Sunday, October 10, 2010

Fears increase over Hezbollah designs for a Lebanon coup

Khaled Abu Toameh wrote last week:

Hizbullah and Iran now have a common interest in escalating tensions in the Middle East: Hizbullah, with the help of Iran, may be planning to stage a coup in Lebanon to cover up and divert attention from its role in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

.Iranian dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's plan to visit Lebanon in the coming weeks should be seen in the context of Hizbullah's plot to take over the country. Some Lebanese have gone as far as condemning the visit as a "provocation," noting that it would also raise tensions between Lebanon and Israel because of Ahmadinejad's plan to tour the border between the two countries.

The UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon is about to publish the results of its investigation into the killing of the former prime minister. According to reliable sources, the report is expected to hold Hizbullah responsible for the assassination.

Now that its true face is about to be unmasked, Hizbullah is of course panicking and searching for ways to get out of the sinkhole.

Hizbullah's rhetoric and actions in recent weeks suggest that the Shiite organization is up to no good....

"Hizbullah does not acknowledge the Lebanese state as sovereign," said Michael Young, an opinion editor at Beirut's The Daily Star and author of "The Ghosts of Martryrs Square: An Eyewitness Account of Lebanon's Life Struggle."

Young pointed out that Hizbullah had already staged something similar to a coup two years ago. "The armed takeover of Beirut in May 2008 confirmed that Hizbullah would fire on its fellow citizens and regarded state authority and the rule of law as thin veneers to be swept away when necessary," he said.

Ahmadenijad would of course welcome the opportunity to export the "Islamic Revolution" to Lebanon. Instability in the region would divert attention from his nuclear ambitions and allow him to fulfill his dream of wiping Israel off the map.

A victory for Iran and Hizbullah in Lebanon would also be a victory for Hamas, Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic Jihad -- and Al-Qaeda.
We've mentioned a number of troubling stories in recent weeks in Lebanon, many of which Toameh details as well.

Ya Libnan quotes a Kuwaiti newspaper that echoes these concerns, and even puts on a date:
As soon as the Iranian president Mahmouad Ahmadinejad leaves the country Hezbollah is reportedly planning to oust the state and the government institutions.

“October 16 would be the start of the scheme of ousting the State and the government through creating discord and security tensions in areas that are apt to stir (sectarian) sensitivities, such as the Beirut area of Tariq al-Jdideh or the city of Tripoli, ” Kuwaiti daily Al-Rai reportedly quoted its diplomatic sources as saying.

Ahmadinejad will be arriving on October 13 on a 2-day official visit to Lebanon.

Arab diplomatic sources have reportedly warned against a deterioration of the security situation in Lebanon, saying “armed de facto forces may try to impose their political agenda by force.”

The sources added that “the Arab, regional and western countries following up on the Lebanese situation” have been directly and indirectly informed that Hezbollah and its allies “will not agree to any political settlement that contradicts with their goal of overthrowing the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) .”

“They would implement their agenda of changing the regime in case they failed in overthrowing the tribunal,” the sources warned.

On Saturday, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah gave a denial of any plans for a coup - but that denial was also implicitly a threat. In his words:

[W]e must not run away and say that Hezbollah, Iran, and Syria want to implement a coup - this is vacuous talk, since we are not thinking about that. If we wanted to take over, we would have done it in 2005, but we do not want that and did not do it. Likewise, we would have taken over the country in 15 August 2006 if we had wanted that. So this talk has no basis- stop it, and do not go into side matters. Return to the foundational issue.”
The subtext is that Hezbollah can take over the country whenever it wants, so the rest of the country must toe Hezbollah's line - or else.

(h/t Samson for Toameh link.)