If the firing of rockets from southern Lebanon towards the settlement of Kiryat Shmona and Shebaa Farms means anything, it means that there is only one authority that controls Lebanon. It is Hezbollah.

Hezbollah is nothing but a brigade in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, with Lebanese elements. All in the matter, if we want to simplify matters, is that Aoun’s “Era of Strength” that has been in place since October 31, 2016 is nothing but a “Hezbollah era.”

In the ten years, between the signing of the Mar Mikhael Agreement in February 2006… and the election of Michel Aoun as president, the latter proved that he is ready to provide any Christian cover that Hezbollah needs. This included the 2006 summer war that the Shia group triggered and the assassination of Samer Hanna, a pilot officer in the Lebanese army, under the pretext that he was flying in southern Lebanon in an area prohibited to the army.

In any case, Aoun’s era carries regional implications and puts the fate of all Lebanon at risk. This explains the launch of rockets from southern Lebanon at this particular time. The missiles are an Iranian message. The message is that Lebanon is an integral part of the battle that the Iranian regime is waging in order to ensure that its expansionist project is not dead. South Lebanon is not different from the Gaza Strip, from which Hamas rockets are launched as soon as Tehran presses the button. This is happening at a time when there is no Lebanese government and no president of the republic who can emphasise to all that Lebanon is not “Hezbollah.”

In order for Gibran Bassil to reach the presidency of the republic, the Aoun era seems ready for all concessions, including complete surrender to Hezbollah. This is opposed by most Lebanese, who have proven once again that many of them are ready to confront Hezbollah. This is what was shown by the population of the Druze town of Chouya in the Hasbaya district whenthey intercepted a Hezbollah rocket launcher and its crew.

The incident revealed that the true spirit of resistance has not yet died in Lebanon. The country may be dead, but among its people there are those who still defend the culture of life.

In the end, there is no political authority in Lebanon that understands where Lebanon’s interest lies. There is only a political authority that is ready to acquiesce to all of Hezbollah’s demands.

The least that can be said is that surrendering to Hezbollah does not protect Lebanon as much as it pushes it to wither and decay.

In the final analysis, Lebanon has acquiesced to becoming another Gaza Strip. This strip, which has been ruled by “Hamas” since 2007, has turned into a Taliban-style Islamist emirate. What is the function of the Gaza Strip? Its only role is to show that Iran has missiles which have the range to target Tel Aviv. This function may have changed now with the revival of the Egyptian role in the strip.

Lebanon has only one option, that the Aoun era-ruling class will not dare take. This option is that the president of the republic, if there is a republic left, declares that Lebanon is not an Iranian base for missile attacks.

To put it more clearly, Lebanon needs to assert that it is not the Gaza Strip nor the Houthi-controlled Yemen, from where missiles and drones are directed at civilian targets in Saudi Arabia.

On what did the Aoun era bet by not lifting a finger to prevent the Beirut port blast a year ago? It bet on diluting the investigation into the bombing, so as not to reveal the truth about who brought ammonium nitrate to the port of Beirut, who stored it in hangar No. 12, and who took out the quantities that needed to be removed.

It is betting on a mirage, the mirage of Iran’s victory in the battle it is waging on the international community, on the one hand, and towards reaching a deal with the US administration, on the other. It is a losing bet from A to Z. A bet that will cost Lebanon a lot, after Hezbollah became the one and only authority in town.

Source » thearabweekly