North Lebanon and the Green Light to Syria - By Sami Kleib
Every slain who falls in North Lebanon is a loss. The game of nations is bigger than all those inter-fighting on the battlefield. It is even bigger than their masters.
The equation has changed ever since Washington laid open that al-Qaeda had penetrated the Syrian opposition. The US is now in crosshairs to torpedo the organization in Syria and North Lebanon.
Besides, a fresh statement by the Deputy Russian Foreign Minister, Ginadi Gatilov, has just refreshed the memory about the international equation, as he reminded that al-Qaeda, in tandem with [other] terrorist groups, was behind the bombings in Syria.
One might as well stop at what a senior "Israeli" official from the North Brigade has told the Agence France Press. ""Israel" is concerned over al-Qaeda acceding to the Golan Heights," AFP quoted him as saying. And this is just in public. Yet behind closed doors, security seniors from Damascus and Beirut are quite abreast of how officials from the US and Europe have been flocking into Syria and Lebanon, for the past couple of months, just to closely scrutinize al-Qaeda, while the organization is being fought by the very Americans and British in Yemen.
Indeed, North and South Lebanon were sought to be at loggerheads. A sweeping sectarian tension has been simmered on both local and regional arenas, revolving around the West's greatest aim: to cordon Iran off and cripple its wings in Syria and South Lebanon.
But the US had to see the table turned on it, very similarly to the time when it saw its relations with Taliban and Osama Bin Laden turning more than sour.
The international equation started to shift. It hasn't completely changed as yet; it just started to wave its way through change.
Russia's Valdimir Putin seems to be tougher than expected. Just a terse time after regaining presidency over the federal state, the man struck unflagging words.
Right from the center of the Kremlin, with landmark Tsar poise, Putin avowed he was against any foreign interference in the states' domestic affairs. He also reiterated stark rejection of the missile shield, echoing previous stances by military officials. He even lampooned the US and the West. The President of Russia will skip both the G8 meeting in Camp David and the NATO Chicago summit.
Russia is lifting high the ceiling of conditions of the international deal, which US President Barack Obama--bracing for a second mandate--seems to be short of sealing.
With many irons in the fire, Putin is armed enough as a "fresh" president, while America's Obama is under the mercy of numerous "lobbies," outgoing Nicolas Sarkozy has staggered and fallen, and Germany's Angela Merkel has drawn a blank in the elections just days ago, at a time when [ill-fated] Europe is heavily saddled with the financial hardship.
Putin is also armed with a substantial international alliance within the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa).
On the regional level, the Russian President reckons on two allies that have proven to be stronger than some have deemed. It is Iran on one hand, where conservatives have hit the spot during the last polls; and it is Syria on the other, given the consistency of the Syrian Army on the side of the regime versus an opposition that continues to disintegrate. One shall not shrug off the results of May 7 legislative elections!
Not much is left for the West to do, except to look for compromises with the Russians. But the Tsar imposes the terms of any deal.
The balance of power is indeed swinging his way. In fact, Putin was the first to speak out about the presence of armed and terrorist groups on the Syrian territories.
Al-Qaeda has really emerged in Syria and North Lebanon; and here is Hizbullah hitting the high points in the regional balance of terror, namely following the last speech of the party's leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah.
Besides, the much obfuscated image of the Muslim Brotherhood has just started to fan the fears of the West, particularly after the Salafists appeared behind them and that many returned to term "Israel" as "the enemy," entailing a reconsideration of the 1978 Camp David Accords.
Furthermore, too many view Iran's nuclear talks in Baghdad with the P5+1 (UN Security Council's five permanent members + Germany) with positivity.
In the Gulf, talks about a unity between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, as well as Iran-slamming statements issued during the GCC consultative summit in Riyadh, seem to be a harbinger on a Gulf dismay over the ongoing "wooing" and the two-pronged hotline between Tehran and Washington.
A US rejection of a Saudi-Qatari request to arm the Syrian opposition was just another blow dealt to the Gulf.
Turning to Iran, a détente over the long-simmering nuclear dossier looms.
Come what may, the US and the West are put through the mill as the [US-Western] axis has considerably degenerated, especially that it is now swallowing the bitter pill in Iraq and Afghanistan, where it planted tension pockets. This has also taken a toll on the US and West electorate amid a contentious economic crisis.
At this very time, Tripoli is exploding. There is a painstaking coordination on the level of security between Lebanese, Syrian, and western official authorities confirming the necessity to curb the expansion of al-Qaeda and Salafists in the region. It is to note that many security meetings took place between officials from Lebanon, Syria, and Gulf states, including KSA itself-and Prince Muqren Bin Abdul Aziz knows better about those encounters.
All this indicates that the green light is about to be lit, since the party prone to control such an expansion is well known, nay well experienced, albeit the international backlashes it receives.
However, if what is sought is to set a trap for Syria and Hizbullah, then the worst is yet to come.