Crossfire War – TEHRAN WATCH – West Asia Theatre: Tehran – Beirut – Damascus/Paris – Rome – Washington – Cairo – Jerusalem; Hezbollah Meeting in Two Days to Plan Next Moves for Early Parliamentary Elections – “Opposition will not Tire”
Night Watch: BEIRUT – Reuters reports that according to Hezbollah Deputy Leader Sheikh Naim Kassem the opposition coalition of Amal-Hezbollah and Christian Nationalists plus Sunni political parties is not about to tire and remain demonstrating, peacefully in downtown Beirut. Commerce in the city continues to be disrupted with the demonstrators still camped near the government buildings as they have been since December 1. Troops and armored vehicles have blocked some of the streets and surrounded government buildings with razor wire, but they stated, when the demonstrations began, that they could not control the situation. [ASHARQALAWSAT]
Kassem has announced there will be an opposition meeting, in the next two days, to plan the next steps to achieve their main demand of early parliamentary elections creating a more representative government, more of a cross section of the population. He stated in an interview over al-Manar television, “The opposition forces will sit together and assess what happened in the last month… studying ideas proposed in the arena-whether there are horizons for solutions or not. Naturally, it has become clear that the horizons are not very open. Then (the opposition) will take a series of steps, actions.”
Lebanese still fear violence will break out and that fear is not unfounded knowing Lebanon’s violent political-civil war history, the last one lasting from 1975-90 and used by Tehran to create Hezbollah in the early 1980’s. Early in these demonstrations, opposition groups focused searchlights on the government building. They could easily go to the next step and use the lights to target rockets at it, saying the current government gave them no other choice. In destroying the building Tehran-Damascus will not only be removing the current administration under Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, but also what the building and its administration symbolizes, the West’s last remaining influence in Lebanon’s decision making.