The speech Hassan Nasrallah, leader of Lebanon's Hizballah, delivered Thursday night Oct. 29 was taken in all sections of Lebanese society as a virtual declaration of war on his country, a conflict which they fear will be even fiercer and crueler than the 1975 civil war. It is widely believed, according to debkafile's Middle East sources, that the power-sharing order the diverse communities achieved after that conflict will be swept away and replaced with a pro-Iranian, pro-Syrian puppet regime.
The Shiite Hizballah is already on the move. It latest step took place last Wednesday, Oct. 27, when a crowd of Lebanese Shiite women prevented two investigators of the STL tribunal probing the 2005 murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri from obtaining documentary evidence for their case at a gynecology clinic in South Beirut. The documents were seized and destroyed. The UN officers needed medical treatment.
The next day, Nasrallah thundered his call for "every official and every citizen to boycott the work of the UN investigators… Cooperation would be an assault on the Resistance (Nasrallah's name for his Hizballah)," he said. The Hizballah chief went on to invoke "our honor and dignity" as "requiring us to have a different stance."
Far from staging a minor incident, the Shiite women were hurriedly mobilized to keep the UN investigators attached to the STL's Prosecution Office from gaining access to one of the top-secret security and intelligence archives which Hizballah has hidden away in unlikely places like the clinic.
UN Secretary Ban Ki-moon condemned the attack in the strongest terms as unacceptable.
However, Hizballah's threats to the Beirut government and country at large are growing fiercer as the moment approaches for the STL to issue indictments against its officials for complicity in the Hariri assassination.
At the clinic, the UN investigators apparently got too close for comfort to incriminating documents.
Early Thursday, in growing alarm over the methods employed by Hizballah and its patrons, Syria and Iran, to thwart the UN tribunal's work, the UN Security Council held a closed-door situation.
Later, US ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, slammed Syria for displaying "flagrant disregard" for Lebanon's sovereignty. She cited its provision of increasingly sophisticated weapons to Hizballah and other militias in violation of a UN resolution and its issuance of 33 arrest warrants for senior Lebanese officials and foreigners.
"Hizballah remains the most significant and most heavily armed Lebanese militia," said Ambassador Rice in the most extreme US criticism of Damascus heard in years. "It could not have done so if not for Syria's aid, and facilitation of Syrian and Iranian arms."
debkafile's Beirut and intelligence sources stress that even the strongest words cannot save Lebanon from its dizzying fall into the clutches of Hizballah, Syria and Iran, thereby derailing a key Obama administration policy for the Middle East.
Washington's partners-in-fiasco would be French President Nicolas Sarkozy who shared in the formation of this policy and the Israeli government headed by Binyamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak. They all buried their heads in the sand for two years without lifting a finger Hizballah was massively armed by Iran and Syria and they all developed their power-grab for Beirut.
The tenor of Nasrallah's speech Thursday night demonstrated that the American diplomat's strong words cut no ice and would not deter Hizballah from enforcing its strong-arm laws on the Lebanese government and citizenry.