Op-Ed: Ahmadinejad Took Over Lebanon
Elias BejjaniElias Bejjani, human rights activist, journalist and political commentator, is spokesman for the Canadian Lebanese Human Rights Federation (CLHRF) and Media Chairman for the Canadian Lebanese Coordinating Council (LCCC).
At the present time, Lebanon is facing a crucial and fatal Syrian-Iranian threat to the core and essence of its existence, soul of coexistence and freedom. And as if Lebanon's ongoing extremely explosive internal tribulations are not enough
Syria, who was occupying Lebanon at the time of Barak's hasty withdrawal, did not allow the Lebanese Army to fill the Israeli withdrawal gap and deploy in the south and on the Lebanese Israeli borders. That bizarre status quo laid the foundation for the 2006 war between Hezbollah and Israel.
, the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ruthlessly and sadistically poured oil over these volatile problems in a bid to fully control the country. Recklessly, with cold blood and numbed conscience his planned, irresponsible acts in south Lebanon might even serve to set the whole Middle East on the verge of a very dangerous military confrontation.
On October 13/2010 during Ahmadinejad’s controversial official visit to Lebanon, he was the star of a number of showy public events in south Lebanon adjacent to the Israeli border. These events were organized and fully controlled by the terrorist fundamentalist Hizbullah militia.
Two of these southern events were the inauguration of a garden financed by Iran, and an egotistical visit to the "Fatema Gate". Both sites are located on the Israeli - Lebanese border. At the "Fatima Gate", Ahmadinejad had planned to throw a stone towards the Israeli side of the border to practically demonstrate his deeply rooted hatred and hostility against the Jewish state. This cancelled display of abhorrence, lack of tolerance, and anti-peace conduct goes along with his ongoing avert threats to annihilate the Jewish state that his country staunchly refuses to recognize.
It should be noted that Hizbullah started the symbolic stone throwing ritual at the "Fatima Gate" towards Israel after the unilateral Israeli withdrawal from south Lebanon in 2000. The hasty and questionable Israeli withdrawal gave this Iranian armed terrorist militia a golden opportunity to fully control the whole southern Lebanese region because Syria, who was occupying Lebanon at that time, did not allow the Lebanese Army to fill the Israeli withdrawal gap and deploy in the south and on the Lebanese Israeli borders. That bizarre status quo laid the foundation for the 2006 war between Hezbollah and Israel.
Ahmadinejad visited an established Iranian center in the village of Maroun A-Ras, where a fierce battle took place in the 2006 war between Hezbollah and the Israeli army. He delivered a provocative and fiery demagogic speech in the southern city of Bint-Jbiel through which he attacked the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks that Iran, Syria, Hamas and Hizbuollah oppose and are endeavouring by all means to discredit and abort.
Diplomatic officials in Jerusalem said that Lebanon not Israel, is the party to suffer most from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s visit to southern Lebanon. “Lebanon is the primary victim, and if it wants to stop slipping into the jaws of the Iranian crocodile, it – and the moderate Arab world – should raise a strong voice and say this provocateur is not welcome,” Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yossi Levy said.
The USA on its part has raised serious concerns with the Lebanese officials including President Michele Suleiman about the visit. The American administration is worried about the volatile Lebanon-Israel border and is questioning the Lebanese wisdom and rationale in having allowed the Iranian president to visit the tense border area. A USA official said "stone-throwing - either figurative or literal - is not a constructive behavior".
What is really scary about Ahmadinejad’s visit is that many Middle East analysts see it as a preface to an imminent Hizbullah coup in Lebanon. Rumor has it that the presidents of Iran and Syria agreed in Tehran beforehand to support a Hizbullah military takeover of Lebanon's power centers, including the capital Beirut, soon after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ends his controversial visit to the country.
Ahmadinejad and Assad also decided to continue to harass Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri by delegitimization of his government, as well as intimidation and humiliation to force him to dissolve the Special Tribunal for Lebanon-STL which has brought charges against Hizbullah officials for the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri in 2005. If this campaign disables the Hariri government, so much the better, they feel, because then Hizbullah will be able to walk in and set up a transitional administration together with its allies, the Druze leader, Walid Jumblatt, and the Christian ex-general, Michel Aoun. This administration might rule the regions dominated by Hizbullah gunmen and proclaim its legality as a viable alternative to the failed Hariri government,
Sadly, Lebanon is not a free or an independent country because of the Syrian - Iranian military hegemony enforced directly through Hizbullah's armed militia. It remains the most technically-capable terrorist group in the world and a continued security threat to the United States, Arab and Middle East countries and to all the Free World. Hizbullah is responsible for some of the deadliest terrorist attacks against Americans in history. The United States, Australia, and Canada have designated Hizbullah as a foreign terrorist organization.
Hizbullah is not a Lebanese party by any criterion, but rather a foreign army in Lebanon. Its decision-making process, financing, ideology, training, supplies and weapons all come from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard headquarters and leadership. It has been well documented by several informed resources that Iran annually pays Hizbullah billions of dollars. . This militia was founded in Lebanon by the Iranian mullahs and the Syrian regime in 1982 and its main mission was and still is to export, advocate and spread by force the Khomeini religious ideology to all Middle Eastern countries. Hizbullah has been entrusted by the Iranian mullahs and the Syrian Baathist regime to topple the Lebanese Free State and erect in its place an Iranian satellite state.
The Lebanese people who oppose the growing Syria - Iranian devastating influence over their country were against Ahmadinejad’s visit. They envisaged it as a real threat to the fragile peace in the region and a dire infringement on their country's sovereignty and independence, especially when Ahmadinejad and other high ranking Iranian officials boldly announced that "Lebanon is Iran's border with Israel" and that "Iran will defeat the Satanic USA and Israel in Lebanon".
In the same realm, many members of the Lebanese democratic March 14 Alliance - the political bloc headed by Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Harri - criticized the Iranian visit as a bid to underline Iran's potential to disrupt Middle East peace efforts. The Christian Lebanese Forces leader, Dr. Samir Geagea, called on the Iranian president to act as a respected official visitor and not as an instigator, to honor Lebanon's sovereignty and to utter his hostile and hate mongering stances while in Iran and not from Lebanon.
In conclusion, Ahmadinejad’s provocative visit to Lebanon was not welcomed at all by the majority of the Lebanese people. Its results are yet to be seen.