by Jonathan Spyer
The Jerusalem Post
January 24, 2020
The Jerusalem Post
January 24, 2020
For 1st time ever, in Lebanon govt only Hezbollah and allies represented
significant negative effect on Beirut's efforts to alleviate acute financial crisis
new govt product of escalating popular protests since Oct 15
protests in response to Lebanon's dire economic state
Demonstrators demanding govt of "technocrats"
untainted by Lebanon's enormously corrupt political parties
new govt has superficial appearance
20 ministers put forward by same political parties
no representatives of pro-West and anti-Iran leaders
no Saad Hariri, no Samir Geagea or Walid Jumblatt
parties associated with West and Saudi out
pro-West, anti-Iran not found among new ministers
Progressive Druze leader Walid Jumblatt also not represented
Cabinet comprises individuals linked to Hezbollah and Iran
govt of "one color", Lebanon's first of its kind
color is that of Hezbollah and Iran
Hezbollah controls Lebanon
long-standing power reality in Lebanon
Hezbollah long dominated power in Lebanon
formal political administration now reflects this
Hezbollah has full-spectrum dominance in Lebanon
3 of 4 intel services heads approved by Hezbollah
formal power coincides with real power - Hezbollah
protest against new govt this week
state now operated overtly by Iran via Hezbollah
My comments :
I think some people are being misled into doing what they do best - screw things up.
I am referring to the Hezbollah and the Ayatollahs in Iran.
There are really interesting developments in the Middle East.
I believe countries will be saved but a few individuals and groups will be taken out.
It has become known that the Ayatollahs in Iran finally agreed to acknowledge their mistake in shooting down that Ukrainian plane (that killed 176 people) ONLY AFTER president Rouhani threatened to resign. Rouhanie had been kept in the dark over the shooting down of that Boeing 737. The street protests in Iran have not died down.
That Iranian missile attack on the US Army base in Iraq has certainly been more than a slap in the face for the US. Most NATO allies have now pulled out their ground troops from Iraq.
It is also known now that the US suffered 34 wounded, some of them quite seriously, from that missile attack. It was a very traumatic incident for US forces who are not used to being fired upon with such force or with such highly explosive missiles.
The Ayatollahs have indeed scored a big win against the Americans.
This is now making the Ayatollahs bolder to try other things.
In Yemen there has been a sort of truce or ceasefire ever since the Houthis knocked out that Saudi oil processing facility (it is still under repair) in Abqayq about four months ago. That truce has since come to an end.
The Saudis have resumed indiscriminate bombing of Yemen.
So last week the Houthis fired another round of missiles that killed over 160 Saudi Arabian mercenaries in the north of Yemen. The Houthis have also promised more retaliation against the Saudis and they say that they have SIX strategic targets in Saudi Arabia which they will attack with their missiles and drones.
After the missile attacks on Abqayq and in northern Yemen last week, Houthi threats are not to be taken lightly at all.
Also Iran has recently signed a formal defense agreement with the Houthis. I think Iranian arms supplies to the Houthis will not be intercepted by the Americans anymore - at the risk of Iran shooting more missiles at US military bases in the Gulf. Saudi Arabia is going to get their ass kicked.
All this means that the Ayatollahs are going to be more emboldened.
Hence in the deadlock in Lebanon (which is facing a serious financial and economic crisis) the Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigned along with his government.
There was some initial shock in Lebanon and even the Hezbollah wanted Saad Hariri to return. But now Hezbollah has decided to take over the government almost completely by themselves.
There is no more any meaningful power sharing between the shias, sunnis, christians and the druzes in Lebanon. My guess is Lebanon will burn again.
With Hezbollah in control Lebanon may get embroiled in a war with Israel. Hezbollah is shiah and answers to Iran. So the Saudis and other sunni states will not complain if there is a war between Lebanon and Israel.
Lets see what happens.