Sunday, July 13, 2008

Hezbollah has found a beard

There are two stories coming out of Lebanon which are rather noteworthy. The first happened earlier in the week when Hezbollah received full veto power in the ‘new’ Lebanese administration. This report from the Daily News of Bahrain:
BEIRUT: Hizbollah and its allies solidified their hold on Lebanon's government yesterday with the formation of a national unity cabinet in which the opposition has veto power over government decisions.Still, the Western-backed parliamentary majority managed to deny the Hizbollah-led opposition any of the most important Cabinet positions, except for the one it had already held - foreign affairs.

Cabinet positions or not, chalk it down to an another win-win for the Hezzies. Then there is this report early morning report inthe Jerusalem Post:
In what is being interpreted in Israel as a declaration of ownership, the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) has built a road and set up a military position in the Shaba Farms/ Mount Dov area for the first time since Israel's withdrawal from that part of Lebanon in 2000.

Israeli defense officials confirmed the move, which was first reported in the Lebanese media, but would not comment on its significance. According to the reports, the LAF paved a road into the Bastara Farm, which is on the Lebanese side of the Blue Line international border and lies just 300 meters away from the land that Israel conquered in 1967.
A ten hour break from the computer and the first story which catches my eye is this one where the rhetoric is decidedly heating up at the Jerusalem Post:
Should diplomacy fail to return "Israeli-occupied land" to Lebanon, the Lebanese army (LAF) will take it by force, Lebanese President Gen. Michel Sueleiman said on Sunday. Suleiman was speaking at a press conference after meeting Syrian President Bashar Assad on the sidelines of the Mediterranean conference in Paris. The Lebanese president stressed, however, that the military option was the last resort. Assad said Lebanon had an important role to play in the Middle East peace process and that any progress in future Israel-Lebanon negotiations would be made in coordination with Syria.

Mighty feisty words coming from Sueleiman. After all, he was the commander and chief of the LAF who signed off on the 3 month siege of a refugee camp inhibited by approximately only 100 ‘militants’. Not exactly what I would call a great or stunningly brilliant military operation but now he thinks he’s ready to take on the IDF. While it is true Israel failed to accomplish her twofold objectives of the Lebanon war, the fact remains, the Israelis owned every single battlefield as well as the skies over Lebanon.

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