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Al Quds Al Arabi: “Lebanon: the spark of a regional war”

Mideast Wire

On May 8, the Palestinian-owned Al-Quds al-Arabi daily carried the following opinion piece by Chief Editor Abdel-Beri Atwan: “Most politicians and analysts in Lebanon agree that civil war is a red line, because all the sides whether in the government or the opposition are aware of the fact that in case it were to break out, military confrontations will lead to dangerous results. However, whoever has followed the developments on the ground during the last few days gets a quasi-certain impression that war has become imminent and that coexistence has become the object of doubts. Lebanon is not and cannot be an isolated island, even though some optimistic forces in it want it to be so.

“Lebanon will remain part of a blazing region and will continue to constitute a thermometer for it due to its geographic position and complex religious and demographic structure, containing a massive warehouse of explosive elements, seeking a match stick. Whoever saw the flames as they ripped through old tires yesterday, alongside the sand barriers and the old cars blocking the way to the Beirut Airport - and I saw them with my own eyes and went past them - realizes without any doubt that what is happening is a prelude for war and not just a show of strength...

“The tensions are heading toward escalation, and therefore toward a confrontation, following the press conference which was held by prominent loyalist leader Mr. Walid Junblatt, who exposed the network of spy cameras set up by Hezbollah to watch the Beirut airport, the traffic on it and the movements of the loyalist team. The party did not deny that and said via its deputy Mr. Na’im Haddad that this communication network was connected to the resistance and its strategy.

“When the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, whose ambassador knew about the war decision against Iraq and its date before Colin Powell, advises its citizens not to travel to Lebanon and those who are currently in it to leave it immediately, when Undersecretary of State David Welch tells the Lebanese they should become used to not having a president in Baabda Palace and when Mr. Walid Junblatt goes from calm and cooling to escalation in a few days, the most naive among people will realize that war was imminent. In the mid-seventies, civil war erupted and the Palestinian resistance was part of it.

“There were sides which stood in the opposite trench and accused “strangers” of trying to destroy Lebanon by demanding the end of the phenomenon of the Palestinian resistance state inside the Lebanese state... Yesterday, the Mufti of the Lebanese Republic for the Sunni sect, Sheikh Muhammad Rashid Qabbani, accused the Shi’i Hezbollah of trying to gain control over Lebanon with (Iranian) foreign support under the cover of the resistance. He assured that the Sunnis were tired of these violations and will not allow the establishment of a state within the state. The repetition of the same expressions that were used prior to the previous civil war can’t be a mere coincidence.

“However, the reality that is not seen by many is that the resistance led by Hezbollah is not the resistance of “strangers” and that the state it wishes to establish within the state is a Lebanese state and not Fatahland... Those who ousted the Palestinian resistance to serve American-Israeli interests under the pretext of Lebanon’s independence and sovereignty, cannot oust the Lebanese resistance and send its elements to Iran...

“The Arab region is rushing toward war due to a well-crafted American plan aiming to detonate it starting from Lebanon, in order to restore the lost and humiliated status of the Israeli army following the war that broke out the summer before last, the increase of the strength of the resistance and the collapse of the old war concepts that were based on the element of shock, i.e. the attack of the other side with intensive air bombing to force it to surrender and raise the white flag instantly... Israel is planning a war and preparing to wage it against Hezbollah in Lebanon and against Hamas, the Jihad and the other resistance factions in Palestine with America’s encouragement.

“If not, how could we interpret its sudden rejection of the Egyptian mediation aiming to secure calm in the Gaza Strip while it has been begging for it during the past months? Just like Iraq, Kuwait before it, and the entire Palestinian people before that, Lebanon will be the victim. The new US-led game of nations has no mercy and America is willing to shed innocent blood to secure its need to control the oil, its reserves and pipelines in the region. We hope that Lebanon will not be dragged into civil war and pray that the Lebanese sides, and especially Hezbollah, which enjoys military supremacy and is the most targeted by America and Israel, will act wisely by withdrawing the armed men from the streets, opening the roads and blocking the way before all the pretexts used by those who want to detonate the situation.

“However, we believe that while this wisdom will postpone the confrontation, it will not prevent it indefinitely because Lebanon might be used as a bait for a strike on Iran just like Kuwait was used as bait to hunt down and destroy Iraq...” - Al-Quds al-Arabi, United Kingdom

On May 8, the Palestinian-owned Al-Quds al-Arabi daily carried the following opinion piece by Chief Editor Abdel-Beri Atwan: “Most politicians and analysts in Lebanon agree that civil war is a red line, because all the sides whether in the government or the opposition are aware of the fact that in case it were to break out, military confrontations will lead to dangerous results. However, whoever has followed the developments on the ground during the last few days gets a quasi-certain impression that war has become imminent and that coexistence has become the object of doubts. Lebanon is not and cannot be an isolated island, even though some optimistic forces in it want it to be so.

“Lebanon will remain part of a blazing region and will continue to constitute a thermometer for it due to its geographic position and complex religious and demographic structure, containing a massive warehouse of explosive elements, seeking a match stick. Whoever saw the flames as they ripped through old tires yesterday, alongside the sand barriers and the old cars blocking the way to the Beirut Airport - and I saw them with my own eyes and went past them - realizes without any doubt that what is happening is a prelude for war and not just a show of strength...

“The tensions are heading toward escalation, and therefore toward a confrontation, following the press conference which was held by prominent loyalist leader Mr. Walid Junblatt, who exposed the network of spy cameras set up by Hezbollah to watch the Beirut airport, the traffic on it and the movements of the loyalist team. The party did not deny that and said via its deputy Mr. Na’im Haddad that this communication network was connected to the resistance and its strategy.

“When the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, whose ambassador knew about the war decision against Iraq and its date before Colin Powell, advises its citizens not to travel to Lebanon and those who are currently in it to leave it immediately, when Undersecretary of State David Welch tells the Lebanese they should become used to not having a president in Baabda Palace and when Mr. Walid Junblatt goes from calm and cooling to escalation in a few days, the most naive among people will realize that war was imminent. In the mid-seventies, civil war erupted and the Palestinian resistance was part of it.

“There were sides which stood in the opposite trench and accused “strangers” of trying to destroy Lebanon by demanding the end of the phenomenon of the Palestinian resistance state inside the Lebanese state... Yesterday, the Mufti of the Lebanese Republic for the Sunni sect, Sheikh Muhammad Rashid Qabbani, accused the Shi’i Hezbollah of trying to gain control over Lebanon with (Iranian) foreign support under the cover of the resistance. He assured that the Sunnis were tired of these violations and will not allow the establishment of a state within the state. The repetition of the same expressions that were used prior to the previous civil war can’t be a mere coincidence.

“However, the reality that is not seen by many is that the resistance led by Hezbollah is not the resistance of “strangers” and that the state it wishes to establish within the state is a Lebanese state and not Fatahland... Those who ousted the Palestinian resistance to serve American-Israeli interests under the pretext of Lebanon’s independence and sovereignty, cannot oust the Lebanese resistance and send its elements to Iran...

“The Arab region is rushing toward war due to a well-crafted American plan aiming to detonate it starting from Lebanon, in order to restore the lost and humiliated status of the Israeli army following the war that broke out the summer before last, the increase of the strength of the resistance and the collapse of the old war concepts that were based on the element of shock, i.e. the attack of the other side with intensive air bombing to force it to surrender and raise the white flag instantly... Israel is planning a war and preparing to wage it against Hezbollah in Lebanon and against Hamas, the Jihad and the other resistance factions in Palestine with America’s encouragement.

“If not, how could we interpret its sudden rejection of the Egyptian mediation aiming to secure calm in the Gaza Strip while it has been begging for it during the past months? Just like Iraq, Kuwait before it, and the entire Palestinian people before that, Lebanon will be the victim. The new US-led game of nations has no mercy and America is willing to shed innocent blood to secure its need to control the oil, its reserves and pipelines in the region. We hope that Lebanon will not be dragged into civil war and pray that the Lebanese sides, and especially Hezbollah, which enjoys military supremacy and is the most targeted by America and Israel, will act wisely by withdrawing the armed men from the streets, opening the roads and blocking the way before all the pretexts used by those who want to detonate the situation.

“However, we believe that while this wisdom will postpone the confrontation, it will not prevent it indefinitely because Lebanon might be used as a bait for a strike on Iran just like Kuwait was used as bait to hunt down and destroy Iraq...” - Al-Quds al-Arabi, United Kingdom

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