The question as to whether Hezbollah has received Scud missiles from
It has long been known that Hezbollah was replenishing most of its depleted weapons stock after the 2006 July War. One UN report after another has highlighted the Syrian-Hezbollah breach of Security Council resolutions 1559 and 1701.
In September 2009, the intelligence community in
By mid-February 2010, the missiles had literally disappeared off the radar, which meant that they had either found their way to Hezbollah, or had been sent back to Syrian army depots. The State Department officially warned the Syrians against potentially shipping the missiles to Hezbollah on February 26.
On April 10, I reported the
This time, all hell broke loose.
Newer reports have now surfaced that the missiles are actually M-600s, the Syrian version of the Iranian Fateh-110, rather than Scud-Ds. Whether the rockets actually made it into the hands of Hezbollah’s fighters could not be verified.
Be that as it may, the crisis has highlighted several issues: first,
And herein lays a Syrian dilemma.
Third, Arab diplomacy is always a case of too little too late. A number of Arab officials argued that Scuds could not have been shipped to Hezbollah and remained unnoticed. The argument is irrelevant. Either Arab capitals are opposed to
Fourth, Lebanese officials watched the missile crisis unfold before their eyes, and did nothing. This inability to act by every elected Lebanese official is their own doing. Lebanese politicians are always consumed by their endless bickering, and never willing to act as independent and sovereign officials. Pressure applied by
Opportunism has become the staple of every Lebanese politician, and aspiring politicians. None of the Lebanese officials, whether in the legislative or executive branches, are willing to take any stance that might jeopardize their fortunes of staying in office.
Lebanese President Michel Sleiman, nearly two years after his election, remains as ineffective as ever. The rest of the Lebanese bureaucracy, especially
The Scud missile crisis might have shown
Hussain Abdul-Hussain is a visiting fellow at Chatham House and a correspondent for Al-Rai newspaper.
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