It is now clear that Lebanon is heading for complete financial meltdown. As Saad Hariri, the caretaker prime minister, reaches out to international institutions for help, the best way to describe the situation is not the bailout of a country but a full-on hostage being held for ransom situation.

Hezbollah has been holding Lebanon hostage for too long. The Iranian proxy’s leader Hassan Nasrallah, who proudly admits he is serving under the orders of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and Quds Force boss Qassem Soleimani, is the true decision-maker in the country. He is the regime, nobody else. President Michel Aoun, Hariri and their ilk are nothing but pragmatic puppets or useful idiots.

The ongoing protests, which are now in their third month, have taken all the Lebanese politicians by surprise. And, as the people’s resolve is not withering, Hezbollah is pushing the Lebanese security forces and the armed forces to do its dirty work by hitting back at the peaceful protesters. People are now left between a rock and hard place, as Hezbollah’s thugs are being unleashed and the sovereign institutions arrest the protesters rather than those who are attacking them.

It has been a constant aim of Hezbollah to weaken the state institutions. Hezbollah threatens all those who dare go after its main interest, which is full military and security control of the territory. The Iranian proxy — it should not be referred to as a Lebanese party — has been controlling all security points in the state to achieve its own objectives. Its mission is clear and simple: To maintain the Iranian balance of power in negotiations with the US and other international powers. Airports, ports, roads, communications, and networks (including electricity) are controlled by Hezbollah. It does not care about the people; it only cares about its mission. It is willing to resort to extreme violence to achieve what it wants, as it has done in Syria.

So where does this leave the protests? Unfortunately, it seems they have little hope of success. On a local level, without the support of the army to force change, nothing will happen and the risks to the lives and well-being of the protesters increase with time. On an international level, it seems the Europeans are keen on maintaining the regional status quo with Iran and not destabilizing Hezbollah in Lebanon in order to continue efforts to re-establish trade deals with Iran through INSTEX. As for the US, most voices are staying silent as the presidential election race is about to begin, and there is no clarity in any of the candidates’ future policies toward Iran and thus Lebanon.

This is also reflected in the low international interest in the protests taking place in Iraq, which have been much more violent, as well as in Iran itself. Yet what is happening in Lebanon is not only a protest against the mullahs’ interference in the country’s policies, but a stand for true state sovereignty. It is also beyond corruption, which is a symptom of a flawed and weak state.

As the situation worsens economically, and without any aid forthcoming, the people and public servants alike will no longer receive their salaries and there will be a shortage of imports. This situation can only be blamed on Hezbollah, Hariri, Aoun and all the political leaders, not the people. Another bailout and more debt will not solve the situation, but rather make the hostage-taker dictate the rules once again. It is time to force change and find a way to re-establish the country’s full sovereignty. This can only start with a single army and an end to Lebanese political forces offering international coverage for the mullahs’ nefarious interference. It may be wishful thinking, but — as a Lebanese — I choose this over reality and pragmatism.

Source » arabnews