Crossfire War – TEHRAN WATCH – West Asia Theatre: Tehran – Beirut – Damascus/Paris – Rome – London – Washington – Cairo; Day 8 – Friday Prayers Led By Sunni Preacher – Opposition Coalition Expands – Demand for Early Elections – Siniora Government Still Under Seige
Night Watch: BEIRUT – The opposition coalition against the barricaded government of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora is expanding. On the eighth day of protest Reuters reports the Friday prayers were led by a Sunni preacher Fathi Yakan, “Fellow Lebanese, Sunnis and Shi’ites, Druze and Christians, beware, and then beware of sliding towards the hell of strife. This mass protest is not for Shi’ites or for Sunnis or any other sect. It is for all of Lebanon. I call on the Prime Minister to take a historic stand that first satisfies God and then extinguishes the fire of strife and leads Lebanon out of the dark tunnel.”[ASHARQALAWSAT]
The significance of the Friday prayers being led by a Sunni is because Sunni religious-political groups are officially still part of the ruling government coalition under the Prime Minister. But if just two more government ministers resign or are assassinated then Siniora’s government would fall. On Thursday Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah accused the government of conniving with Israel in its war against Hezbollah. The charge is ridiculous but in the Islamic world, which has a difficult time seeing events straightforwardly, it will have an explosive impact. The use and spreading of rumors is an effective weapon that can be used to undermine whatever loyalty is left to the government. Tehran, an expert at manipulating the Islamic world psychologically, knows this will justify assassinating either Siniora or two other ministers. I would not be surprised if government offices are stormed on Sunday after being fired upon by rockets, supplied by Damascus-Tehran.
Siniora has accused Nasrallah of dividing the country into “cowards” and “nationalists” an accusation Nasrallah and Tehran would admit and are quite proud of. Tehran used the first war against Israel, this past summer, as a way of revealing who would answer the call to either attack or support countries and groups fighting Israel and to expose those who did not. Those who did not support the limited war against Israel are now being removed and Tehran knows, as does the vast majority of the Islamic world in any country, that Iran has a larger version of that war planned for UNIFIL and the West. Syria will be the main threat to Israel and Iran will commit some troops, but the priority targets of the Jihad are nations that are the most serious rival to Iran and the Islamic world for international influence, the West-India-Russia. What Tehran has been planning, since the Khomeini revolution in 1979, is to start and win this global power struggle, World War III. [AKI]
Thursday Nasrallah addressed the country in live broadcast, “At the mass protest on Sunday we will show that those who are betting on our surrender are having an illusion. We will not go out of the streets before we achieve our objective to save Lebanon. We insist on our demands, for the formation of a real government of national unity because it is the only means to prevent any foreign tutelage on Lebanon, so that we have Lebanese decision making. We reject any tutelage from any party, whether it is the enemy, brother or friend. The opportunity is still there and the doors of negotiations are still open, let us change the current government into a government of national unity.” Sunday demonstrations are planned for other cities besides Beirut. [AKI]
These demonstrations are at least as important as the recent war against Israel as Tehran expands its political base and beyond the Islamic community, into the Christian, nationalistic and secular element in society. Nationalistic identity goes beyond religion or politics; it’s more inclusive instead of exclusive. That was the reality embraced and used by the Khomeini government during the 1980s and Iran has built its regional and international policy on that principal ever since.
During the next war with Israel these demonstrations will be seen mostly in Egypt, which is why President Hosni Mubarak is extremely concerned since he has always hated Islamic radicalism ever since they assassinated his predecessor Anwar al-Sadat in October 1981 and those who did so mentioned the Khomeini revolution as their inspiration. Tehran named a street after the assassin. Mubarak will be in the barricades and under siege next. Today Beirut-Tomorrow Cairo. Arriving in Tehran last night was the Prime Minister of Palestine Ismail Haniyeh for a four day visit to plan the next series of attacks that will start the next wave of war in West Asia (Middle East). It was Palestinian militants, based in Gaza that began the summer war with a raid, using underground tunnels in June that captured an Israeli soldier which began the war. Hezbollah then attacked from Lebanon across Israel’s northern border a couple of weeks later. [AKI]