Hassan Nasrallah's loud speech yesterday was a declaration of war on what's left of the Lebanese state. There was a time the Iranian-installed king of Lebanese Shias freely used the country as a vessel for his jihad: farms were set up to grow jihadists, houses hosted rockets and entrances to jihadi tunnels, and wars were launched to tickle the region's strongest and dumbest army, which invariably and reliably gave him what he wanted: death and destruction. Nasrallah's Lebanon, before the Hariri assassination planted the seeds of independence, was no more than a passage for his toys. The country's government and army were at his disposal, forwarding weapons and at times negotiating their purchase.
It is no surprise then that Nasrallah's number one enemy is an independent and sovereign Lebanon. His militia cannot survive more UNIFIL confiscations, and cannot afford an army and security agencies potentially purged of agents. His attack on the Hariri tribunal, and defense of the jailed leaders of the former security regime make great sense and should not come as a surprise. Why would he want anything that could rock his shrinking kingdom? If anyone still does not believe that Nasrallah substituted downtown Beirut for the southern border, read his speech on Sunday.
Nasrallah's speech renewed Bashar's war declaration from more than a year ago, and fused it with an Iranian green light to continue hijacking the country until kingdom come. Nasrallah did not waste time after returning from a rumored visit to Iran to transmit marching orders to his slaves: the Lebanese state needs to be overthrown, no presidential election, no national unity government, and no Hariri tribunal. My readers will remember similar calls made by Bashar's stooges in the country during the Berri-Hariri dialogue. I guess Ahmadinejad made his choice vis a vis his relations with the Saudis: it's our Gulf and you're trespassing, and we can kidnap those "blondes" anytime we please. The Syrian and Iranian reading of events intersect on the perception of a weak US government, failing in Iraq, and torn apart by domestic politics that the dictators, perhaps mistakenly, think would alter the current course. You can always count on dictators to see democratic dissent as a sign of weakness, and proof that they're winning the war.
Back in Lebanon, Nasrallah has made the bed Lebanon will be forced to lie in over the next 2 years- or until a new parliament is elected.
Speaking before 1,700 Hizbullah university students, Nasrallah admitted he was running his own state. "When you become a state, come back and demand that we don't [run our own]… Having a state depends on a strong army able to confront any Israeli attack."
After belittling the Lebanese army, he accused the Lebanese state—yes, this time it's not the cabinet, but the state—of conspiring against and killing its own people (i.e. Shias).
Nasrallah linked this conspiracy to an attempt to take over Lebanon with assistance from the international community. He said the objective since the Hariri assassination (no comment on who killed him!) was to take over the cabinet, parliament and the presidency. But he assured Lebanese that the Syrian-installed president will "stay until the last second of his term", and described him as the "true defender of Lebanese national interests".
Nasrallah did not spare the Lebanese judiciary, which he accused of being subordinate to the UN commission investigating the Hariri murder. He attacked the Hariri tribunal bylaws for overriding the Lebanese judiciary, and said the only legitimate party who can review the tribunal is a cabinet headed by Lahoud (read this to mean the Assad regime).
Nasrallah described the four generals implicated in the Hariri assassination as "political prisoners" and said the Hariri tribunal's verdicts were pre-determined and "awaiting the endorsement of the court's bylaws before they're made public".
Nasrallah vetoed a president elected by March 14, warned that the government will not be able to control the army, announced the dialogue and the 19-11 formula dead, and laid out his new conditions: referendum or early elections.
There is no doubt that Nasrallah is feeling the heat. His fiery speech confirms the insincerity of his camp's time-buying tactics led by Nabih Berri over the past few months. For many of us, the war he officially declared on the Lebanese state has been ongoing since the removal of the Syrian cloak.
It is clear, more than ever, that the battle for Lebanon is a battle against Hizbullah.