Iran's and Syria's Plan: an Interpretation

[Daily Star-Lebanon] Michael Young - In recent days, some have suggested that Hizbullah intends to do in Lebanon what Hamas did in Gaza. A statement on Sunday by Hizbullah's Nabil Qaouk could be read as notification that the party might defend what he termed "Lebanon's unity" by force - shorthand for a military coup. Qaouk's warning that foreign observers should not deploy on the Lebanese-Syrian border, his describing such a project as "Israeli," his presumption that he had the right to impose a new "red line" on the state, all suggest a new mood in Hizbullah, one that is dangerous. Hizbullah's attitude is only convincingly explained in the framework of Iran and Syria implementing a project to reclaim Lebanon, but more importantly perhaps to eliminate international, particularly Western, involvement in the Levant. After having won in Gaza, Tehran and Damascus are now pushing forward in South Lebanon. Their joint objective appears to be to remove the Siniora government, undermine UN Security Council Resolution 1701, and create a situation where the international community would have to accept a Syrian return to Lebanon, which would, by extension, scuttle the Hariri tribunal. Some UN members with troops in south Lebanon have to stop trying to cut deals with Damascus to protect their own troops. Efforts to offer Syria "incentives" miss the point that Syria intends to win back, with Iran, the whole Lebanese pot once international forces are intimidated.

2007-06-22 01:00:00

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