Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite resistance group, political party and military force, took down the government when its eleven cabinet members, out of thirty cabinet members, resigned last Wednesday.
The prime minister of Lebanon, Saad al-Hariri, was in the U.S. at the time meeting with President Obama. They were meeting to discuss the Special Lebanese Tribunal (SLT) which was set up to indict the individuals that assassinated prime minister Rafiq al-Hariri, Saad’s father, in 2005.
Hezbollah is enraged at the fact that some of its members may be indicted, which is why they took down Saad al-Hariri’s government. They were also angry that Mr. al-Hariri was not willing to back down from the tribunal, although Hezbollah has been pressuring him to do so.
Hezbollah has said it will not support Hariri in forming a new government. Talks to install a new prime minister have been delayed as leaders of Syria, Qatar, and Turkey meet to survey the political crisis in Lebanon.
The killing of Rafiq al-Hariri was originally linked to the Syrian military. As a result, Syria quickly withdrew from Lebanon.
Hezbollah has been backed by Syria and Iran for many years, and Saudi Arabia, and the West, including the U.S., have been the opposition.
Oddly enough, Syria and Saudi Arabia came together to discuss the political unrest in Lebanon. There is no explanation why nothing came to fruition after the meeting.
What is clear is that the middle east is scared of what may happen in Lebanon, the future being so unclear.
Indictments have been delivered to the pre-trial judge. No identities have been released. The process of the pre-trial judge to endorse charges could take months.
Secretary general for Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, stated, “We will act to defend our dignity, our existence and our reputation”. He also stated that, “We describe the tribunal as an American and Israeli tool”.
Ali Shami, the Lebanese foreign minister, warned the U.S. about interfering in Lebanese affairs.
Lebanese are frightened of unrest, especially with the conflicts that have developed as recent as 2008.
Of course, the most traumatizing conflict in Lebanon was the fifteen year war, ending in 1990. Israel was occupying Southern Lebanon, and Hezbollah had been formed into a strong military force. Hundreds of thousands died. Lebanon had to rebuild from total devastation.
Sympathy goes out to the Lebanese people. There is no government, and chaos could ensue. We will have to wait and see. We must hope for peaceful resolution. Otherwise, there could be another war in the middle east.