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Saturday, August 19, 2006

Lebanese Army Told To "Stand With Hezbollah"

(Hat-Tip: Pajamas Media and My Pet Jawa

From The UK Guardian piece:

An internal Lebanese army statement, circulated among forces in the past week, has called for troops to stand "alongside your resistance and your people who astonished the world with its steadfastness and destroyed the prestige of the so-called invincible army after it was defeated".

The circular has alarmed ministers in the Lebanese cabinet who had been calling for the army to disarm Hizbullah.

It will also fuel the concerns of Israel, the US and the UN security council that the Lebanese army is incapable of securing the south of the country, adding increased urgency to the calls for a multinational force to be swiftly deployed.

In addition to the above report, there is this piece from the International Herald Tribune:

As stunned Lebanese returned over broken roads to shattered apartments in the south, it increasingly seems that the beneficiary of the destruction is most likely to be Hezbollah.

A major reason - in addition to its hard-won reputation as the only Arab force that has fought Israel to a standstill - is that it is already dominating the efforts to rebuild with a torrent of money from oil-rich Iran. ...

... Across southern Lebanon on Tuesday, hundreds of Hezbollah members were cleaning, organizing, and surveying damage in dozens of villages. Men on bulldozers were busy scraping lanes through giant piles of rubble.

Roads that had been blocked with smashed buildings are now, just a day after a cease-fire, fully passable.

In Srifa, a Hezbollah official said that the party would offer an initial $10,000 payment to residents to help pay for the year of rent, buy new furniture, and help feed families.

In Taibe, a town where fighting was so heavy that large chunks were missing from walls and buildings were sprayed with bullets, the Audi family looked woefully at their windowless, bullet-and-shrapnel-torn house. Two Hezbollah volunteers stood by.

Hezbollah also has its own ambulance service. In Bint Jbail, Hezbollah ambulances - large, new GMC vehicles with flashing lights on the top - ferried bodies of fighters, brought out of mountains of rubble, to their graves.

Hezbollah's reputation as an efficient grass-roots social service network - as opposed to the government, regarded by many here as sleek men in suits doing well - was in evidence everywhere. ...

... Hezbollah's strength, said Amal Saad-Ghorayeb, a professor at the Lebanese American University who has written extensively about the organization, derives in large part from what she called "the gross vacuum left by the state."

Hezbollah was not a state within a state, she said, but "a state within a nonstate, actually."
Nasrallah said in his speech that "the brothers in the towns and villages will turn to those whose homes are badly damaged and help rebuild them. Today is the day to keep up our promises.
"All our brothers will be in your service starting tomorrow," he continued.

Some southern towns were so damaged that residents had not yet begun to return. A fighter for the Amal Movement, another Shiite militia group, said he had been told that Hezbollah members would begin to catalogue damages in his town, Kafr Kila, on the Israeli border.

Hezbollah men also traveled door to door checking on residents and asking them what help they needed.

Although Hezbollah is a Shiite organization, Nasrallah's message resounded even with a Sunni Muslim, Ghaleb Jazi, 40, who works at an oil storage plant at Jiyeh, 24 kilometers, or 15 miles, south of Beirut. It was bombed by the Israelis and spewed pollution northward into the Mediterranean.

"The government may do some work on bridges and roads, but when it comes to rebuilding houses, Hezbollah will have a big role to play," he said. "Nasrallah said yesterday he would rebuild and he will come through."

Nasrallah's speech was interpreted by some on Tuesday as a kind of watershed in Lebanese politics establishing his party on an equal footing with the official government.

"It was a coup d'état," said Jad al-Akjaoui, a political analyst aligned with the democratic reform bloc who was among the organizers of the anti-Syrian demonstrations after the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri two years ago. Those demonstrations led to international pressure to rid the country of 15 years of Syrian control.

Yes, but they could not rid themselves of Hezbolah. And forget about the idea of a proxy fighting a war for Syria and Iran. Consider Hezbolah the new government of Lebanon. Nothing happens without their fingers in the gears. And this announcement handed down to the military to unite with Hezbollah to prevent any attacks from Israel is just the tip of the iceberg. Hezbollah now will act as a puppet controller over Lebanon. Any pressure from Assad will be levied on Lebanon until the government gives in.

Make no mistake, this cease-fire will fall in a short amount of time, and when it does, we will see Syria and Iran firmly behind a strengthened Hezbollah--bolstered by the Lebanese military--and one that just may possess some of the most destructive weapons. Hezbollah's Iranian and Syrian supplied rockets and missiles have struck deep within Israel. And if any of those rockets can be armed with a chemical or biological warhead, thern there is little to deter Hezbollah from acting with it. Not even the United Nations will lift a finger, as evidenced today by Charles at LGF. Kofi Annan has stated that the peacekeeping force will not be using force to keep the peace, as Charles so rightly states:

Secretary-General Kofi Annan appealed to U.N. member states to provide desperately needed U.N. peacekeeping troops for Lebanon and assured them the U.N. force would not “wage war” on Israel, Lebanon, or Hezbollah militants.

And he has asked Israel to Hezbollah to rearm themselves:

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan urged Israel on Friday to immediately lift the air and sea blockade on Lebanon so hundreds of thousands of Lebanese caught up in the 34-day Israeli-Hezbollah war can quickly receive aid.

U.N. deputy humanitarian chief Margareta Wahlstrom also told the U.N. Security Council that the enormous damage to roads and bridges leading to southern Lebanon required the immediate lifting of the blockades. ...

... Israel imposed the blockades at the start of the conflict on July 12. Following Monday's cessation of hostilities, Israeli army officials said they would maintain the air and sea blockade of Lebanon to prevent arms from reaching Hezbollah.

Yes, the blockade should stay lest we see Hezbollah rearm much quicker than expected. But I am sure that Kofi Anna will issue a condemnation of Israel. So what? Israel needs to blow off this pompous windbag before he gets them killed. And at the rate that Hezbollah and Kofi Annan are working, Israel should be at war again by months' end. If Lebanon wants to stop Hezbollah, now is the time. But it is crystal clear by the directive to the military that those in the government either buy the Hezbollah BS being shoveled, or they are simply too afraid to stand up to them. Either way, things are not likey to get much better in Lebanon any time soon.



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