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Category Archives: Lebanon
Some Hezbollah officials took note of what might be an Israeli record of some sort. They pointed out that whereas in the July 2006 War, Israel killed approximately 1,100 Lebanese civilians in 33 days of carpet, frenzied and indiscriminate bombing, in Gaza they have achieved the killing of approximately the same number of Palestinians, in about half the number of days. No doubt some kind of a lesson the Israeli military learned from their failure in the earlier conflict.
Many questions are being asked throughout Lebanon about whether the Hezbollah leadership will yield to growing pressure from all parts of Lebanon and within its ranks to force Israel to lift its destruction of Gaza? If so, are there ways it could be done without a igniting a sixth war in Lebanon? Continue reading
“This was not a coup! Think of it as a protest and message to Bush and Olmert. If we wanted a coup we could surround the Serail. Mr. Siniora would perhaps hand us the keys. We don’t want them. Let’s all prepare for elections and let the people decide who sits in Parliament and makes up Cabinet.” Continue reading
Part Three: What’s in it for Hezbollah? – Will U. S. Policy in Lebanon and the Middle East Ever Change? – FRANKLIN LAMB
“Absolutely not! Without a credible deterrent force, there is no real Lebanese sovereignty. Israel came very close to getting nearly all it wanted with the 1983 May 17th agreement. Had Hezbollah not prevented this, Lebanon today would be colonized with near confederation status with Israel. The Bush administrationâ€™s democracy and ‘save the Christians’ crusade back-fired when each election resulted in Islamist victories while his war in Iraq and support for Israel is making refugees of a high percentage of Christians. It is now Hezbollah and its allies who are protecting the Christians and want free elections in the Middle East, not the Bush administration”.
â€“ American student interviewed as part of a survey of 27 Lebanese institutions of higher education on whether Hezbollah should immediately disarm.
Part Two: The Israeli Project Has Failed in Lebanon – Why the Bush Administration Wants to Negotiate Now with Hezbollah – FRANKLIN LAMB
“These fools do not learn from their past mistakes. When they withdrew from Lebanon, they continued to occupy the Shebaa Farms and kept our brothers in custody. Had they released them when they left Lebanon, there would not now be a ‘prisoner issue’ between Lebanon and the enemy. They opened the door for us.”
Hassan Nasrallah, January 2004, during a welcome home ceremony for Lebanese and Arab detainees as a result of a Hezbollah-Israel swap.
Part One: Historical Context and Current Posturing – Bush to Nasrallah: an Offer Hezbollah Cannot Refuse? By FRANKLIN LAMB
Note: This is the first installment in a series of three.
â€œThe Bush administration parking a flotilla from its US 6th fleet off the coast of Lebanon was made necessary, it claims, to demonstrate Washingtonâ€™s â€˜commitment to stability in the regionâ€™. This provocation, aimed at Hezbollah and also Syria, is the equivalent of a Sicilian fish wrapped in newspaper with a white roseâ€”left on a doorstep: â€œThis is business. It is not personal. Here is an offer you cannot refuseâ€œ.
Hezbollah sources concede that they were taken by surprise and some were shocked, by the intense incendiary bombardment of the last few days by pro government operatives. As Hezbollah studies ‘the situation’ and how to respond this beautiful spring Beirut morning, there is a real danger things may rapidly spiral out of control.
Yesterday started off, peacefully enough, with a strike called by the General Federation of Labor Unions (GFLU) in Lebanon represented by the General Labor Union. The strike was supported by Hezbollah, to protest the Governments failure to adopt what the union considers a living wage of $ 600. Currently the minimum wage in Lebanon is approximately $ 200 per month. The strike continues for the second day but tensions are escalating and Beirut’s airport remains closed by anti-government demonstrators. Beirut’s main roads are intermittently blocked, the streets virtually empty and the town largely locked down as sporadic violence and stone throwing continue.
Eight people have been killed and 15 people wounded in Lebanon, according to security sources, as the country’s political crisis threatens to spiral out of control.
Fighting in Beirut intensified on Thursday, the second day of anti-government protests, after a speech by Hassan Nasrallah, the Hezbollah leader, in which he called a government crackdown on the Shia group “tantamount to a declaration of war”. Continue reading