Hezbollah’s overt interference in Syria

Abdul Wahab Badrakhan

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No one asked Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Miqati about his Iraqi counterpart Nuri al-Maliki’s statement that “a civil war” will occur in Lebanon if the Syrian revolution wins and the regime collapses. Miqati therefore neither gave his opinion on the matter nor responded to Maliki’s statements. But Miqati considered Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah’s statements about “strife” to be “awakening” for the people and the country. The premier however did not specify which people and which country and he did not explain what the destination of this awakening is. Most probably, even Nasrallah did not imagine that this description may be used for the implied threats he made. Hezbollah’s secretary general and the chief of the Iraqi “Dawa Party” both made statements based on what Iran plans and what they pledge to implement.

The policy of dissociation adopted by Miqati reached the extent of not interfering in what Hezbollah is doing in Qusayr inside Syria. Despite Miqati’s strong defense to keep Lebanon neutral as per the cabinet’s policy and the “Baabda Declaration,” it seems as if what is happening in Qusayr does not concern him.

Non-Lebanese entity

How is this “policy” and “declaration” effective amid Hezbollah’s direct intervention in Syria by fighting with heavy arms? The party’s speech of its involvement is gradually becoming overt towards becoming a major part of the Syrian scene. This makes one suppose that the governance and government in Lebanon consider Hezbollah to be a non-Lebanese entity and that the party is present along the borders with Syria as an Iranian image and as per coordination between the Syrian regime and Iran. Therefore the Lebanese cabinet cannot but remain silent amid this de facto situation.

Does remaining silence add “legitimacy” to Hezbollah’s interference in Syria? The answer is that it does as much as it grants “legitimacy” to “illegitimate arms” inside Lebanon. In both cases, Hezbollah does not care to have legitimacy because Lebanon is a loose country where it acts any way it wants and any way Tehran wants. The present “government’s” only task is to cover up “the illegitimate” practices committed by Hezbollah. It even protects the party’s rear lines, and that is why security forces activate their work inside Lebanon. The Lebanon people request that security forces do so on a daily basis but they have to accept the price for it so they have to remain silent about the foreign use of the “Resistance’s weapons” or else “strife” will occur in the country.

Lebanese gratitude

Both Hassan Nasrallah and Nuri al-Maliki have a problem with the other components in the respective countries they rule and make submissive to Iran. Based on that, Iran warns of an explosion in the region if a solution in Syria includes dialogue that may lead to military decisiveness.

On the other hand, if the governance and the cabinet expect the Lebanese gratitude for fending off the threat of “strife,” then they are probably aware that covering up, even if it is against their will, perhaps founds the basis of a worse strife. Based on that, frustration increases due to the government’s inability, its disintegration and its exposure as a decoration for the Iranian project which has displayed its presence, domination and readiness to influence the elections, that is if it is possible to hold them.

This article was first published in the Lebanon-based Annahar on March 6, 2013

Abdul Wahab Badrakhan is a Lebanese journalist, who writes weekly in London's Al-Hayat newspaper among other Arab publications. Badrakhan was a journalist in 'Annahar' (Beirut) until 1979, in 'Annahar Arabic & international' magazine (Paris) up to 1989, in 'Al-Hayat' (London) as managing editor then deputy editor in chief until 2006. At present, Badrakhan is working on two books. The first book is on the roots of the experiences that have motivated young Arab men to go to Afghanistan. The second is devoted to Arab policies to counterterrorism, starting with the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 and covering the ensuing wars.

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