Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah slammed US President George W. Bush on Friday, for interfering with Lebanon’s sovereignty by freezing assets of persons underminding the government of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora.
On Thursday, President George W. Bush ordered a freeze on the U.S. assets of anyone Washington deems to be undermining Lebanon’s pro-Western government. The Bush administration did not identify those targeted by the decree, but it comes just a month after he imposed a US travel ban on Syrian officials and Lebanese politicians who the US accuses of creating instability in Lebanon.
The White House is trying to isolate Syria and Iran, accusing them of sponsoring terrorism,
brewing up trouble in Iraq and backing Hamas and Hizbollah militants opposed to Israel.
“Certainly Iran and Syria are the principle sponsors, I would say, of both efforts to undermine the government
in Lebanon and efforts to promote militia violence … and the other things we’ve talked about in Iraq,” State
Department spokesman Tom Casey told reporters.
Lebanon has been shaken by a power struggle between the government and Hizbollah-led opponents, recent fighting between security forces and militants in Palestinian refugee camps and the car bomb assassination of lawmaker Walid Eido in June. But the interesting point to be considered here, is who is really supporting the instability in Lebanon – and in the bigger picture – the entire Mid East region? Here are a few points to consider.

1) The global rise of the European Union and East Asia.
As the Euro gained value in currency, Saddam Hussein began insisting being paid in Euros rather than US Dollars. This goes along with the fact that India and China (40% of the world’s population) are growing at an uncontrollable rate and will be consuming a majority of the world’s oil reserves. With the emergence of Iran in the region, the United State’s control on the world’s oil supply would have diminished, threating our governments influence on global issues and as a superpower. This ‘addiction’ of the Administration’s (oil and power); were underlying reasons to get into the region. 9/11 was only a catalyst and a point to motivate the American people into support for entering the region. No WMD’s were found in Iraq, and Saddam Hussein -although a dictating tyrant- was not the biggest threat to either the Middle East or the United States.

2) Last Summer’s war between Israel and Hezbollah
No matter what the reasons for Hezbollah kidnapping 2 Israeli soldiers last Summer, the Shiite organization gained popularity within Lebanon, amongst Christians as well as Muslims, for standing up to the IDF and for immediately providing aid to families who were affected by the fighting. Hezbollah has been labeled a terrorist organization by the US government, and they certainly do not have a clean slate when it comes to terrorist activity. But like most movements which start out violent, they have slowly been incorporated into the Lebanese government. The Shiite community in Lebanon has always been oppressed, so it is no surprise that Hezbollah has gained support and confidence for the future. The opposition to the government consists of both Shiite political groups Amal and Hezbollah, and the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) which is a Christian party led by former General Michel Aoun. They are opposing the government’s pro-western influence and claim to want to restore power and sovereignty to the Lebanese state. The opposition groups are requiring a the parliament to be ammended giving more seats to Hezbollah as well as veto power. This will in-fact better reflect the population of the country, as Muslims have become the majority. And veto power allows them to share power in the country’s decision making, which affects the majority of their constituents who have not ever had a say.

3) Balancing the Shiite influence in Lebanon

It is no secret that the United States’ closest ally in the Middle East is Saudi Arabia. Fears of an increase in the influence of Iran in the region has the Sunni nation uneasy about their handle on the Middle East. As Hezbollah and the Shiite community become stronger, they will threaten the Sunni leadership and Saudi interests in Lebanon. It is a great coincidence that an unknown and unimportant Sunni militant group called Fatah-al-Islam, gains power all of a sudden, and has been in a battle with the Lebanese army in the Naher al Bared Palestinan refugee camp just outside of the the northern town of Tripoli, since May. The most popular theory on this dynamic was written in a report by New Yorker columnist Seymour Hersh. http://www.mideastmonitor.org/issues/0705/0705_5.htm

The United States cut ties with The Islamic Republic of Iran over 2 decades ago and has been adament about weakening that country’s influence on the world’s and especially the Mid-Easts issues. The White House would rather have dozens of extremist groups running around, than allow for Iran to grow as a major world player. Why you ask? Why would the White House rather have innocent civilians in constant danger of inhumane acts of violence than to allow a sovereign country their sovereign rights? Because of power. It all comes back to our Administrations addiction and the Iraq war. By putting into power a Shiite leadership in Iraq, the United States has helped strengthen ties between Iraqi Shiites and Iranian leaders. This strategic consequence threatens Saudi Arabia and helps perpetuate the endless stream of sectarian violence in Iraq. This instability does not allow for anyone to gain control in the region, allowing the United States to continue “running the show.”

The truth of the matter is that Lebanon is an old country based on traditional values and run by the leading families of the different religious. The politics of the country are complex and in order for Lebanon to progress, the people must work out their differences diplomatically, and come to a national consensus as to the direction of the country. Outside forces -including other Arab states- meddling in Lebanon’s affairs only make the situation worse.
The American people deserve better. We are in constant danger of another tradegy on our own soil and have slowly lost control of those representatives which we have elected to help lead our nation. we must rally and unite as a nation to “play nice” with the rest of the world. The Universe is too big and Earth is too small to focus on unimportant issues like Oil and money. There are 6 billion of us, and we should be in this together.
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