Today was the 29th anniversary of the "disappearance" of Imam Moussa as-Sadr. Hizbullah and Amal organized marches and ceremonies. No Libyan flags were burned.
The anniversary coincided with the birthday of the original hidden Imam, al-Mahdi, may Hizbullah's god speed up his return from occultation to rid us of the fake ones who stole his hidden powers.
Meanwhile, the birth of Hizbullah's hidden republic is upon us. What Rice erroneously saw as a the birth pangs of the new Middle East last summer, may turn out to be the birth pangs of the Islamic republic in Lebanon or parts of Lebanon.
It's funny how people in the region often do exactly what they accuse foreign conspirators of trying to do. In the case of Lebanon, Hizbullah and their leftist sympathizers have made permanent slogans out of alleged foreign plots to partition the region into sectarian cantons to "suit Israel". In reality, however, we see them planning (some unwittingly) similar partitions should their political opponents dare go by the constitution to legally elect a president.
Nabih Berri is a great example of a politician who has convinced himself he is doing the right thing (Aoun is another). Berri, who had sent "questions" to Condoleezza Rice a while ago, received answers in the form of a reminder through the US ambassador that Lebanon is expected to elect a president or it will be in violation of UNSC 1559. The US answer drove Berri up the wall, who saw it as a "step backwards". Berri leaked his dismay a few newspapers, and then broadcasted them over loud speakers during Sadr's anniversary commemoration in Baalbeck on Friday.
After attacking the US (and US aid to Lebanon), the Lebanese government and its allies, and accusing the latter of shutting down parliament, Berri, or the mailbox, as Jumblatt called him, laid out a new conditional, "all Lebanese initiative". He said if March 14 accepted the two-third rule to elect a consensus president, he would launch consultations to find that candidate, promising to forget about a national unity government to precede the election of the new president, which has been a Hizbullah condition.
Berri's initiative was coupled with a warning. A great evil will befall the country in the last ten days of Lahoud's term if March 14 did what the constitution says it can do and elected a president without Berri calling parliament into session. The "speaker" said many are "honing their knives" for this great evil, hinting that a civil war is a possibility.
We know a lot about this great evil that the parliament's speaker is apparently privy to, or to be more exact, party to. Berri's own Amal has been waging intermittent street warfare in religiously mixed areas in Beirut. His pals have been clearing the scene for an escalatory move for quite some time. Berri can boast that his latest initiative is "Lebanese" and not backed by Saudi Arabia or the Arab League, but the truth of the matter is that the Saudis backed away after being threatened by the Assad regime. An LBC report today quoted security sources as saying a group was preparing a car bomb attack on the Saudi embassy, and another one targeting the Saudi ambassador's convoy. The ambassador has now fled the country. EU countries have already been shown what can happen to their troops. The Lebanese army has been kept busy with Fatah al-Islam, and will probably split if asked to stop this evil.
We also know that Hizbullah has been monitoring the airport road for a while now, and it is said, the country's communications networks. Al-Shiraa reported last week that several apartments in Beirut were turned into listening stations for the Iran-backed militia, which is monitoring cell phone and internet communications. The Nasrallah Security Agency is actively clearing the ground for Berri's "great evil" to terrorize and possibly partition the country.
I hate to quote him, but this blabbering idiot often slips when he talks, revealing the sick planning of his bedfellows. Speaking to a stunned Marcel Ghanem Thursday night, Suleiman Franjieh said he has the "theory" that a war in Lebanon is easy to trigger, and that all you need to do is kill a leader.
We also know from an LBC report Friday night, that Hizbullah has been training SSNP and other militias in a camp in the Bekaa.
The opposition's plan of attack should March 14 elect a president seems to also include a take over of certain ministries (which has started, some of the Shia ministers are back to "run the affairs" of their ministries), electing a second president, a second government, a military coup, storming the Serail, civil war, you name it.
It is not clear what, exactly they will or can do, given that any step they take will pit them against the entire international community, minus Syria, Iran, Qatar and Libya. But evil it is.
The Metn by-elections may have weakened Aoun's grip over the Maronites, rendering Aoun a bit useless, and the Christian participation in the plot to destroy the government even more questionable. For that, lackeys such as Franjieh have selling their "efforts" as a battle to restore Christian rights allegedly lost after the Taef agreement. During his LBC interview, Franjieh said Rafik Hariri was either a liar or a traitor, and described the Taef constitution as one that took from Christian rights and gave to the Hariri family, i.e. the Sunnis. For him, the battle is about Maronite rights vs. Sunni hegemony. Unfortunately for him, projecting this as a battle for Christian rights did not convince the majority of Christian voters during the Metn elections. Franjieh's interview was one example of a mad logic that could kill an entire community, especially the part where Syria was presented as a guarantor of Christian rights in the country.
While the Christians in the pro-Syrian camp are selling their anti-state crusade as an attempt to give the Maronite presidency the powers they said it lost at the end of the war, and hinting that another war may be needed to restore them, the Hizbullah camp is not taking any chances. Their project is moving forward, and if their new friends in Amal and the FPM abandon or fail them, they will be ready to launch their own republic. They weren't kidding when they said they would never give up their weapons.
There have been numerous reports in the media, and some reported by the minister of communications, about the building of a communications infrastructure covering the south, Bekaa, southern suburb and parts of the occupied downtown Beirut. Unconfirmed reports that I received say that a power plant is being built in the suburb to supply the illegally built and rebuilt structures with Hizbullah-subsidized power.
For that, Hizbullah's project seems long term and long-winded, and is independent of its allies' short-term plans. Just watch their euphoria over the election of Gul in Turkey. I wonder if Aoun shared that excitement. But then, when Aoun warns of partition, he probably knows that his partners in "understanding" are close to drawing the border of the new Shia state should they feel that Christians and Sunnis have turned against them and their weapons, or failed to support their mission. The March 14 website has a report citing British intelligence, claiming the new Hizbullah state would include parts of the south and much of the Bekaa, excluding the area under UNFIL control or any area close to the Israeli border. Forming a state that has no borders with Israel reportedly followed an agreement with Iran and "advice" from the Syrian regime in order to keep the new state "viable".
The above fits well with earlier reports that Hizbullah is buying land in Christian areas east of Jezzine and north of the Litani river, and using it to store weapons and build military bases. Some of the rockets, al-Watan al-Arabi reported last week, are long range missiles with chemical warheads, supplied by Iran. The area near Jezzine north of the Litani has already been classified as military by Hizbullah, and journalists are prohibited from entering it. Last week, al-Shiraa reported land purchases in Hermel in the Bekaa, where shelters and underground tunnels are reportedly being built, connecting the Bekaa to Syria.
For those who still think Hizbullah's rockets are here to fight Israel alone, think again. These areas would border UN-controlled Lebanon, a state Hizbullah would be at "civil" war with when the secession is complete and the hidden republic is born. And many in this new republic are ready to embrace their new nationality: they have been farmed to resist anything alien to Hizbullah's rule, and to distrust the "Zionist" Lebanese government that they were told want them dead.
It's hard not to see the country headed for a war of some sort, or some form of partition. The Lebanese army was dealt a blow with the Nahr el Bared episode, and with the nomination by Lahoud of General Suleiman, which has tarnished the image of the country's military institution. March 14 may not survive this one, unless the EU and the US, and the Saudis, throw their military weight to stop the evil at its roots.
This will be one bloody fall, hopefully one that won't lead to the outing of the hidden republic.