Sunday, February 21, 2010
19 February '10
Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah Thursday night sent a shudder down the backs of the Lebanese. Ahmadinejad reportedly told Nasrallah during the call to be ready to confront Israeli threats. “Israel should be dealt with once and for all for the sake of the region,” he said.
The now-infamous phone call – which came in the wake of escalating threats being exchanged among Syrian, Hezbollah, Hamas, Iranian and Israeli officials as of late – has increased fears of a new war breaking out on Lebanese soil between Israel and Iran’s proxies.
But though all sides have been stepping up the belligerent tone, the real chances of a war taking place are still low. Analysts do not see a new conflict breaking out in the region in the near future for many reasons, one of which is that the US prefers to maintain a certain level of stability in the Middle East in order to focus on sanctions against Iran. Also, Hezbollah chief Nasrallah prefers to avoid a war, knowing that the Shia in Lebanon, who accepted the “divine victory” of 2006, might react differently were a new wave of destruction and violence to take place above their homes. As for Israel, the IDF would have already attacked Hezbollah if it were certain of its chances of winning.
The most disturbing part for the Lebanese, then, is witnessing Nasrallah taking orders from the Iranian president and stepping up his war-like rhetoric while ignoring the people and institutions of the country he lives in. This at the same time Iran is facing sanctions and possibly even attack. All this leaves some in Lebanon wondering whether another round of national dialogue dedicated to putting together a national defense strategy would be at all worth it.
“What we want is a retaliation that is up to the level of [slain Hezbollah commander] Imad Mugniyah,” Nasrallah told a rapt crowd during the Resistance Martyrs Day celebration on Tuesday. “We do not want retaliation for the sake of retaliation, rather to protect all the leaders, cadres and the entire cause which was conveyed by Imad Mugniyah.”
The leaders, cadre and cause he was speaking of protecting all belong, obviously, to Hezbollah, not to Lebanon as a whole. Nasrallah then outlined a complete military plan to confront Israel, targets and techniques included. He did not mention at all the rest of the Lebanese, the state or its institutions.