Just today a massive introduction of violent attacks and political infighting began in Beirut. The fighting is mostly between the extremist group Hezbollah and its political enemies; Sunny Muslims and the American-backed Lebanese government. The conflict broke out after a brief statement by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. Hassan responded to the Lebanese seizure of a hard-line Hezbollah telecommunications network. Nasrallah claimed the network was a crucial weapon for the extremist group, and declared the act “a declaration of open war.”
The Lebanese government recently suspended the command of its airport security chief, Brig. Gen. Wafik Shoukeir. Shoukeir is likely suspected to be an extremist supporter, which would explain the anger Hezbollah has expressed over the decision. The violent militia took control of every road leading to the country’s airport, significantly cutting many Lebanese from escaping the violence.
Lebanese parliamentary majority leader Saad Hariri said Hezbollah alone is responsible for the new round of violence. The resistance of government officials to the pressures of Hezbollah and its Syrian and Iranian supporters often results in terrible consequences. Many Lebanese politicians have recently been assassinated for their resistance of extremists, and it is a bit surprising to see so much patriotism on the part of the government and military.
Beirut is not stranger to violent conflict. For decades now, the Islamic extremists have been battling the western-backed government for political control of the nation. The extremists, Hezbollah in particular are backed by Syria, Iran and possibly others with an interest in the region.
While Isreal is a bordering nation that seeks to remove/deter nearby enemies, I cannot see any direct benefit for the US by supporting the Lebanese. Of course, we have always stood against violent groups that prey on democracy, but I do not see a reason to join the conflict. The region will endure conflicts with or without aid from America, and so I feel US support in the area is a bit of a waste.
Our Israeli allies will disagree though. If the Lebanese government does not support Hezbollah’s activities, the extremists will be fighting for control of the country rather than attacking the Jewish state. Perhaps our presence there is actually to appease the Israelis…….don’t ask me why.
~Not Albert Spear