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Decisive Days for Lebanon
'First nail.' Rafic Hariri (Helene C. Stikkel/Wikimedia Commons)

Decisive Days for Lebanon

Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, London, August 8

The Lebanese political scene is fragile and its atmosphere is full of political tension, especially in light of the country’s economic crisis and political controversy. These tensions culminated last week with the terrifying explosion in the port of Beirut, an explosion that shook not only Lebanon, but the millions of viewers who followed the events in real time over their television and computer screens. The images of the blast will remain stuck in the minds of people for a long time, not only because of the magnitude of the explosion, but also because it symbolized the ultimate collapse of a state, its institutions and its financial and security apparatuses. The big question everyone is asking is who is responsible for what happened and will they be held accountable? Most fingers are rightly pointed at Hizbullah. Like many other disasters and tragedies experienced in Lebanon, the explosion has too many of Hizbullah’s footprints. How is it possible for Hizbullah, a militant group that pledged its allegiance to another state, to destroy a country with the stature, history and rich cultural milieu of Lebanon? How can we explain Hizbullah’s total disregard for human lives, its disdain of the political order and its greediness? Observers of Lebanese politics know this well: Lebanon is standing on the precipice of a deep and dark abyss. It is mere moments away from complete destruction. Of course, Hizbullah’s control of the government is a major cause for this situation. Hizbullah is a direct product of the Iranian revolution. Iran has been Hizbullah’s chief financial, political and ethical supporter. If we examine the region’s biggest crises and conflicts, we see that their drivers usually emanate from Tehran or Beirut, revealing how Lebanon became the mullahs’ extension. Hassan Nasrallah says he stands against sectarian incitement and is committed to preserving Lebanon’s national unity. These are nice words, but they are coming from the same person who speaks the language of threats, intimidation and killing. He is also the person who has rejected almost every political settlement offered him. The assassination of the martyr Rafic Hariri was the first nail in Hizbullah’s coffin, and the port explosion will hopefully be the last. It revealed Hizbullah’s indifference to the Lebanese people and its lack of commitment to the Lebanese state. Dozens of countries have designated the party a terrorist organization whose activities are punishable by law. The party’s credibility and legitimacy as a resistance group completely collapsed when it began directing its weapons inward, against the Lebanese people, instead of toward Lebanon’s enemies. The coming days in Lebanon will be decisive. Hizbullah is an expert at creating chaos, sowing confusion and sparking sectarian strife. At the same time, the Lebanese people are fed up. They are tired of fighting Iran’s terror abroad while allowing Hizbullah and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to take over their country from within. – Zuhair Al-Harthi (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

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