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When a gangster wants somebody dead he rarely pulls the trigger himself. It is true that Hezbollah attacked Israel, but who really attacked Israel? To answer this question, we need to understand who controls Hezbollah, which requires a sense of Hezbollah’s place in Lebanese politics.
In 1978, Israel invaded Lebanon to protect Israeli civilians in northern Israel who were being murdered by PLO terrorists based in southern Lebanon. Consistent with the main pattern of US foreign policy over the years, which has been to sabotage Israeli self-defense, the US forced the Israelis to withdraw. Then Israel invaded again in 1982, because the terrorist violence coming from southern Lebanon had become intolerable. The Israeli Defense Forces were poised to destroy the PLO but once again the US intervened to stop the Israelis, and provided the PLO with a US military escort to its new home in Tunis. One of the consequences of the 1982 invasion was an Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon that lasted almost two decades, and this became the excuse for Hezbollah:
“Hezbollah was ‘inspired by the success of the Iranian Revolution’ and was formed primarily to combat Israeli occupation following the 1982 Lebanon War.”
The Israeli occupation lasted until the year 2000, when Israeli forces evacuated Lebanon, under Ehud Barak. And yet a terrorist movement against Israeli civilians -- Hezbollah -- persists in southern Lebanon. Why? The Israeli withdrawal should have put an end to terrorism predicated on resisting the Israeli occupation.
With Israel gone it remained to rid the country of the other occupiers in order to make Lebanon an independent country again. The other occupiers were the Syrians, lords of Lebanon since 1976-77, after one of the factions in the Lebanese civil war had invited them in. Consistent with the goal to give back to the Lebanese their political independence,
“United Nations Security Council Resolution 1559 [2 September 2004] …called upon Syria to end its military presence in Lebanon by withdrawing its forces and to cease intervening in internal Lebanese politics. The resolution also called on all Lebanese militias (including Hezbollah) to disband.”
The same source informs me that,
“On April 26, 2005, after 29 years of military action in Lebanon, the last Syrian troops left Lebanon. Syrian military and intelligence facilities, after the destruction of sensitive documents or the transportation of logistical material, were turned over to Lebanese counterparts. This action left the Lebanese government as the main violator of the resolution due to its refusal to dismantle the pro-Syrian Palestinian and Hezbollah militias.”
This is an act of war. If the Lebanese government refuses to dismantle terrorist organizations publicly dedicated to the destruction of Israeli civilians (the most important of which is Hezbollah), and which the UN Security Council has asked Lebanon to dismantle, then Lebanon declared war on Israel -- as far back as 2 September 2004.
But is it really Lebanon that declared war on Israel? There are reasons to doubt this.
Notice what the UN News Service reported on 23 January 2006:
“23 January 2006 -- The United Nations Security Council today called on the Government of Lebanon to make more progress in controlling its territory and disbanding militias [i.e. terrorist organizations], while also calling on Syria to cooperate with those efforts.
In a statement read out by its January President, Augustine Mahiga of Tanzania, the Council also called on Syria to take measures to stop movements of arms and personnel into Lebanon that have been reported.”
So Syria, the country that for “29 years of military action in Lebanon” was its true master, hasn’t really left Lebanon, nor has it ceased to be its master. The UN weakly complains that Syrian troops are back in Lebanon but capitulates to the facts when it requests Syrian cooperation in the suppression of terrorist groups inside Lebanon. United Nations Security Council Resolution 1559 therefore did not affect the status quo (though it may have affected certain appearances): Syria owns Lebanon.
This has even been formalized in a Syrian-Lebanese Supreme Council.[6a]
Given this state of affairs, it is more proper to interpret Lebanon's refusal to dismantle the anti-Israeli terrorist groups as a Syrian declaration of war on Israel. This interpretation is well supported by the manner in which the Lebanese government has replied to UN resolution 1559:
“In the slime of what is happening in our Arabic region, and under the auspices of the failure of the political solutions aiming to find a solution to the Arabic-Israeli conflict because of Israel’s obstinacy and refusing to return to the table of negotiations and giving free rein to the threats against Lebanon and Syria by its leaders, and intensifying its aerial violations of the Lebanese territories’ sanctity and executing terrorist acts and assassination operations against the leaders of the Lebanese and Palestinian resistance in both countries. In this context the resolution 1559 issued by the security council on 3/9/2004 with all its ambiguity and contradictions, is considered an unconventional precedent in the history of international relations, constituting an interference in the sovereignty and independence of Lebanon.”
Suppose you have UN resolution 1559, which is designed to give Lebanon independence from the stranglehold that Syria’s obsession to destroy Israel has placed on it. And suppose that Lebanon decries this UN resolution as “interference in the sovereignty and independence of Lebanon.” What is that? An absurdity. How can we resolve it? Simple: it is Syria that is complaining above -- not Lebanon.
And Syria controls Hezbollah. This is relatively obvious to anybody not already comatose: in 2005 the New York Times reported on a “massive pro-Syrian demonstration that the Hezbollah militia mounted on the streets of Beirut.”[9a]
US officials are happy with the total control that Syria has over Lebanon, but they don't want the public noticing that they are. The Middle East Intelligence Bulletin tells me that,
“...successive American administrations have been reluctant to openly push for an end to Syrian protection of Hezbollah. In fact, the United States has been unwilling even to publicly request that the Syrians end this protection. ...[there is a] long-standing American policy of avoiding public statements which mention or suggest that Syria controls Lebanese policy decisions.”
Of course, every once in a while a distracted president may turn a private remark into a public one, giving us a peek into what is really going on. This week, at the meeting of G-8 heads of state,
“U.S. President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair had a private lunchtime conversation picked up by an open microphone.
The chat started with the U.S. President giving a ‘Yo, Blair’ shout out to his British counterpart, and spread over the Internet within hours. Bush expressed his frustration over the current situation in the Middle East: ‘You see, the ... thing is what they need to do is to get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this shit and it’s over.’”
If Bush thinks the whole thing will be over the minute Hezbollah ceases to attack Israeli civilians, then he recognizes that the Israelis do not want a foreign war, and are merely defending themselves from unprovoked, terrorist Hezbollah attacks. The question of who “they” are is of course interesting and I will address it in a forthcoming piece, but the above makes it clear that the US president sees Hezbollah as a Syrian pet.
We may conclude the obvious: It is Syria that attacked Israel.
Now, what grievance does Hezbollah -- Syria’s Lebanese tool against innocent Israeli civilians -- officially say that it has against Israel? According to the same Lebanese Army document quoted above,
“The national resistance which is confronting the Israeli occupation [i.e. Hezbollah] is not a guerilla and it has no security role inside the country and its activities are restricted to facing the Israeli enemy.”
But when that document was published, Israel had already withdrawn from Lebanon some time before, had it not? Yes, it had. So why was there still a large terrorist movement inside Lebanon -- Hezbollah -- that was claiming to be “confronting the Israeli occupation,” if this occupation no longer existed? What land were they saying they were going to liberate? The same document explains:
“This resistance led to the withdrawal of the enemy from the bigger part of our occupied land and is still persistent to free the farms of Shebaa.”
In other words, yes, Israel had evacuated Lebanon, but what about the Shebaa Farms? Israel was still in possession of the Shebaa Farms.
What are the farms of Shebaa?
“The Shebaa Farms lie at the borders of Lebanon, Syria and Israel. Israel has occupied it since winning it from Syria in the six-day war of 1967. The UN has ruled that the land belonged to Syria, but a majority of Lebanese claim it as their own, including Hizbollah, who use Israel’s occupation of the area as the logic behind their maintenance of armed militia.”
Is your mind bending? The Hezbollah, in Lebanon, claims as its reason for continuing its murders of Israeli civilians that it is fighting for a piece of land that belonged to Syria before 1967. But if before 1967 this land belonged to Syria, then when was this a part of Lebanon? Never. Independent Lebanon begins in 1943. But we can go further back, because Shebaa Farms was not even in pre-independence Lebanon.
The European colonialists who created entirely arbitrary countries in the Middle East put Shebaa Farms in the arbitrary country that became Syria, not the arbitrary country that became Lebanon.
The same wire reports,
Really? Syria bequeathed Shebaa Farms to Lebanon? How strange, then, that the UN, as mentioned above, should have ruled that this land, before 1967, belonged to Syria. The UN is certainly no friend of Israel's, but it is constrained by the fact that Shebaa Farms had never belonged to Lebanon, and by the fact that it was Syria that lost Shebaa Farms to Israel in the 1967 Six Day War.
And yet despite all this, Syria -- too -- now claims that Shebaa Farms is Lebanese territory! In truth, however, “The Syrian government has yet to officially [my emphasis] reverse its long-standing position that the area is part of Syria, and every known map produced to date by the Syrian government shows the area as part of Syria.” In other words, Syria is saying in public that Shebaa Farms is Lebanese territory but it doesn't really mean it.
But this nonsense is perfectly transparent.
First, the farms of Shebaa no longer rightfully belong to Syria because the Six Day War of 1967 was provoked by the Arab states, including Syria, with the publicly stated goal of seeking the destruction of the state and people of Israel. When you lose a piece of land trying to exterminate your neighbor, you don’t have a right to get it back.
Why are the farms of Shebaa important?
Though they constitute the tiniest piece of land in the world,[15a] the farms of Shebaa are part of the Golan Heights, strategic high territory on the Syrian-Israeli border that Syria regularly used to kill Israeli farmers, shelling them from above. It is the Golan Heights that Syria lost in 1967. The Golan Heights are a big deal: a Pentagon study determined that if Israel were to relinquish the Golan Heights it would commit suicide.
Since losing the Golan Heights, Syria cannot kill Israeli civilians from positions in its own territory. This helps explain why Syria subsequently took over Lebanon and has been sponsoring terrorist attacks against Israel from there. The public excuse for this Lebanon-based terrorism used to be opposition against the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon (which occupation had begun as an attempt to eradicate anti-Israeli terrorism from southern Lebanon…).
But then Israel evacuated southern Lebanon in 2000, and in fact Israel
It was therefore impossible to claim, from this point onwards, that there was an Israeli occupation to resist in southern Lebanon. This is why, in order to continue the murder of innocent Israelis, the Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon now claim that they want to liberate the Shebaa Farms (which were once part of Syria, and were never part of Lebanon). Not coincidentally, the earliest Lebanese claim to Shebaa Farms that I can find is from...the year 2000, the same year that Israel completely withdrew from Lebanon.
Why are the Syrians endorsing Hezbollah's nonsense claim? Because there is a real commitment, here, to the killing of Jews: any absurdity will be tolerated, so long as it can be raised as a flag to justify attacking innocent Jewish life. The entire circus is naturally a Syrian concoction to attack Israel -- there is no real Lebanese grievance here. If Syria were to regain the Shebaa Farms, through Lebanon, it would be regaining a foothold on the strategic Golan Heights, which will vastly enhance Syria’s ability to destroy Israel -- its furious goal.
Before closing, let me point out that if US President George Bush is genuinely surprised that the Syrians unleashed Hezbollah against Israel, forcing the Israeli government -- which had been graciously collaborating with the US-ordered process of national self-destruction -- to retaliate in self-defense, then Bush did not want this particular war. His apparent displeasure is consistent with that. HIR will soon publish an article examining this hypothesis.
Footnotes and Further Reading
 “In June 1978, Prime Minister [Menachem] Begin, under intense American pressure, withdrew Israel's Litani River Operation forces from southern Lebanon… The withdrawal of Israeli troops without having removed the PLO from its bases in southern Lebanon became a major embarrassment to the Begin government…”
1982-1983 -- The US military rushed into Lebanon to protect the PLO from the
Israelis; from “IS THE US AN ALLY OF ISRAEL: A Chronological look at the
evidence”; Historical and Investigative Research; by Francisco Gil-White.
 “Constitutionally guaranteed Christian control of the government had come under increasing fire from Muslims and leftists, leading them to join forces as the National Movement in 1969, which called for the taking of a new census and the subsequent drafting of a new governmental structure that would reflect the census results. Political tension became military conflict, with full-scale civil war in April 1975. The Maronite leadership called for Syrian intervention in 1976, leading to the presence of Syrian troops in Lebanon, and an Arab summit in 1976 was called to stop the crisis.”
Nations Security Council Resolution 1559 | From Wikipedia, the free
Council calls on Lebanon to assert control over all its territory”; UN News
Service; 23 January 2006.
[6a] "The Syrian-Lebanese Supreme Council held its first session here today ... formed in accordance with a syrian-lebanese accord signed in May ... both countries' prime ministers, deputy prime ministers, defense ministers and parliament speakers attended the meeting ... "
 This was
taken from the Lebanese army website:
According to Wikipedia, this was the Lebanese government’s reply to UN resolution 1559.
 SOURCE: "Hezbollah: Between Tehran and Damascus"; Middle East Intelligence Bulletin; Vol. 4, No. 2; February 2002; by Gary C. Gambill and Ziad K. Abdelnour
 CHATTER WE WON'T HEAR; EVER WONDER WHAT THOSE WORLD LEADERS MIGHT BE SAYING WHEN THE MICROPHONES ARE OFF?, The Toronto Sun, July 20, 2006 Thursday, FINAL EDITION, EDITORIAL/OPINION; Pg. 20, 513 words, BY RACHEL MARSDEN
[9a] The Beirut Tea Party, The New York Times, March 10, 2005 Thursday, Late Edition - Final, Section A; Column 6; Editorial Desk; Pg. 27, 776 words, By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
 This was
taken from the Lebanese army website:
According to Wikipedia, this was the Lebanese government’s reply to the UN’s 23 January 2006 request that Lebanon comply with UN resolution 1559.
 Israelis exchange fire with Hezbollah in disputed area, The Independent (London), February 4, 2006 Saturday, Second Edition, NEWS; Pg. 26, 475 words, By Hugh Macleod in Shebaa, south Lebanon
[12a] Israel Must Return Shebaa Farms to Lebanon: PM, XINHUA GENERAL NEWS SERVICE, May 4, 2000, Thursday, WORLD NEWS; POLITICAL, 243 words, BEIRUT, May 4
 “Israel finally withdrew from the "security zone" in 2000, during the Prime Ministership of Ehud Barak. Israel continues to control a small area called "Shebaa Farms", which Lebanon and Syria claim to be Lebanese territory but Israel insists to be former Syrian territory with the same status as the Golan Heights, since they have captured it from the Syrians. The United Nations has determined that Shebaa Farms is not part of Lebanon. The UN Secretary-General had concluded that, as of 16 June 2000, Israel had withdrawn its forces from Lebanon in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 425 of 1978, bringing closure to the 1982 invasion as far as the UN was concerned.”
 For the genocidal intentions of Israel’s attackers in the run-up to the 1967 war, read the following piece:
[15a] To see Shebaa Farms on a map, visit:
 1964-67 --
Although Israel suffered terrorist attacks from its Arab neighbors
during these years, when they staged a full-scale military provocation, the
US refused to help; from “IS THE US AN ALLY OF ISRAEL: A Chronological look
at the evidence”; Historical and Investigative Research; by Francisco
 The following piece discusses the Pentagon study in its political context, and links to the original document (to go directly to the Pentagon study, see below):
< PENTAGON STUDY:
»» This Pentagon document was apparently declassified in 1979 but not published until 1984. It was published by the Journal of Palestine Studies:
And by the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs:
»» And as an appendix in:
They Fight, The Washington Post, July 14, 2006 Friday, Final Edition,
Editorial; A21, 825 words, Charles Krauthammer
Bush to Blair: “...what they need to
do is to get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this shit and it’s over.”
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Hezbollah Hizbollah Hizbu'llah Hizb'allah
What is Hezbollah?
What is Hizbollah?
What is Hizbu'llah?
What is Hizb'allah?