Lebanon’s Prime Minister Najib Mikati says he will resign his post if the parliament doesn’t agree to fund the United Nations Special Tribunal for Lebanon tasked with investigating and prosecuting the assassins of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
Hezbollah is undoubtedly furious. When the United Nations indicted four of its members for that spectacular act of terrorism in the capital (the bomb that killed Hariri weighed more than 2,000 pounds and changed the direction of that country’s history), it brought down the elected government and replaced Hariri’s son Saad with Mikati. Yet its very own hand-picked replacement refuses to comply with the one task he was ordered to carry out.
Furious as Hezbollah must be, it probably isn’t surprised. Earlier this year, Wikileaks published a leaked diplomatic cable that quoted Mikati describing Hezbollah as “cancerous” and wishing to see its state-within-a-state destroyed.
Syria, Iran and Hezbollah don’t have as many genuine allies in Lebanon’s government as it appears. A large number of Lebanon’s elite only works with them and for them because they have guns jammed into their backs. The years-long murder and intimidation campaign against Lebanese elected officials and journalists during and after the 2005 Cedar Revolution yielded results.
But that partially bogus alliance-under-duress is slowly unraveling now that the regime of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad appears to be circling the drain. God only knows what the political map of the Eastern Mediterranean will look like this time next year, but it’s not remotely likely to look the same as it has.