Crossfire War – TEHRAN WATCH – West Asia Theatre: Tehran – Beirut – Damascus/Paris – Rome – Washington – Berlin – London – Cairo; Day Ten – Nightmare Scenario – Siniora Barricaded in Ottoman Fortress Surrounded By Largest Demonstraion in Lebanon History – Threat of Work Strikes on Monday – Today Beirut – Tomorrow Cairo
Night Watch: BEIRUT – News agencies are reporting that as Prime Minister Siniora, and what is left of his government remain barricaded in an Ottoman fortress, the largest demonstration in Lebanon’s history has surrounded him with the crowds shouting “Siniora out, Beirut is free.” Tehran-Hezbollah have had the loudspeakers blare nationalist songs instead of Islamic slogans. Motivating people on a nationalistic psychological level appeals to all Lebanese whether they are Islamic, Christian or secular and all three groups are well represented in the streets. [ASHARQALAWSAT]
Obviously none of them agree with the presence of European forces now occupying Lebanon through UNIFIL, and especially not with the anti-aircraft batteries the French have installed, as if Paris is using UNIFIL to reclaim its control over the country after its hold had been weakened by a series of assassinations caused by agents of Iran. Former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri was killed, February 2005, just two weeks after Lebanon’s Defense Minister had visited Tehran and just recently Industry Minister Pierre Gemayel was killed and there have been several other political murders.
Events are obviously overtaking Siniora and the governments which support him, principally-Paris-Rome- London – Berlin-Washington-Cairo. This was not their projection of going forward, this is not a regime change they had planned or wanted to see especially since it was just last year massive Lebanese demonstrations were welcoming Syria’s withdrawal of its troops after they had been in the country since 1976 early in Lebanon’s civil war. Ironically enough, when the West and its foreign policy experts were imagining ways of removing Tehran’s Islamic government they would discuss their dream scenarios of massive popular protest by Iranian masses overwhelming it.
But that is exactly what Iran has generated in Lebanon and these massive popular demonstrations, which now have probably taken on the air of a national festival, is an ominous indication that Tehran’s democratic reach is not confined to Iraq, a nightmare for the West and especially Egypt President Hosni Mubarak who knows there is an enormous amount of popular support Tehran could generate within Egypt threatening him. Today Beirut-Tomorrow Cairo. The New Middle East that Washington had envisioned is being led by marching orders from Tehran using nationalistic slogans and songs instead of quotes from the Quran. Tehran is actually saying Allah embraces your spirit of national identity. Word also gets around that those who receive support from Iran are well financed. When the early elections in Lebanon are held the opposition coalition will win easily even if they have to hold the election during the next wave of fighting against Israel.
Lebanon may not be caught up that much during the next wave of war because Jerusalem will have to mostly concentrate on the serious threat from Damascus as a result of Syria President Bashar al-Assad’s ecstatic response to the summer war, in which he had divined within himself that Hezbollah had achieved a great victory, therefore he now believes it would be easy for Syria to retake the Golan Heights lost to Israel in 1967. Though Tehran does not encourage such flights of fancy they will let Assad amuse himself and send Damascus some support in the name of their security agreement along with a few Iranian units who are dedicated to martrydom. At one of Iran’s military parades a year ago they displayed a special infantry unit made up entirely of mullahs, students of the Quran. And if Assad himself is one of the martyrs Tehran and all of Islam will really celebrate it, but since there is no market for salt in the Dead Sea Israel is by no means a target of economic priority, she is basically nothing more than a spiritual convenience and distraction for Tehran. That distinction belongs to the West-India-Russia.
When the demonstrations began, more than a week ago, Hezbollah stated they had planned a number of measures they could employ against the Siniora administration; I assume the last one is violence. But today the anti-government paper Ad-Diyar is reporting that work strikes are likely to be called for Monday morning. A 21 – year old Shi’ite Nadar Hafez stated, “We will stay for days, weeks or months. Whatever it takes to bring down the government.”