“Despite careful and repeated emphasis by the Secretary General of Hezbollah warning against slipping into another civil war, the current atmosphere in Lebanon does not give reassurance to anyone.” Says Dr. Fadi Chamiyeh on the security tensions that emerged in Tayoune last week.
He added in a post on his Facebook account on Tuesday saying: “It is true that the Nasrallah accused those who confronted him—intentionally or not—of soliciting a civil war, but the actions of Hezbollah are pushing in the same direction as well. If it was true that the mission of the “Lebanese Forces” is to instigate a civil war, and that it is their strategy to gain popularity and support; then the supporters of Hezbollah are sparing no effort in facilitating that project! We can no longer recount the number of times Hezbollah crowds entered neighborhoods that are foreign to them, chanting “Shiite!! Shiite!!”, causing tension and disturbance then leaving abruptly.
He continued: “Even Gebran Bassil, Hezbollah’s ally, warned of the dangers of this phenomena only two days before Nasrallah’s last appearance by saying: “Those who walked into Chiyah, Tayoune, and Ain El Remmene chanting provocatively, would they have accepted parents of victims and partisans to walk into Dahye and chant against its inhabitants? Parading into other neighborhoods, chanting provocatively, and vandalizing is not peaceful protesting.”
Chamiyeh pointed out that Nasrallah “attempted—using all methods of persuasion and reasoning up to accusing the Lebanese Forces of supporting ISIS—to assure the Christians that the LF want to create a fictitious enemy of “Hezbollah”, by keeping them constantly worried and afraid. In reality, the one who invested in instilling fear within Christians of a “fictitious enemy” was non other than Hezbollah’s main ally Michel Aoun. Aoun used this strategy to promote the alliance of minorities which culminated in the “Mar Mikhael Agreement”. This agreement gave him a stronger position over another main Lebanese component which are the Sunnis (whom Aoun accuses of having controlled half of the Christian representation through the Future Movement), and since amending the ‘Taif’ constitution is not possible, the alternative is for the Christians to reclaims their rights on their own.
“Hezbollah watched, maintained silence over, and aided this strategic approach by Aoun through a well-known agreement: Provide us with Christian support for our regional project, and receive our support in your internal project. This is how the Aounist movement grew in the past years; by the excess force of Hezbollah who in turn benefited themselves on a regional scale and with an expanded presence within the state.” Added Chamiyeh. “The second part of Nasrallah’s speech was justifiably harsh to accommodate the grieving and anger of his supporters, as well as absorbing and compensating for the damage caused to their image especially following the incident in Khaldeh months ago. Nasrallah recounted Khalde and confirmed that he personally followed up with the investigation which was concluded with 18 detainees who are awaiting trial. He wants the same for the incident of Tayyoune, but with the convicted being predetermined: Samir Geagea and the Lebanese Forces.”
Additionally, Nasrallah issued stern warnings to the military judiciary which “must act within days and hold accountable those from the junior to the most senior soldiers, as we are watching”, leaving the security forces to arrest those involved… “We do not let the blood of our brothers go to waste, and everyone knows what that means.” He also demanded that the state or the judiciary find a way to remove the judicial investigator Tarek Bitar saying: “Don’t just tell us you agree and see what you can do. The time is up!”.
“What remains unclear”, added Chamiyeh “is raising the ceiling of demands with a direct challenge to Samir Geagea, who according to Nasrallah, told some potential allies that Hezbollah has gotten weak.” This irritated Nasrallah and provoked him to announce that: “Hezbollah, in its military capacity including trainers, organizers, experienced members, and reserves… add up to 100,000!”. Nasrallah did in fact reassure that they are only meant to “defend Lebanon”, but at the same time he used them in his speech to intimidate an internal party, as he has also previously used some of them on May 7th 2008 and other known incidences.
He concluded: “In an unsuccessful way, Nasrallah wanted to tell the Christians that the Lebanese Forces are an enemy, so consider them as the enemy. Otherwise, I will bring you an army of “a hundred thousand fighters.” In fact, Hezbollah talking about itself in this way frightens and does not reassure, and perhaps this is what is intended—and not only for Christians but other sects as well. Nasrallah is thus removing the final pillars of the state because he is pushing all other sectarian components towards militarization, and consequently; each sect will have its own army. Afterwards these armies will eat at each other… and Lebanon will perish.”