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May 12, 2008
Hezb'allah: Mission Accomplished
As the forces of democracy in Lebanon continue to call for Hezb'allah and her allies to accept a cease fire that would place the army between the two warring factions, the terrorists show no signs of halting their operations in the north around Chouf nor do they seem to have let up their attacks in Tripoli.
Here's a map showing Hezb'allah military operations:
What can Hezb'allah hope to accomplish? That is the question many are asking because a civil war is not in anyone's interest - including Hezb'allah's patrons Iran and Syria (althought Syria would use civil strife as an excuse to re-occupy Lebanon if they thought for a minute they could get away with it).
In addition to the idea that civil conflict is not in Hezb'allah's plan, just what are they accomplishing - have acccomplished - with this brazen, armed, "temporary" coup against the legitimate government?
First and foremost, they have terrorized the population and scared the daylights out of every sect in Lebanon who fear most of all, a civil war. This has been Hezb'allah's strategy for more than a year - use the threat of civil war to get concessions from the majority government.
And the strategy has worked to perfection.
Following the 2006 Summer war with Israel in which Hezb'allah declared themselves the winner, the terrorist group has ratcheted up the pressure on the March 14th government by first, demanding a new government of "national unity" that would give them enough ministers in the cabinet so that they could veto any measure passed harmful to Syria, Iran, or their own interests.
After Hezb'allah yanked the Shia ministers from the cabinet, the government began a delicate dance with Hezb'allah where they tried to appease them without giving up their status as the elected majority. It was to no avail - largely because Hezb'allah was not interested in a deal but rather in paralyzing the government and the nation.
In this, they were wildly successful. The terrorists soon upped their demands to include reforming the electoral law (that all sides agree must be done) and blocking the election of a new president until a new government was formed.
At each and every step, the government has sought accomodation, compromise, and some would even say appeasement while Hezb'allah has threatened civil war if they don't get their way.
And they will continue to use that threat because it is the only avenue to power open to them. They know they will never achieve a majority through the ballot box. Only by threats, intimidation, and now turning the weapons of their illegal militia on a citizenry they swore would never have to worry about that very occurrence can they hope to achieve their goal of maintaining their arms in order to carry out their proxy wars against Israel.
For the moment, Hezb'allah's mission is accomplished. The government has backed down and stated that the army should decide whether Hezb'allah's independent "state within a state" telecommunications network is a threat to Lebanese soveriegnty. The army has determined that it isn't and has rescinded the order to dismantle it as well as reinstating the pro-Syrian toady who runs airport security where it is believed cameras have been used to assist various assassins who have killed several prominent anti-Syrian politicians who were murdered within a few hours of their touchdown at the airport.
They have gotten everything they want and yet are still fighting. Now Lebanon reports the death toll currently stands at 59 with more than 200 wounded. In a couple of days, odds are that Hezb'allah will withdraw, having taught the Lebanese people and government the consequences of opposing them.
Mission accomplished, indeed.