Four days ago we asked: Is The “Moderate Al-Qaeda” Set To Target Hizbullah? The implied answer in that piece was “Yes, the war is coming to Lebanon.”
Today the Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri resigned with a statement issues from Saudi Arabia on the Saudi Arabian TV station Al Arabia (video). This is the opening shot of the war.
The Saudi-Israeli-U.S. axis will lose this war while Iran and Russia will win from it.
Earlier this week the extremely sectarian Saudi Minister for Gulf Affairs Thamer al-Sabhan had threatened Hizbullah in Lebanon and announced surprises:
Firebrand Saudi State Minister for Gulf Affairs Thamer al-Sabhan on Monday called for “toppling Hizbullah” and promised “astonishing” developments in “the coming days.”
Referring to his Sunday tweet about the Lebanese government, the minister said: “I addressed my tweet to the government because the Party of Satan (Hizbullah) is represented in it and it is a terrorist party. The issue is not about toppling the government but rather that Hizbullah should be toppled.”
“The coming developments will definitely be astonishing,” al-Sabhan added.
While the fighting in Syria and Iraq was ongoing, Lebanon was kept at peace. With the wars ending Lebanon is again the place where proxy fights are carried out. In mid October Joseph Bahout predicted this development:
Regionally, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are now seeking ways to compensate for the loss of Syria as a place where they could defy and bleed Iran. A renewed desire to reverse their regional fortunes could lead them to try regaining a foothold in Lebanon. The Gulf states, Israel, and the United States do not want Iran to reap the benefits of a victory in Syria. If ever they seek to rebalance the regional relationship with Tehran in the Levant, the only place to do so would be Lebanon, despite the many risks that would accompany such an effort.
In such an event, and despite its reticence to jeopardize its Lebanese sanctuary, Hezbollah could have no choice but to accept such a challenge, especially if there is an Israeli component to it.
Lebanese politics are regulated by a complicate agreement. The Sunni camp, financed by the Saudis, holds the position of Prime Minister. The position of the President is held by the Christian former general Michel Aoun. The position of Speaker of the Parliament is held by the leader of the Shia Amal movement Nabih Berri. Two month ago Berri had proposed elections to a new parliament before the end of the year. An election would likely diminish the Sunni position.
Saad Al-Hariri was put into the prime minister position after a long quarrel in Lebanon that had reignited when Saad’s father Rafic Hariri, the former PM, was assassinated. Hizbullah was accused of that assassination but an Israeli plot seemed more likely.
The Hariri family made its money as owner of Saudi Oger, a construction company in Saudi Arabia. The Hariris have Saudi passports. Business has gone bad under Hariri junior. In July Saudi Oger closed shop and the former billionaire family is rumored to be bankrupt. The Saudi rulers sponsors them.
Hariri had recently assigned a Lebanese ambassador to Syria. Yesterday Hariri was visited in Beirut by Ali Velayati, a top advisor of the supreme leader Khamenei of Iran. The Saudis did not like either. Thamer’s plan was set into motion. They sent a private jet and hauled Hariri to Riyadh. There the Saudi clown prince Mohammad bin Salman gave Hariri his resignation statement (written by Thamer?) to be read by him on Saudi TV.
Irony alert: The Lebanese PM (with a Saudi passport) resigns on order of Saudi Arabia, in Saudi Arabia, on Saudi Arabian TV. In his Saudi written resignation statement (excerpts) he accuses Iran of foreign meddling in Lebanese politics.
Read the rest at Moon of Alabama here.
The past few weeks have seen a predictable reaction to the release of (yet another) survey of “experts” regarding the proper ranking of United States presidents. Apart from the inherent problems any such attempted ranking poses, problems my colleague Hunter DeRensis...