Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Hezbollah Aiming for Lebanon Takeover

From The Israel Project 14 January 2011, by Alan Elsner (Senior Director of Communications):

•Iranian-backed organization has 45,000 rockets aimed at Israel
•U.S.-backed government is powerless to oppose Hezbollah
•Its members helped murder former prime minister

Washington, Jan 14 - The Iranian-backed Hezbollah organization with its 40,000 rockets aimed at Israel clearly aims to dominate the country and control the selection of its next leader, analysts believe.

Hezbollah this week brought down the U.S.-backed Lebanese government of Prime Minister Saad Hariri when its 11 ministers resigned. The organization is desperate to prevent the indictment of several of its members in the 2005 assassination of Hariri’s father, former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. He died along with 22 others in a gruesome suicide bombing that also left 494 people wounded.

A United Nations tribunal is about to issue indictments. Hezbollah’s move came after the younger Hariri rejected its demands to cut off cooperation with the tribunal and instead investigate those who have provided the panel with evidence.

“Lebanon is about to fall into another dark period. But this time, the forces of Hezbollah and its patron Iran seem finally to have the upper hand,” wrote Marc Ginsberg, a former U.S. ambassador to Morocco.
“With a provocative infusion of tens of thousands of sophisticated new missiles allegedly to defend Lebanese "sovereignty" (that's a bad joke) and financing to buy off or bump off any Lebanese authority that stands in its way, Hezbollah may ironically be on the verge of converting its dastardly assassination of Hariri into a golden opportunity to finally seize full power in Lebanon,” he wrote in a commentary on Huffington Post.

Hezbollah fought a war with Israel in 2006 during which it fired some 4,000 rockets at Israeli civilians, killing around 50 and driving much of the population in the north of the country into shelters or forcing them to flee. Since the end of that conflict, it has rearmed and acquired much more sophisticated long-range weapons from Syrian and Iran capable of hitting Tel Aviv, a flagrant violation of the ceasefire agreement. United Nations UNIFIL peacekeepers have stood by helplessly while this took place.

...Now, the fundamentalist Shiite organization may be on the verge of taking over the entire country. Mustapha Alloush, a member of the political bureau of Hariri's Future Movement told the Washington Post Hezbollah was trying to "rule Lebanon" and annex it for Iran.

With 20,000 trained fighters, Hezbollah is already much more powerful than the Lebanese army and in 2008 demonstrated its superiority by seizing part of the capital, brushing aside the army’s resistance. “There is currently no force within Lebanon able to stand firmly against the physical power of Hezbollah,” wrote Jonathan Spyer, a senior research fellow at the Global Research in International Affairs Center in Herzliya in the Jerusalem Post.

The impending Hezbollah takeover threatens to destabilize the entire region as well as Lebanon itself. It could heighten sectarian tensions as well as fears of Iran, already widespread throughout the Arab world. While analysts do not see an immediate outbreak of hostilities with Israel, few doubt that another confrontation is coming some time down the road...
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