Thursday, May 8, 2008

Lebanon: Back to the War by Proxi, Hezb take Control

Today's news item on Times Online and a recent backdrop article on World Security Network stand out, shooting the theofascist proxi war back into the limelight.

Times Online: "Spectre of war returns to haunt Lebanon - Gunbattles erupt in Beirut as strike turns into violent confrontation between Government and opposition led by Hezbollah"

Gunbattles erupted on the streets of Beirut yesterday as a general strike turned into a violent confrontation between the Government and the opposition, led by the militant Shia group Hezbollah. The rattle of automatic weapons and the crump of exploding rocket-propelled grenades echoed around the streets of the Lebanese capital as thick plumes of smoke rose from barricades of burning tyres. In scenes grimly redolent of the 1975-1990 civil war, gunmen were seen inching down empty streets and firing rifles at windows to a backdrop of burning cars.

The strike was called by the leading Lebanese trade union in protest at rising prices and over a demand for an increase in the minimum wage. But it was overshadowed by the worsening crisis between the Western-backed Government and Hezbollah, which many Lebanese fear is about to reach a showdown after 16 months of political gridlock.

“This is a turning point. There can be no more cohabitation between the Government and the opposition. All trust is gone,” said Amal Saad Ghorayeb, a Lebanese political analyst and expert on Hezbollah. The latest crisis erupted over the weekend when Walid Jumblatt, the leader of Lebanon's Druze and an outspoken critic of Hezbollah, launched an attack on the Shia party, accusing it of monitoring Beirut airport with security cameras for a possible attack or kidnapping.

He also accused Hezbollah of setting up its own private telecommunications network to eavesdrop on calls made in Lebanon. On Tuesday the Government said that Hezbollah's telephone network was “illegal and unconstitutional” and referred the dossier to the judiciary.

Hezbollah has installed an elaborate fibre-optic telephone system that it uses to maintain contact between its headquarters in the southern suburbs of Beirut and its cadres in south Lebanon and elsewhere. It enabled Hezbollah to maintain communications during the month-long war with Israel (...) >>>
World Security Network: "Lebanon - the never ending story of internal stalemate and external pressure," by Manuela Paraipan

(...) This time I traveled more within the country, especially in the areas known as Hezbollah's strongholds - from Bint Jbeil to the Blue Line and to the Bekaa Valley. The echoes of political tension were to be found within the society. However, in spite of all of the propaganda - and make no mistake, both blocks deserve to be nominated for the biggest prize here - most of the people I met, talked to and spent time with were eager to get on with life.

It is true that I found a hard core in each and every party - individuals and groups whose ideology, beliefs and loyalty cannot be changed. However, even within these groups I noticed the willingness to sit down and find a solution through dialog. This is crucial. If Lebanon is to get through this storm in one piece, then dialog is the only way to do it.

The terrific momentum Lebanon had back in 2005 is now almost completely lost. All parts share the guilt for this. Back then, the Cedar Revolution was in full swing and important leaders in the international community from both the West and the East expressed considerable support (...) >>>

Update: ...imagine, theofascist thugs taking control of your streets ...

CNN: "Hezbollah militias assume control of western Beirut"

Western Beirut fell under the control of opposition Hezbollah militias Friday in what amounted to an army-negotiated surrender of pro-government positions, Lebanese Internal Security Forces and Western military observers said. The "dramatic development" is a major blow to the democratically elected and pro-Western government of Lebanon, CNN's Brent Sadler said. (...) "I think ... it's a coup," Jumblatt told CNN in a phone interview. "The Lebanese army is in total paralysis."Rather than fight, the army has stayed above the fray. With its own political factions, taking sides could throw the military into disarray. >>>

- Filed on Articles in "Levantine Intricate Intrigues"


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