US ‘mediation’ :arms for Israel, threats for Lebanon

The Hezbollah-led resistance does not want war but is not afraid of it.

The dispatch of US presidential envoy Amos Hochstein to occupy Jerusalem and Beirut this week means the prospect of an expanded war on the Lebanese front is growing and coming close to detonation.

This emissary, who served in the Israeli army, is bearing gifts of arms, ammunition, and hi-tech weaponry for his Israeli compatriots.

To the Lebanese, he is bringing veiled threats accompanied by an ‘initiative’ to halt or freeze the rolling war of attrition Hezbollah has been courageously and skilfully waging in support of the steadfast resistance in the Gaza Strip, and which has escalated fiercely in recent weeks.

The US failed to dupe the Gaza resistance, using Arab go-betweens, into agreeing to a temporary truce that would free the Israeli captives in exchange for fake promises of a possible future cease-fire.

Without an end to the assault on Gaza, the expansion of the war on the northern front alarms the US because it knows it would be very costly not just for Israel, but also for itself, its influence in the Middle East, and the security and survival of its military bases throughout the region.

A second war in South Lebanon alongside the war on Gaza, in addition to the Ukraine war, would be devastatingly draining for the US at every level. Hochstein has been sent to defuse the tension before it is too late in the hope he might succeed where his fellow Zionist Antony Blinken failed in his eight trips to the Middle East since the al-Aqsa flood.

In the past few days, some 400 Hezbollah missiles and drones have reached Safad and Tabariyya deep inside Galilee, firebombed most of the northern settlements, and taken out air defences at Ramon airbase. Earlier, they downed a sophisticated Israeli drone overflying Lebanon and destroyed a crucial giant surveillance balloon. These successive blows show Israel’s vaunted ‘deterrence power’ has not only been eroded but is on the verge of total disintegration.

While writing this article, I received a call from Lebanese President Emile Lahoud to wish me a blessed Eid al-Adha, as he regularly does with his Muslim friends and admirers. When I asked him how he expected the current tense situation to unfold, he replied with reference to Hochstein’s upcoming visit: “They want to achieve through deception and lying promises what they failed to achieve in the June 2006 war: to remove the resistance from the border to north of the Litani river on the pretext of easing tensions, avoiding war, and preventing the situation from getting out of control.”

The aim, he added, is to rescue Israel and stem the flight of its settlers from Galilee and elsewhere. “But they will fail. The resistance under the leadership of Sayid Hassan Nasrallah, who I know well, is well aware of their plans. It will not retreat by a single millimetre, and will continue fighting in solidarity and support of our people in the Gaza Strip. The resistance today is tens of times more powerful than it was in 2006. I reassure everyone that the plan will not pass and victory is coming.”

I don’t want war in Lebanon or anywhere else, but if war is imposed on the resistance, it will be the Israeli government’s biggest and worst folly, and its last.

The Hezbollah-led resistance in Lebanon has already bled the Israeli enemy — bombarding settlements, destroying military outposts, and sending tens of thousands of settlers packing — without firing a single one of the precision missiles in its arsenal of 200,000 (as estimated by Israeli generals).

Also, a major confrontation on the Lebanese front would bring in all the states and paramilitary groups in the Axis of Resistance, including Iran and Syria. The Lebanese resistance would not be left to fight alone, just as it did not leave the Palestinian resistance in Gaza to fight alone.

Tens of thousands of fighters would flood into South Lebanon from Syria, Iraq, Algeria, Yemen, and maybe also Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, to fight alongside Hezbollah and its allies.

Hochstein deceived the Lebanese once with his fake promises and guarantees that they would be allowed to extract their offshore oil and gas to alleviate their crippling economic crisis. He is now trying to pull off another deception employing a different style, this time accompanied by threats and US aircraft carriers. He will fail and return empty handed.

The Lebanese resistance does not want war, but is not afraid of it.

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