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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Hezbullah in a panic over Hariri tribunal?

Haaretz reports on a 'vitriolic' speech by Hezbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah last Friday and portrays the organization as being concerned over possible results of the Hariri tribunal.
In a particularly vitriolic speech last Friday, Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah attacked the international tribunal investigating the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Nasrallah also rather clumsily connected the findings of the tribunal (which have yet to be published) with the recent espionage affairs that have been the talk of Lebanon, including the arrests of employees of the Alfa telecommunications company on charges of spying for Israel.

Nasrallah said that the Hariri tribunal prosecutor Daniel Bellemare would reach "artificial and fabricated" conclusions.

The question is what is irking Nasrallah and is there in fact a connection between the two developments?

The prosecutor's findings, which are expected to include the names of those involved in the killing of Hariri (whose son Saad Hariri is the current Lebanese prime minister), will apparently be released in September or by the end of the year at the latest.


Nasrallah has good reason to sweat over the prosecutor's apparent findings. They could mark the end of the coalition between Saad Hariri, Rafik Hariri's son and current Lebanese premier, and Hezbollah. The findings could also make it difficult for Hezbollah to maintain its close alliance with the general Michel Aoun, a Christian, which would threaten Lebanon with a grave political crisis.


But these are not Hezbollah's only troubles. Recently, there has been increasing internal Lebanese criticism of the Shi'ite organization's growing influence in the country and its military activities south of the Litani River, which not only violate UN Resolution 1701 but also threaten to embroil Lebanon in another war with Israel before the country has healed its wounds from the last war four years ago.

The information campaign conducted by Israel in recent months, exposing Hezbollah's weapons caches in the villages of Southern Lebanon and its network and bunkers in the town of Al-Hiyam, has been heard in Lebanon and has aroused concerns about Hezbollah's plans.
Read the whole thing.

I'm not convinced that any of Hezbullah's alliances really matter. Hezbullah is the only show in town militarily in Lebanon (as I've discussed many times, the Lebanese Armed Forces are in their pocket). If it comes down to it, Hezbullah is willing and able to pull off a coup in Lebanon, and I don't think they'll hesitate to do so if they feel that their position is threatened. Hezbullah thugs worked for Ahmadinejad last summer; they can work for Nasrallah this fall. And if they want to make war with Israel (or Iran and Syria tell them to), they will.


At 2:05 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Agreed. Hezbollah doesn't give a damn what its Lebanese critics think. When they are ready they can dispense with the facade that Lebanon is still a functioning democratic state. Just give it time.


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