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New Hizbullah Government Installed in Lebanon

Hizbullah's ascendancy in Lebanon was effectively ratified by the formation of the new government. The State Department responded with platitudes.
By Aryeh Ben Hayim
First Publish: 6/14/2011, 12:43 PM / Last Update: 6/14/2011, 1:06 PM

After a five month interregnum, Lebanon has a government, under premier Najib Mikati. The bad news is that it is essentially a Hizbullah government. This is a culmination of the Shiite terror group's rise to power. The second victor is Syria. Despite his more pressing preoccupations Bashar Assad intervened to break a logjam in the negotiating process posed by Michel Aoun, the accomodationist Maronite leader.

In a telephone call, the Syrian leader congratulated Lebanese President Michel Sleiman on the government’s formation, Sleiman’s office said in a statement.

The U.S., which pumped in$720 million in military aid since 2006, when Syria was temporarily ousted from Lebanon, could do little to reverse Lebanon's moving from the Western to the radical orbit. The smart money believes that Tehran, rather than Washington, is the strong horse.

“We’ll judge it by its actions,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner said about the new government. “What’s important in our mind is that the new Lebanese government abides by the Lebanese Constitution, that it renounces violence, including efforts to exact retribution against former government officials, and lives up to all its international obligations.” This is fantasyland to the nth degree as the reversal was secured by assassination, intimidation and the threat of a Hizbullah military coup.

United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon Michael Williams and his boss, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, joined the wishful thinkers.

Williams remarked:

 “In my discussion with Premier Mikati this afternoon, I expressed the expectation that his government will reiterate its support for the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1701 and its commitment to Lebanon’s international obligations." If anybody has forgotten, the resolution calls for disarming Hizbullah, and therefore the new government will be charged with disarming itself.

Ban, via his spokesperson, said that the formation of a new cabinet in Lebanon, under Prime Minister Najib Mikati, is "an important step toward establishing a functional, executive Government in Lebanon.”

Mikati played down fears that Lebanon had joined the radicals claiming that more than one-third 12 of the cabinet ministers were appointed by himself, President Michel Suleiman and MP Walid Jumblat, thus blocking absolute control by Hizbullah and its allies. Opponents of the new government believe that Jumblatt is in Hizbullah's pocket, guaranteeing Hizbullah’s control of the government .