Egypt Circling The Drain

Here we go again. First Pakistan, then Lebanon, Tunisia, and now . . . Egypt?

Three Dead in Egypt As Protestors Demand Mubarak’s Exit

At least three people have died as tens of thousands of protestors continue to pack the streets of Cairo in what has become the biggest protest in recent Egyptian history.

Two protestors died in the city of Suez and a security officer died in downtown Cairo as protestors calling for an end to President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year reign clashed with police. At least 100 protestors were injured in Cairo, where police used tear gas, rubber bullets, batons and dogs to try to disperse the crowds, and Twitter has been blocked.

The Associated Press said that 10,000 people had flooded downtown Cairo, where demonstrators shouted “Down with Mubarak” and “Tunisia, Tunisia” as part of a protest called “Day of Anger” that was purposely scheduled for “National Police Day.” Earlier this month, protests in Tunisia sparked by the self-immolation of a disgruntled job seeker and spread by social media brought down the government of President Ben Ali.

In Egypt, the protest remained nonviolent for most of the day with marches in the square and around the capital. However, by late afternoon a large group began to move towards the Ministry of the Interior, home of the police force, and security forces responded by using rubber bullets, tear gas and water hoses.

See also:
Rioters Jolt Egyptian Regime
Egypt: Protest Against ‘Repressive’ Mubarak
Protestors shake Egypt’s streets
Egypt Protests Leave 3 Dead; Cairo Rally Broken Up
Egypt Police Disperse Anti-Mubarak Protesters
A dam breaking in Egypt
Egypt protesters report live bullets used
Egypt: President’s son and family ‘have fled to the UK’
Update: Egypt protests
U.S. urges restraint in Egypt, says government stable
White House keeps eye on Middle East protests
Twitter blocked in Egypt as thousands of protesters call for government reform [Updated]
Twitter blocked in Egypt after political unrest
Twitter confirms it is blocked in Egypt

Boy oh boy, you can bet the ranch that the Muslim Brotherhood are just salivating at the prospect of toppling the Mubarak government. Another Western domino would surely fall under the control of radical Islamists and it would be arguably the largest domino in the region. These developments do not bode well at all for U.S. and, especially, Israeli interests. And I don’t think these protests are going to stop either, the masses have a real taste for it now.

/is Obama just going to sit back and watch as the Middle East burns to the ground?

Advertisements

Hezbollah Takes Lebanon

As previously foreshadowed, another domino falls from the West into the lap of the Islamic Caliphate.

Hezbollah moves to pick Lebanon’s leader

The Shiite armed movement Hezbollah cobbled together enough support Monday to appoint Lebanon’s next prime minister, effectively ending nearly six years of rule by Western-backed leaders and prompting the United States to warn it could cut off aid to this key Arab nation.

The apparent strength of Hezbollah marked an important political achievement for the group. It also signaled what appeared to be a significant shift for the country, away from alliances with the United States and Saudi Arabia, and toward Iran and Syria, which support Hezbollah.

In Washington, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said the United States “would have great concerns about a government within which Hezbollah plays a leading role.”

See also:
Anger In Lebanon As Hezbollah Backs Sunni PM
‘Day of rage’ as Mikati set to win PM post
A victory for Hizbollah
A Day of Rage in Lebanon
Hariri and Mikati: Two personal histories collide
Najib Mikati, Lebanon’s new PM
Nasrallah calls on his rivals to give Mikati a chance
Lebanon: Security forces arrest top Hariri aides
Riots in Lebanon as Hezbollah secures leadership
Another Middle East debacle: Lebanon on the brink
Hezbollah’s Relentless Ascent To Power : A View From Jerusalem
Hezbollah-dominated Lebanon would affect U.S. ties
Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon will hit ties: Clinton
Clinton Wary of Hezbollah-Controlled Lebanon
Clinton warns Hezbollah-backed government may alter U.S. ties with Lebanon

So, um, is this going to be allowed to stand? I mean, one of the world’s most notorious and well armed terrorist organizations just took over an entire country that sits on Israel’s border. This is kind of a big deal in Realpolitik, don’t you think? It’s all well and good that Hillary is “concerned” about these rather ominous Middle East developments, but is the United States going to actually do anything about it?

/and not a peep out of Obama so far, an event of this magnitude, so completely adverse to our stated national interests, should at least warrant some kind of a public condemnation, no?

Naughty, Naughty Hezbollah

A U.N.-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon has issued indictments related to the 2005 assasination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. There about a 100% chance these indictments will implicate Hezbollah in the mass murder. There’s only one problem. So far, the indictments are sealed, so the waiting continues.

U.N. concludes probe of Hariri assassination

A U.N. prosecutor Monday submitted a sealed indictment against suspects in the 2005 assassination of a former Lebanese prime minister, concluding an investigation that has cast suspicion on top Syrian leaders and Hezbollah militants and contributed to the collapse this month of Lebanon’s pro-Western government.

Daniel Bellemare, the U.N. tribunal’s Canadian prosecutor, filed the indictment under seal late Monday before the court’s pretrial judge, Daniel Fransen. It could be several weeks before the identities of the suspects are known and about a year before a trial would be held.

The case has roiled Lebanese politics, with anticipation that the prosecutor would name members of Hezbollah in connection with the bombing attack that killed the former prime minister, Rafiq al-Hariri, and 22 others.

Hezbollah has denied involvement. Hasan Nasrallah, head of the Hezbollah movement, has said he would not allow Hezbollah members to be arrested.

See also:
Lebanon Probe Spurs Indictment
UN Prosecutor Files Indictment in Killing of Lebanon’s Ex-Premier Hariri
Hariri tribunal launches legal case, prompting protests in Lebanon
Lebanon tribunal submits indictment in former PM’s assassination
Tribunal prosecutor: Indictment ‘important moment’ for Lebanon
UN court: Lebanon should avoid Hariri case rumors
Lebanon wary as Hariri indictments raise fears of violence
Hezbollah closely monitoring STL developments
Key events leading up to issuance of tribunal indictments
Hezbollah Vows Defense in Inquiry
Factbox: Lebanon tribunal: The world’s first terrorism court

One thing’s for sure, when these indictments are unsealed and Hezbollah is formally implicated in the Rafik Hariri assassination. all hell will break out in Lebanon.

/it’s a distinct probability that Hezbollah will attempt to completely take over the Lebanese government in response to the accusations

Lebanon Circling The Drain

About to be blamed by a U.N.-backed tribunal for the 2005 assasination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, Hezbollah makes its move.

Lebanon Govt Collapses As 11 Ministers Quit

Lebanon’s Government has collapsed after Hezbollah ministers and their allies resigned from the Coalition.

Adnan Sayyed Hussein’s departure followed the resignation of 10 other ministers, a move which has effectively ended the government’s power-sharing agreement.

Without a stable government in place, fears are growing that the country could fall into a prolonged political crisis and could heighten sectarian tension in the region.

Dominc Waghorn, Sky News Middle East Correspondent, said the dispute was “complicated”, but stemmed from the killing of the country’s former Prime Minister in a car bomb explosion in 2005

See also:
Lebanon government fails as Hezbollah allies quit
Hezbollah exit from Lebanon government carefully planned
U.S. Ally Faces Fight in Lebanon
Eleventh minister resigns, toppling Lebanon government
Arab League ‘disturbed’ by Lebanon govt collapse
Israel Warns Hezbollah Against Any Spillover of Violence from Lebanese Crisis
US Government “closely monitoring” situation in Lebanon
Collapse of Lebanese Government Creates Worries of Deepening Crisis
Israeli troops go on alert amid Lebanon’s political turmoil
Israel troops on alert after Lebanon govt falls
Political crisis shakes Lebanon
Talks on new govt in Lebanon to start Monday

So, what will happen next, will Lebanon descend into sectarian violence or civil war? Hezbollah obviously planned this, no doubt with the blessing of or at the urging of Iran and Syria, what’s their endgame, I mean besides wiping Israel off the map?

/whatever happens, chances are that the outcome won’t be particularly pleasant

Ahmadinejad Checks In, But Will He Check Out?

It’s bad enough when Mr. Evil Incarnate spouts his Jew hatred in his own country, but when he takes his anti-Israel spew show on the road to Lebanon and pals around with Hezbollah, he’s pushing his luck. If Ahmadinejad actually heads for the border and tries to throw rocks into Israel, all bets are off.

Ahmadinejad: Lebanon a school of Jihad

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is on a two-day visit to Lebanon, spoke before a mass rally organized in is honor by Hezbollah at the Dahiya quarter of Beirut, which is considered one of the Shiite group’s strongholds.

Wednesday’s rally, which saw masses gather at a local soccer field, waving Iranian flags and chanted “Welcome” in Persian, was missing Hezbollah Chief Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, who welcomed Ahmadinejad to Lebanon via a video feed from his bunker: “I welcome you here on behalf of the injured, the dead, the released prisoners and this people, who have fought to create the miracle of victory. You are a steadfast staff for the resistance.”

“I come from the land of the Imam Khomeini, bearing the best wishes of the Iranian people and its leaders,” Ahmadinejad told the masses. “Lebanon is the an example and school for unwavering resistance to the world’s tyrants and a university for Jihad. Visiting Lebanon and meeting the leaders is a dream come true for me.”

Ahmadinejad spoke in Persian and used an interpreter.

The Iranian leader wasted no time in attacking Israel for violating the Palestinians’ rights: “Do you see anything but crimes in the past actions of the Zionist regime? The massacre of innocent people, the use of weapons, razing homes, confiscating medicine, food and water, attacking civilians in international waters and threatening the world is an everyday occurrence for them.”

The West, he added, considers Israel “means of dominating the world,” and to that end it has given it nuclear weapons.

‘Israel’s weakness exposed’

Turning his attention to the Second Lebanon War and Operation Cast Lead, the Iranian president said the two military campaigns “exposed Israel’s weakness… it is also possible that those barbaric Zionists will seek a new regional adventure to try and compensate. I say – any attack will only bring this phony regime closer to its end.”

Eldad: IDF should kill Ahmadinejad if he throws stones

MK Arye Eldad (National Union) said on Wednesday that the IDF should kill Ahmadinejad if he visits Lebanon’s border with Israel.

“The history of man-kind would be different if in 1939 somehow, a Jewish soldier had succeeded to kill Hitler,” Eldad said.

He continued, “If even for one moment, Ahmadinejad is in the IDF’s sights on the day that he comes to throw stones at us, he cannot be allowed to return home alive.”

“The State of Israel was established so that the Jewish people can be responsible for their own destiny,” Eldad said.

See also:
Iran’s Ahmadinejad receives rapturous welcome in Lebanon
Iranian Leader’s Visit Raises Tensions In Lebanon
Ahmadinejad visit stirs up Lebanon’s perennially volatile politics
Ahmadinejad’s visit to Lebanon stirs tensions
Lebanese Opinions Differ on Ahmadinejad’s VisitIranian leader visits Lebanon
Ahmadinejad receives warm welcome in Beirut
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad receives hero’s welcome in Lebanon
Ahmadinejad ‘proud’ to be among brothers as he arrives in Beirut
Ahmadinejad arrives to fanfare of rose petals in Beirut’s southern suburbs
U.S.: We suspect Iran doesn’t have Lebanon’s interest at heart
US: Ahmadinejad visit to Lebanon is “provocative”
Ahmadinejad hails Lebanon resistance in face of Israel
ISRAEL: Iranians at the gates — what to do?
Ahmadinejad vows to Hezbollah that U.S., Israeli power will be eclipsed
Ahmadinejad plays Lebanon card, plans to throw a stone at Israel
Far-right MK: Assassinating Ahmadinejad today is like assassinating Hitler in 1939
MK Eldad: Ahmadinejad should not return home alive
Israeli MP Calls for Liquidating Ahmadinejad … Netanyahu’s Deputy: We Don’t Kill Presidents

Israel doesn’t actually have to assassinate Ahmadinejad, he’s going to be hanging out with Hezbollah all day and touring their explosives laden camps, tempting fate. Hey, Hezbollah weapons caches have been known to “accidental” blow up before, so it’s far from out of the realm of possibility. You’ll notice that Nasrallah isn’t stupid, he never leaves his bunker, because he knows what will happen if he does.

/in any case, tomorrow should be interesting, do not taunt happy IDF fun ball

Red On Red

It couldn’t happen to nicer people. Instead of killing Jews, their stated goal in life, they killed each other. Well played!

‘Personal dispute’ erupts into deadly battle

A SENIOR member of the radical Shiite movement Hezbollah has died in a street battle involving machineguns and rocket-propelled grenades in Beirut.

The clash, lasting around four hours, was the worst outbreak of violence in the Lebanese capital since May 2008, when about 100 people were killed in a power struggle between Hezbollah and the ruling Sunni coalition.

Three people were killed and several were wounded in the latest fighting which took place in a quiet neighbourhood a few blocks from the city centre.

Soldiers cordoned off the area during the worst of the fighting, but witnesses said sniper fire and blasts from the rocket-propelled grenades were audible until well after 11pm on Tuesday.

Gunmen stood on corners peering down alleys while families ran for cover during lulls in the fighting.

Ambulances rushed to the scene; an elderly man, clutching his neck, was placed on a stretcher, while another man was covered in blood and not moving.

The shootout erupted between the Shiite Hezbollah and the Sunni al-Ahbash group following a fight outside a mosque in the mixed residential area of Bourj Abu Haidar, Lebanese officials said.

A joint statement issued later by the two groups said the incident resulted from a ”personal dispute and has no political or sectarian background”.

It said the two sides agreed to put an end to their differences and end all armed presence on the street.

The government said Mohammed Fawaz, a Hezbollah official from the area, and his aide, Munzer Hadi, were killed along with Fawaz Omeirat of al-Ahbash.

See also:
LEBANON: Deadly clashes erupt in Beirut, rattling the night with gunfire [Updated]
Sectarian fight had roots in dispute over parking
Two die in Beirut clashes sparked by ‘personal dispute’
4 wounded in Beirut sectarian militia battle
3 killed in clashes between Hizbullah, Ahbash elements
One Lebanese killed, two wounded in clashes in Beirut
Fighting breaks out in Lebanon between Sunnis and Hizbullah
Cabinet calls for calm debate after street violence
Calm Returns to Beirut following Hizbullah-Ahbash Street Battles
Burj Abi Haidar residents clear up after deadly clashes
Was Burj Abi Haidar a battle by proxy?

Oh sure, even here in the United States, an altercation over parking might occasionally spark gunplay every now and then. However, I can’t recall any American traffic tussle ever escalating to battling it out with RPGs.

/anyway, I wouldn’t mind if a few more of these Beirut “parking disputes” flared up, red on red fratricide is always welcomed by the blue team

Oh Boy, Look What Israel Found

Um, after the last war in 2006, wasn’t the United Nations supposed to prevent Hezbollah from rearming again?

Israel publishes ‘proof’ of growing Hizbullah arsenal

ISRAEL HAS published detailed intelligence information that military chiefs say is proof of a massive build-up of Hizbullah firepower deep inside the Lebanese villages close to Israel’s northern border.

Israel says that UN Security Council Resolution 1701 which ended the 2006 Israel-Lebanon war and banned the transfer of rockets and weapons to Hizbullah has been largely ineffective. Israeli intelligence says the Shia group now has an arsenal of more than 40,000 rockets supplied via Syria and Iran and thousands of fighters deployed along the border.

As an example, Israeli intelligence officials showed reporters maps and aerial surveillance images showing specific buildings in the village of Al-Hiyam that Israel says are being used as military facilities for weapons and missiles.

Col Ronen Marley revealed previously classified photographs to show what he said was a unit of 90 Hizbullah militants operating in Al-Hiyam, where they were storing weapons close to hospitals and schools.

“Hizbullah is establishing itself with increasing strength in the villages,” said Col Marley.

“Every day they are collecting significant intelligence on our forces along the border and every day they are engaged in digging, building and laying communications infrastructure to prepare themselves for war.

Lieut Col Avital Leibovitch, an Israeli military spokesperson said: “We are talking about more than 100 villages that have become military camps for Hizbullah and we see that civilians in these villages have become Hizbullah’s human shields if there is war in the future.”

See also:
Hezbollah Uses Lebanese Villages as Military Bases
IDF Releases Map of Hizbullah Targets
MESS Report / Israel exposes valuable intelligence to warn Hezbollah
Hezbollah readying for urban war in southern Lebanon, IDF warns
Israel Says Hezbollah Moves Missiles Near Border
Tension Rise as Israel and Hezbollah Trade Threats
IDF reveals Hezbollah’s deployment
ISRAEL: Army declassifies intelligence material showing Hezbollah’s tactics
Israel Claims Hezbollah Storing Weapons in Lebanese Villages
Israel Takes Intelligence Gamble on Hezbollah
Israel images ‘show Hezbollah hiding arms’
Israel says images show Hezbollah’s intentions
U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701

Here we go, it’s deja vu all over again, Iran and Syria have rearmed Hezbollah, to the teeth, right under the noses of United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL, the U.N. forces mandated with disarming Hezbollah. How’s that working out? UNIFIL is as useful as a third teat on a boar.

/Israel will, once again, have to deal with the Hezbollah threat by herself and then the United Nations will spring into action and do what they do best, condemn Israel for defending herself