The killing of political activist Luqman Salim last week epitomizes the agony of Lebanon as it seeks to retain its sovereignty against the hostile forces plotting to keep it in turmoil by perpetuating its never-ending political crises.

Salim was a politician and a writer who sought to end the hardships of the Lebanese by emphasizing their unity. He pictured Lebanon as a nation taken hostage by the regional powers around it, especially Iran. Contrary to those who push for reform in Lebanon by appealing for help from outside powers, and in particular from Europe and the US, Salim established the responsibility of the people of Lebanon to organize themselves and take action to help improve their conditions.

This can be done by demonstrating publicly in an attempt by the people to restore their political dignity and reclaim their fundamental rights as citizens. Salim’s formula for change was to encourage the Lebanese to protest in a manner similar to how they articulated their demands on Oct. 17, 2019, and for a year afterward, when they denounced the many irregularities in Lebanese politics and society.

A chorus of voices condemned his killing. The most intriguing were the statements made by his sister, who accused Hezbollah of masterminding his kidnapping and assassination. She revealed that he frightened the group with his influential ideas. She added that her brother was an unarmed person fighting against a group of people who were launching rockets and were the cause of the explosion that devastated Beirut last year. She stated that her family has no confidence in the Lebanese judiciary and instead called for an international investigation to be conducted.

Hezbollah must certainly be reckoned with in terms of responsibility for the killing of Salim, due to the fact that he received many death threats from the group in the past. For the sake of avoiding similar actions, the whole world, including the new American administration, has to be concerned about Iran, Hezbollah and their agents executing their widespread terror.

The problem for Lebanon is not only the assassination of a prominent political figure, but also the historical question of the suffering of all Lebanese people, as they have become the subjects of Hezbollah’s brutality. The entire discussion surrounding Salim’s killing is an elaboration of the idea of the hegemony of Iran in the Arab world. It is an explanation of the integral part of the strategy to turn Lebanon into a client state for the theocracy ruling Iran, using violence to eliminate opponents and establish a zone of terror in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq.

It is not clear at present whether the Biden administration will continue the Donald Trump policy of singling out Iran and Hezbollah as political actors that use terrorism. But the assassination of Salim could be an attempt to show the new US president the evil of Iran and its allies in an effort to intimidate him into ending the Trump policy of fighting Tehran and its terrorism.

The inability of American foreign policy to terminate Hezbollah and Iran’s terrorism points to a deepening disorder in the Middle East that can disrupt societies and throw nations into chaos.

The Biden administration still adheres to the incorrect belief that stability in Lebanon requires positive contributions by Hezbollah. The reluctance of President Joe Biden and his top foreign policy and national security assistants to confront Hezbollah makes it a more potent force. By failing to take a tough stand against the killers of Salim, the US under Biden is overlooking Tehran’s ruinous vision for Lebanon and the entire Middle East.

Salim was an advocate for democracy and realized the need for unity among all Lebanese if they are to solve the intricate and difficult problems of denomination and social injustice in their country. His life story is that of a brave man who had the tender conscience and practical sagacity to know who the real enemies of his nation are. Let the truth he championed shine as a message that Lebanon shall be free from the tyranny of Hezbollah and Iran.

Source » arabnews