Khouri wrote in the newspaper al-Anwar.

"And Hezbollah can't step back from its position because it would be agreeing to getting its wings clipped and can't go all the way because of the dangers sectarian strife poses for everyone."
The silver lining in this cloud is that as long as Hezbullah has to spend resources defending its position in Lebanon, it's not really in a position to attack Israel.


At 11:37 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Its a reminder that Shi'ite hegemony in Lebanon is not something the country's Sunni, Druze and Maronite Christian groups are fond of. The saving grace is that while they all hate Israel in Lebanon, they all hate each other even more.


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