Hezbollah Scores Political Win, But Resistance Groups Forming

W. Thomas Smith, Jr

5/21/2008 10:29:48 AM - W. Thomas Smith, Jr

Hezbollah – the Lebanon-based terrorist organization – has scored another victory: This one, political.

It’s barely been a week since Hezbollah’s campaign of terror against the Lebanese people ended with a victory for the Shiia terrorist group, its allies, and its Iranian and Syrian backers. The campaign was launched May 7 after the legitimate Lebanese government attempted to fire Beirut International Airport’s security chief – who was discovered to be Hezbollah – then tried to shut down Hezbollah's covert telecommunications system.

Hezbollah won its battle by killing civilians and burning property. The government – which vowed it would never surrender – caved. It did so for a variety of reasons, but primarily because the Lebanese Army refused to fight: not the rank-and-file soldiers mind you (some of the toughest and bravest I've ever encountered), but the commander in chief, Gen. Michel Sleiman, who ironically is probably going to wind up in the presidential palace.

When the fighting subsided and Hezbollah began withdrawing from its captured positions, last week, nearly 70 people were dead, scores wounded, and many left homeless. Hezbollah’s security chief got to keep his job at the airport. The unauthorized telecommunications system was given a pass. And Hezbollah's Talibanesque political and military position was strengthened.

Keep in mind, all “militias” in Lebanon were directed by the United Nations to be disbanded under UN Security Council Resolutions 1559 and 1701.

In fact, 1701 specifically directs:

“Full implementation of the relevant provisions … that require the disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon, so that, pursuant to the Lebanese cabinet decision of July 27, 2006, there will be no weapons or authority in Lebanon other than that of the Lebanese state.”

But Hezbollah has been able to skirt the “militia” and “armed groups” labeling by calling itself a “resistance [against foreign aggression].” Problem is the near-70 people who were killed as a result of Hezbollah’s attacks this month were not foreigners, and the neighborhoods and villages shot-up, rocketed, and burned, and the roads seized were all inside sovereign Lebanese territory. At a minimum, the United Nations Implementation Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) should have kept the air and seaports opened per its authority under 1701. But UNIFIL did absolutely nothing while the world watched.

Now we learn that in an attempt to “avert further crisis,” Arab League negotiators in Qatar have granted the terrorist group even more concessions: Veto power on any government decision (Hezbollah’s army apparently already wielded that from the muzzles of its AK-47s) and 11 cabinet seats for Hezbollah and its allies (over a period of time, the terrorists had managed to snake themselves into six.)

However, despite Sleiman’s unwillingness to fight and the government’s willingness to negotiate with mass murderers; the majority pro-democracy movement in Lebanon is not taking it on the chin.

In an international radio broadcast, Saturday, Dr. Walid Phares, director of the Future of Terrorism Project for the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, appealed to the Lebanese people to resist Hezbollah.

According to Phares:

“Lebanese citizens have the fundamental right to resist Hezbollah’s terror and invasion of west Beirut, the mountains and the north. … All efforts by Lebanese citizens to oppose terrorism and to do so in defense of democracy will be endorsed worldwide.”

On Sunday, I learned that members of Lebanon’s pro-democracy movement were indeed forming a “resistance group against terrorism.” That group – originating in Beirut – is composed of Christians, Druze, and Muslims (both Sunni and Shiia). This week, other reports indicate there may be like-minded resistance groups forming elsewhere in the country.

Sources tell me, Hezbollah may have temporarily gained the upper hand. Concessions – which are being inaccurately reported as a victory for all Lebanese – have temporarily bandaged the wounds. And resistance against the terrorist group may have had to go underground. But this fight is far from over.