Lebanon Braces

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The U.N. Special Tribunal investigating the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri has indicted four members of Hezbollah. In August, a clash along the Israeli-Lebanese border followed news that the indictments were coming. If that is how Hezbollah reacted to the reports of the indictments, then Israel must prepare for an even stronger reaction now that the indictments have actually been issued.

The Special Tribunal seeks the arrest of four members of Hezbollah, including Mustafa Badreddine, the brother-in-law of Imad Mughniyah, the group’s operational commander who was killed in 2008. Additional indictments may follow, including non-Lebanese nationals. It has been reported that the investigators have evidence that Syrian intelligence was involved, as well as the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps acting on orders of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

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The evidence against Hezbollah is thick. The investigators tied Hezbollah members to 28 phones connected to the assassination. One phone was tied to Abd al-Majid Ghamlush, a Hezbollah member who was trained in Iran and has gone missing. A Hezbollah commander in South Beirut named Hajj Salim is also suspected of playing a role as the overseer of a “Special Operations Unit” also run by Badreddine. One of the key providers of this information, Captain Wissam Eid, was killed in a car bombing similar to that which killed Hariri.

The indictments undermine Hezbollah’s mantra that it is a “resistance force,” and exposes the group as a proxy for foreign governments. The reactions of the terrorist group and its state sponsors show that they are aware of the steep political costs that they face. On August 3, a likely Hezbollah-engineered provocation happened on the Israeli-Lebanese border as it appeared that indictments were near. Israel informed UNIFIL that its soldiers were going to trim trees and bushes along the border, as had been regularly done. Two Israeli soldiers were fired upon by a Lebanese sniper, killing one. The Israelis responded, killing two Lebanese soldiers and one journalist. The journalist belonged to a pro-Hezbollah newspaper. The U.N. confirmed that the Israelis did not cross the border, as the Lebanese claimed.

Hassan Nasrallah held a press conference soon afterwards, where he alleged that the real perpetrators of the assassination were Israeli intelligence agents. He showed footage that he asserted was from Israeli drones recording Hariri’s travel route, and claimed that an arrested Lebanese spy for Israel confessed that the Mossad had conducted surveillance on the murder scene. Hezbollah has since reiterated these accusations.

Iranian President Ahmadinejad visited Lebanon in October to express solidarity with Hezbollah, and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps paid an author $1 million to write a book claiming that Israel killed Hariri using an American missile. Syrian President Assad likewise said he’d stand by Hezbollah, and warned that the indictments could “destroy” Lebanon. The Syrian regime put out arrest warrants for 33 Lebanese officials for supposedly lying to the U.N. Special Tribunal.

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  • myomy

    Harry Truman, where are you now that we need you again?

  • jacob

    Highly surprising is that no less than the UN Tribunal dares accuse Hizbullah's
    goons and their bosses (Iran and Syria) for the assassination of HARIRI…since
    it proves then, that the mountain of evidence is so overwhelming that there is no
    way for this UN' surrogate to sweep it under the rug…! ! !

    So what is going to happen now ??
    To believe that NASRALLAH will come out of his bunker and turn them over to the
    proper authorities is wishful thinking and the most probable action would be to
    start war on ISRAEL, which is the most likely scapegoat for this kind of "leaders"

    Interesting to watch OBAMA's position on the issue…
    OR DOES HE HAVE HIS HANDS FULL WITH COLLLECTING COMPENSATION
    FROM ASSAD ???

  • mcrobbins

    It is sad that Lebanon is approaching disintegration again, thanks to Hizbollah. It was the PLO that plunged Lebanon into civil war the first time. Then they were domininated by Syria. Now Nasrallah's band of missile-stocking fascists run the show. Too bad that Omert didn't obliterate this Iranian proxy during the summer war. Hizbollah shouldn't have had ANY future in Lebanon.

    I am glad that someone had the courage to indict Hizbollah's leaders for the Hiriri assasination. I don't expect these criminals to be turned over, but Hizbollah, Syria, and Iran have hidden their nefarious activities behind the cloak of legitimacy for years. Its time that the international community see the real face of the puppet masters.

    Hizbollah has more sophisticated weapons, thanks to Iran. The Bakka Valley is one booming terrorist camp. Now the Hizbollah-controlled government is making a counterclaim on the Israeli gas fields. Lebanon has always been an amalgam of sectarian interests with little internal cohesion, always domininated by external players. It is on the verge of exploding again.

    • ziontruth

      "It is sad that Lebanon is approaching disintegration again, thanks to Hizbollah. It was the PLO that plunged Lebanon into civil war the first time."

      Lebanon nearly got into civil war in 1958, when the pan-Arabists decided to do away with the delicate balance of power and hitch Lebanon to the Nasserist and Baathist carts. Civil war was prevented only by American intervention, at the request of Lebanon's Christian PM. That may have been the only smart foreign policy move Eisenhower made as president.

      Lebanon's tendency to civil war is an artifact of its very existence—a multicultural "paradise" where Arabs, Druzes, Christians, Sunni, Shia, Arab settler refugees from Palestine and Persian agitators sent by Khomeini's initiative have been brought to mix together in an artificial state, a glorious example of a Proposition Nation we call "Lebanese," an idea having no connection to reality.

      I usually argue the case for Israel's necessity to be the exclusive nation-state of the Jews from the European examples of the results of multicuturalism, but if the situation in Europe were different, I could still make the case perfectly from the example of Lebanon.

  • jeronimus

    what more can a us president do to make it clear that he is not a friend of israel, never has been ,never will be.
    his thin veil of anti semitism is hidden behind certain things he has to do so as not to appear totally radical.
    the odd thing is that despite this the majority jews of america support him.
    he is undermining israel at every turn , ignoring the horrific actions of usa foes and going out of his way to further his patently islamic agenda.
    he is muslim was taught by muslims was brought up by a few , his family is muslim.
    his path is clear in accordance with islamic teachings.
    yet no one seems to really mind too much while israel becomes more and more embattled and threatened with never ending war and terrorism.
    fortunately israeli lawyers are starting to have an impact as can be seen from the flotilla issue now gone very dead ……
    obama must go for israel to be relieved …..

  • WilliamJamesWard

    What would Danny Thomas have to say. Considering the Islamist subversion in
    Lebanon and the disappearance of the Christian military factions, Hezbollah
    may have free reign. Destruction and mayhem is in the future for these
    peoples and Israel unfortunately must take a hard postion against it's enemies
    as they have done what they have done to Lebanon so they can be in
    the position to make war against Israel who is the real target of their machinations.
    William