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Is the Syrian Crisis Being Leveraged to Weaken Hezbollah?

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A Hezbollah source reports that the complicated environment here in Lebanon and the region are not easy ones given internal and external enemies. One friend acknowledges also the danger of Hezbollah as the leader of the international Resistance risks being viewed as simply a local Shia party which would be dangerous to the party and this country on multiple levels.

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea regularly repeats charges that  "the March 8 alliance of being behind the deteriorating security situation in the country in order to create as many spots of tension as possible along with incidents to decrease pressure on the Syrian regime." In a direct reference to Hezbollah, Geagea said "There are enormous strategic dangers that stem from the presence of a statelet within the state. The state has no authority over it because the owners of this statelet and their allies are paralyzing it."

Geagea and his allies has also condemned Hezbollah for the "appalling silence" with which it met the abductions of Syrian and Arab nationals in Lebanon.[We condemn] Hezbollah's appalling silence regarding these incidents that take place in its regions of influence, while its Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah claims that things got out of hand without condemning these incidents. That means that he gives his total consent for these acts."

According to Hanin Ghaddar writing in New York Times, "Something fundamental has changed: the Shiite militant group Hezbollah long Syria's powerful proxy in Lebanon has become a wounded beast. And it is walking a very thin line between protecting its assets and aiding a crumbling regime next door."

The March 14 Youth organizations, normally working within their individual parties have begun a combined efforts to confront elements of the Hezbollah led Resistance. Last week at the Universite Saint Joseph, hundreds of students from the Lebanese Forces (LF), the Future Movement, the Kataeb, al-Jamaa al-Islamiyah and the National Liberal Party (NLP) staged a rally ostensibly  to call for the resignation of Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour and the expulsion of Syrian Ambassador Ali Abdel-Karim Ali,  but also to attack Hezbollah.

Since the surprise arrest of former Information Minister, Resistance and Al-Assad Michel Samaha on 8/9/12 , and the subsequent  charging  him along and Syrian National Security head General Ali Mamluk with plotting "terror attacks," key pillars of government, including the President Suleiman and Prime Minister Miqati appear to be distancing themselves somewhat from the Assad regime. Rumors are circulating that within the Hezbollah leadership some are having private doubts about the party's relationship with the Assad regime.

Hezbollah realizes that there is a need to create a balance, however delicate, between Lebanon's national interest, primary of which is to be free of future Israeli occupation and Lebanon's position in regional Arab causes. Presumably Hezbollah's research center and other think tanks are reviewing earlier actions and in some cases will modify original stances to meet the changing realities in Lebanon and beyond.

The party and the Shite community are being advised of a need to continue advocating the politics of openness, dialogue, and partnership in order to preserve Lebanon.

There currently  obtains in Lebanon, as next year's  crucial Parliamentary election approaches,  an especially ugly political atmosphere prevailing with internal and external groups seeking to hold Hezbollah and the wider Shia community responsible for many current problems ranging from power cuts, security, public security, poor water quality, inflation and weak infrastructure. Some from my neighborhood have taken to the streets in the past few months to protect against the increasing power cuts.

The coming weeks will reveal what, if any, success foreign and domestic anti-Resistance forces achieve in using the Syrian crisis to dismantle Hezbollah.

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Thanks for countering the myths about Hezbollah an... by Rick Staggenborg, MD on Tuesday, Sep 4, 2012 at 12:36:58 PM