Tag Archives: Lebanon

Disarm Or Else Says Lebanon Government

Lebanon is a nation in search of peace, but it has become a battleground for guerrilla forces who have military agendas in areas outside of Lebanon. The Lebanese government ordered that all Palestinian forces outside the confines of refugee camps should disarm and cease engaging in military actions. “Lebanese sovereignty is not open to negotiation” was the message. On Monday, the leader of a Syrian backed Palestinian group, Said Mussa, told the government, “Palestinian arms inside or outside the camps are part of our resistance against the Zionist enemy.” The presence of these outside groups simply makes it impossible for the people of Lebanon to enjoy the benefits and peace of a neutral nation.

Once again, the problem of failure to resolve Israel-Palestinian conflicts results in destabilizing another nation. Until Israel and the Palestinian Authority can reach peaceful agreements, there will be constant conflict in the Middle East

Hezbollah Defeated In Lebanon

Barack Obama sent a message to Muslims in the Middle East that it was time to put an end to extremism and move in the direction of attaining peace. The people of Lebanon sent a message to Hezbollah that allowing them to gain control of the government would make peace in their own country and the region difficult to attain. A win by Hezbollah would have strengthened forces seeking to continue bloodshed and impede opportunities for peace. Early results projected the pro-West alliance gaining 67 seats in the next parliament versus 52 for Hezbollah and its allies. The key battles in Christian districts where pro-Western candidates defeated Christians who were seeking an alliance with Hezbollah.

The people of Lebanon apparently feared a victory for Hezbollah would only lead to increased Iranian influence in their nation and greater involvement in Hebollah attempts to aid radical groups in Gaza and other areas of the Middle East.

Hizbullah Looks For Lebanon Victory

Western and American political leaders are focused on dealing with the Israel-Palestinian conflict but to the north, it is very likely that Hizbullah will gain a majority in the Lebanon Parliament in the election to be held on June 7. Hassan Nasrallah, the dynamic leader of Hizbullah would not win any popularity contests in western nations, but he is a charismatic leader who is widely admired among Muslims in the Middle East. There are 20 parties competing in the election while Hizbullah will be united behind their candidates. Of course in the topsy turvy world of Lebanon politics, power has to be divided between Christians and Muslims so the outcome is still unclear as to which group will have effective power in governing the nation.

However, Nasrallah supporters are excited about what they view as the coming victory. One supporter, Hussein Alloush, told a reporter: “We are the party of God, God is going to help Nasrallah win.” Funny, I thought God was on the side of George Bush. Does this mean God is a turncoat who is switching sides and abandoning Christianity for some Muslim leader?

Lebanese Rockets-Israel Bombs–Dead Children!

Several rockets fired from Lebanon by extremist groups landed in northern Israel without resulting in any casualties or damage to facilities. Hizbullah is not claiming responsibility for the attack. In Gaza, Israel troops hammered their way into the heart of the city of Gaza as the death total rose to 971 including over 400 innocent men, women, and children. Jacob Kellenberger, head of the International Red Cross, said “it is unacceptable to see so many wounded people. Their lives must be spared and the security of those who care for them guaranteed.” Hamas representatives continued meeting in Cairo but insisted there would not be a cease fire unless Israel agreed to evacuate Gaza and end the blockade of Gaza while Israel wants an end to rocket attacks.

There is definitely the basis for a compromise under which Hamas promises to end any further rocket attacks and Israel promises to turn over responsibility for Gaza crossings to an international group that would work with Palestinian leaders in Gaza. The killing must end, NOW!

Fear Al-Qaeda Opening Branch In Lebanon

The Bush invasion of Iraq not only created chaos in Iraq, but it made al-Qaeda a powerful force in the Middle East. John McCain continues his idiotic comments concerning bringing “democracy to Iraq” and is oblivious of the impact of the invasion upon the stability of the entire Middle East. Lebanese security forces just cracked a terrorist cell that is now operating in its country and has been established by al-Qaeda. The al-Qaeda group already has launched attacks on the Lebanese army. Ahmed Moussali, of the American University in Beirut, commented: “what we are witnessing is the tip of an iceberg” and Lebanon can expect an increase in terrorism carried out by either al-Qaeda or its allies.

Moussali emphasized the terrorist groups “are against everything and everybody. Their agenda is ultimately to install a utopian Islamic system, but now they are at a stage of deconstruction.” Mainstream Islamic groups deny they are aiding the spread of such groups, but, undoubtedly they are not aggressively fighting them. Lebanon Intelligence believes the Palestinian refugee camps are a hotbed for their recruitment.

UN Chief Urges Dismantling Of Hizbullah

UN Secretary-General Ban ki-moon warned that Lebanon can not be a functioning government until Hizbullah is dismantled. “Hizbullah’s maintenance of separate military assets and infrastructure is a fundamental challenge to the government’s attempts to consolidate the sovereignty and authority of the Lebanese state,” according to Ban. he is concerned that several Palestinian militias continue to operate both inside and outside of refugee camps causing great concern to the government. He warned about the growth of sectarian violence which threatens to lead to further violence.

The governments of Syria and Lebanon on Wednesday signed an historic document which normalizes relations between the two states. Ban welcomed the agreement, but also wanted Syria and Lebanon to address issues like the presence of armed forces within Lebanon that pose a threat to the survival, not merely of the government, but to the very existence of the nation. As long as Hizbullah exists with its own army, there can not be a legitimate government in Lebanon.

Syrian Troops Gather At Lebanon Border

The government of Bashar Assad has consistently supported terrorist activities throughout throughout the Middle East, but it is now concerned about the presence of terrorists within its own territory. Several days after an explosion in Damascus, which most probably was carried out by Islamist fundamentalists who dislike the secular rulers of Syria, the government of Syria discovered a new interest in dealing with extremists. Syrian troops are reported massing on the border of Lebanon, a nation with whom Syria historically has tried to rule, but now has shaken loose of such controls. Two days ago in the Lebanese city of Tripoli, a bus carrying Lebanese troops blew up killing several people.

The Syrian government insists its troops are only at the border to prevent smuggling, but most observers belief their presence is a warning to the government of Lebanon not to attempt any fostering of violence against Syria.

In the confused world of Middle Eastern politics groups shift and switch making it impossible to completely grasp who is with whom. A Syrian ally, Hizbullah is now a prominent part of the Lebanese government, but that in itself may not be sufficient to allay Syrian fears about violence entering their nation from Lebanon.

Palestinian Refugee Issue Remains Key To Peace

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told reporters during a trip to Lebanon that all Palestinian refugees should eventually be allowed to return to Palestine. The highly contentious issue of refugees remains one of the most difficult to revolve between the parties seeking to achieve a compromise. “The refugees should have a right to return to their homeland,” said Abbas. He indicated this has been a sticking point in negotiations with Israel leaders because “we are not with permanent resettlement of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. We are against permanent resettlement.”

A sticky issue is the presence of Palestinians in Lebanon which has a tenuous balance of power between Muslims and Christians. The addition of hundreds of thousands of Muslim Palestinian refugees to the Lebanese population would benefit Muslim Lebanese political parties while hurting Christian ones. Thee are about 400,000 Palestinians and their descendants living in Lebanon.

The bottom line is no Arab nation wants Palestinians in “its territory” and just wants them sent back to Palestine. Palestinians are unwanted guests– no Arab nation is willing to grant them citizenship– living in a nation that simply wants them to leave.

Egypt Urges Israel To Cease Threatening Lebanon

Egypt has urged Israeli leaders to cease making provocative statements to Lebanon and using the threat of war in order to bring about changes in Lebanese policies. Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit,on a visit to Beirut, said: “we spoke with the Israelis during Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s visit to Egypt, and asked them to stop thinking about threatening this friendly Arab country.” His comments came in response to a recent statement by Environment Minister Gideon Ezra who said on Wednesday, “the moment the Lebanese government confers legitimacy on Hezbollah, it must understand that the entire Lebanese state will be a target in the same way that all of Israel is a target for Hezbollah.”

Hezbollah continues making threats about destroying Israel which only serve to aid war hawks in the Israel government. Unfortunately, the Egyptian government does not have sufficient leverage over Hezbollah to persuade its leaders to tone down the rhetoric of war. This leaves Israel in the position of being calm and now allowing threats to result in counter threats.

Sectarian Fighting Rages In Lebanon

Lebanon is a nation blessed with natural beauty, but cursed by ongoing rivalry between opposing religious and sectarian factions which refuse to live in harmony with one another. Deadly gun battles between rival sectarian factions in the northern city of Tripoli have temporarily ended as the nation’s military entered the area in order to restore some semblance of peace and order. During the past few months dozens have people have been killed, and, as a resident in Bab Tibbaneh noted, “after the battles there is blood on the ground. Things will get worse. There is fear.”

In theory, the Doha agreement of last months created a national unity government in hope there could be an end to violence but there are so many groups and rivalries within Lebanon, the prospect of peace ever grows dimmer. The latest episode involved Alwaite gunmen who belong to a pro-Syrian party and Sunnis who oppose the Syrians. The Alawites are a small secretive sect of Islam who have close ties to fellow Alawites in Syria and fear being overwhelmed unless there is a Syrian presence.

Lebanon essentially has ceased to be a nation and is now reduced to rival groups vying for power.