For the past month Lebanon has been hit with an almost complete electricity blackout. They have no oil and no gas. They have no diesel and it is diesel that fuels their electric grid. Garbage is backing up, piled so high that cities look like dump sites.
Lebanon is imploding. Its only savior is Hezbollah. Yes, Hezbollah.
Kindred soul and kissing cousin of the Taliban.
The country is hurting, its people are suffering.
In other words, Lebanon is set to become the next Afghanistan.
Hezbollah is offering to come to the rescue of Lebanon. But the offer comes with a price.
What differentiates Lebanon from Afghanistan is that there are no Western armies and almost no Westerners living in Lebanon to be overrun or taken captive. They’ve exited.
Westerners, had they been there — whether contractors, military personnel or diplomats, would by now either have been targets of brutal murder or hostages.
That’s not conjecture, it’s proven history.
During the course of the civil war (c. 1982 to 1992) dozens of Westerns were held captive, either for ransom or as publicity tools. Many were simply murdered.
The poster boy of Westerners held captive by the Lebanese government during that war was the towering figure of Terry Waite. Towering not only because of his six-foot-7-inch height, towering because Terry Waite was the envoy of the Anglican Church.
Because Terry Waite naively went out to meet and reason with the very people who captured him — and who held him hostage for four years.
Luckily Waite survived, so many others did not.
Lebanon remains a divided country.
Constitutionally, the government must be composed of the three largest groups living there.
And they are the Sunnis, the Shiites, and the Christians.
These factions don't get along, and that with certainty, is putting it mildly.
A succession of leaders has failed to unite them, resulting in the contemporary failed and flailing country that Lebanon is.
Thus, now the door is wide open and Hezbollah, like knights in shining armor, stands ready to ride in and assume the role of savior.
Most assuredly, there is nothing knightly about Hezbollah.
Hezbollah does not save, Hezbollah destroys.
Hezbollah is the Iranian backed Shiite terror organization that has been fighting in Syria.
They are well-trained, well-equipped, and highly-motivated.
They have been the most effective of all fighting forces in Syria.
It's Hezbollah who has been propping up Syrian President Bassar al-Assad.
This writer monitors Hezbollah; watching what they do with careful, exacting scrutiny. Hezbollah is very real, and remains a constant and immediate threat to the West — and Israel.
Hassan Nasrallah heads Hezbollah.
To commemorate the Shiite holiday of Ashura, Nasrallah gave a nationally televised address. Ashura means "tenth" in Arabic.
Compellingly, the holiday of Ashura is celebrated on the tenth day of the first month.
Ashura is a day of mourning for Shiite Islam. It emphasizes the stark enmity between Shiites and Sunnis. It commemorates the Battle of Karbala, in 680 CE, when Sunni Muslims brutally murdered Shiite leader Hussein (grandson of Mohammed), his followers, and their families.
Nasrallah took the opportunity, on TV, to issue a warning to the United States and to Israel. A Lebanese oil tanker was about to set sail from Iran filled with oil to save Lebanon.
And that warning was, keep out of its way. Do not violate its space.
Nasrallah said: "We don't want to get into a challenge with anyone, we don't want to get into a problem with anyone. We want to help our people … I say to the Americans and the Israelis that the boat that will sail within hours from Iran is Lebanese territory."
He continued: "God willing, this ship and others will arrive safely."
One oil tanker will not save Lebanon.
Nasrallah was simply grandstanding.
He was positioning Hezbollah as the savior of Lebanon. And the reason this is so important to Hezbollah is that by saving Lebanon, Hezbollah hopes to resurrect their reputation which has taken a serious hit over the past year.
Average Lebanese non-Hezbollah supporters have been blaming Hezbollah for the Israeli counter-attacks into their country after Hezbollah shoots rockets and drones into Israel.
The strikes add to the stress in a crisis-weary Lebanon.
The Maronite Christian patriarch just announced that the Lebanese army must take control of Lebanon and rein in Hezbollah.
The patriarch has called for a stop to the bombing of Israel.
Many Lebanese argue that, at least, this is one part of their atrocities that they can control.
But Hezbollah won't be reasoned with.
Under normal circumstances, an oil tanker from Iran going to Lebanon or to Syria would have been stopped by the U.S., but these are not normal circumstances.
And the United States has made a promise to Lebanon to help with their electricity crisis.
The problem is that any nation that helps Lebanon ends up helping Iran in very significant ways, by allowing Iran to literally do an end-run around sanctions. If Lebanon should fall, it will fall into the arms of Hezbollah. Thus, another state will be under total control of Islamic terrorists. The West does not want that to happen, only Iran and Hezbollah want that.
It's not in the best interest of the West or, for that matter, for the rest of the Arab world, for Lebanon to fall. Countries must move quickly to avoid what seems almost inevitable.
Hezbollah, is standing at the door.
Make no mistake, they are a wolf in sheep's clothing.
Micah Halpern is a political and foreign affairs commentator. He founded "The Micah Report" and hosts "Thinking Out Loud with Micah Halpern" a weekly TV program and "My Chopp" a daily radio spot. A dynamic speaker, he specializes in analyzing world events and evaluating their relevance and impact. Follow him on Twitter @MicahHalpern. Read Micah Halpern's Reports — More Here.
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