Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Lebanon Heats Up Again


Is the political stalemate in Lebanon between the Siniora government and Hezbollah approaching a climax?

There were gun battles all over the streets of Beirut today as violence broke out between the Government and the Iran and Syria-backed Hezbollah forces.

And according to one of my notorious little birdies, both sides have ordered a general call-up of their forces.

As regular members of Joshua's Army know, Lebanon has been in a political stalemate for the past 18 months, as Syria, Iran and their Hezbollah proxy have attempted to regain political control from the Siniora government and the pro-democracy March 14th Movement.

Today's festivities were a grim reminder of the bad old days of the civil war,with gunmen on the streets,checkpoints and the sounds of automatic weapons fire and exploding RPGs being heard in the city.

What kicked things off was when Walid Jumblatt, the leader of Lebanon's Druze and a member of the March 14 movement publicly outed a sophisticated private telecommunications network installed by Iran for Hezbollah and accused Hezbollah of using the system to eavesdrop on calls made in Lebanon and monitoring Beirut airport with security cameras for a possible attack or kidnapping.He also accused the director of the airport, Hezbollah ally General Wafiq Shuqeir of facilitating this and allowing arms shipments from Iran to be flown directly into Beirut.

The private telecommunications network is a long established fact.It's a fairly sophisticated fiber optic system put in by Iranian military engineers that enabled Hezbollah to maintain communications between its various bases and coordinate missile strikes during the month-long war with Israel. The network reportedly runs through the Hezbollah stronghold of south Beirut into the Beqaa Valley’s Yohmor region near the Syrian border - conveniently near the positions where the Syrian army is dug in on Lebanese territory - and connects with Hezbollah's southern headquarters near Tyre and Abassieh.

The fact that Jumblatt voiced something openly that the Siniora government was obviously aware of for some time would seem to indicate that a decision has been made to confront Hezbollah and its allies while the government still has some freedom of action.

Prime Minister Siniora ordered the network taken down and removed General Shuqeir was his post,which infuriated Hezbollah and its Shia allies,Amal. Hezbollah demanded that Shuqeir be re-instated,and refused to allow its telecom network to be shut down,saying that anyone who tried would be 'an Israeli spy'. General Shuqeir is also close to Nabih Berri, the parliamentary speaker and Amal leader.

During the day, Hezbollah blockaded the roads leading into the Beirut airport and said they would keep it under siege until the Siniora government goes back on the decision announced Tuesday, May 6, to shut down the private telecommunications network Iran installed for the group and reinstate General Shuqeir as the airport director. And to ramp things up,Hezbollah and Amal arranged for some labor unions they control to go on a general strike.

Hezbollah is threatening to increase the pressure in 48 hours unless the Siniora Government backs down.

This could get interesting.

2 comments:

louielouie said...

the only reason the hezzys can even be mentioned in these days is due to the current occupant of the white house recognizing/allowing so-called countries/nations like iran, syria, saudi arabia, yemen, yada, yada, yada to be the political equivalent of actual nations. of which, the know so little of.
ff, as this is your blog i'm sure you will feel it necessary to admonish me by reminding me of the status of these so-called nation/states.
it won't do any good.

Anonymous said...

Two summers ago Israel had the chance to eliminate Hezbollah from existence. The Israeli military strategy was brilliamnt, the moral of the soldiers was high, and the citizens of Israel were motivated to do what ever it took to eliminate this existential threat to Israel and major security threat to the entire free world.

There was one problem. The Israelis were only allowed about a month to do the job. To defeat an enemy as powerful and dug in as Hezbollah would have required at least three months and probably longer. All of the blue panel commissions of "experts" failed to figure this out!! Bottom line: There was nothing wrong with the war plan or its execution. The IDF did not have enough time to do the job. To defeat Hezbollah two summers ago would have taken at least three months and probably longer. Hezbollah is stronger now. To defeat them now would take at least six mothns and probably up to a year.

Also, it should be understood that neither Hezbollah or the March 14 forces are friends of Israel, the US, or the West. both Hezbollah and the March 14 forces are bitter enemies of Israel, the US, and the West.

When Israel was defending itself against Hezbollah, the March 14 forces could not wait to get to podiums to condemn the Israelis!! Had they ahve supported Israel Lebanon could be a free country now. Two summers ago the Lebanese government hated Israel and the Jews more than they liked their own survival. Hopefully they have learned their lesson and will support Israel the next time around. Some how I doubt the Lebanese government learned anything. Unfortunately it does not seem anyone did.