Crossfire War – TEHRAN WATCH – West Asia Theatre: Tehran – Beirut – Damascus/Paris – Washington – Berlin – Rome – London – Madrid – Jerusalem – Cairo; Agents of Tehran – Damascus Assassinate Lebanon Industry Ministry Pierre Gemayel – Prepares The Way for Hezbollah to Take Over The Country – Consolidates Tehran’s Position
Night Watch: BEIRUT – The French and the West position in Lebanon and the region has been further threatened and weakened by the assassination of a pro-West minister in Lebanon. AKI reports that unknown gunmen assassinated Lebanon Industry Minister Pierre Gemayel as his motorcade passed through a Christian neighborhood. He was 34 years old and the grandson of a former President of Lebanon Amin Gemayel, head of state from 1982-88, some of the last years of the civil war, which began in 1975 by a group that also claimed to be Christian, as if Christ was a warlord. [AKI]
“Unknown gunmen” usually means agents of Tehran and this is obviously a continuation of their policy of removing any Western influence in Beirut’s financial circles and government. In February 2005 Tehran had former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri assassinated because he had begun to work with the West. That killing summoned the French President Jacques Chirac to Beirut because business-banking interests on Paris’ Boulevard Haussmann, like Indo-Suez Bank, realize their ability to control Beirut and the region are at extreme risk and that the threat is being directed by Tehran but they don’t dare say that publicly because of fear. So they blame Damascus instead.
Gemayel’s death makes the situation in Lebanon’s government even more fragile since last week six ministers resigned from the cabinet of pro-Syrian pro-Iranian President Emile Lahoud. But thousands of Lebanese who supported Gemayel and his Phalange Party took to the streets and some of them converged on the President’s residence in protest. I suspect that if Gemayel had resigned he would still be alive.
This is happening at the same time Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah has been, since October, calling for a unity government under their control. Hezbollah is really an extension of Tehran’s military-political presence in the country and the war last July-August against Israel has strengthened Hezbollah politically and has placed them in the most powerful position they have ever been in since Tehran created them 20 years ago. Whether or not Hezbollah survives the next phase of fighting against Jerusalem remains to be seen but in the meantime these assassinations and wars continue to increase the presence of what Tehran calls the Islamic Axis, Syria-Iran.
I’ll be surprised if Lahoud’s government survives this month. AP reports Hezbollah already has been calling for mass demonstrations to take over the capital. Nasrallah stated in a recent speech from southern Beirut “We, all of us, must be psychologically and morally ready to take to the streets. It is one means for the required movement.” He added Hezbollah will not be encouraging street battles or riots and that they respect private property. That is definitely Tehran talking since they now realize, through Hezbollah realizing its potential, Tehran will be in control of most of the property and Lebanon’s economy. This National Unity Coalition will include other political forces besides Islamic radicals. Walid Jumblatt, leader of the Druze faction has been well received in Tehran for at least the past two years. [ASHARQALAWSAT]
Do not be surprised if Israel disrupts some of Hezbollah and Damascus-Tehran’s timetable by attacking the re-supplied and reinforced Hezbollah bases. Jerusalem’s position has never been so precarious since its re-establishment in 1948. They dare not risk letting Hezbollah or the Islamic Axis attack first and control the initiative again as Hezbollah did this past summer. Israel has not forgotten its most successful war was in 1967 when their intelligence sources alerted them Israel was about to be attacked, so Israel attacked first and won the war in six days. Jerusalem has the potential to be the first Allied government to put the Islamic Axis on the defensive.