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memri
June 14, 2007 No.
1620

Saudi Columnist in Scathing Criticism Of Hizbullah and Syria: They Are Trying To Destroy Lebanon Down to the Last Man

In her column in the Saudi daily Al-Riyadh, Hasna Al-Quna'ir harshly criticized the Lebanese opposition, headed by Hizbullah, for conspiring with foreign elements against Lebanon with the aim of destroying it. She went on to accuse Hizbullah of betraying the homeland by serving as an agent of non-Lebanese Arab and Islamic elements, and called for disarming it.

In her column, Al-Quna'ir hinted that it was Syria who had sent Fath Al-Islam into the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, and posited that Syria had played its final hand in its attempts to destroy Lebanon.

The following are the main points of Hasna Al-Quna'ir's column:[1]

The Opposition is Acting Like "A Gang Sworn to Destroy Its Homeland"

"... Since [Lebanon gained] its independence, this country has undergone ethnic and political conflicts one after the other, up until the outbreak of the bloody 1975-1990 conflict among the different ethnic communities and parties that was called the Lebanese civil war. [The war] ceased after [the signing of] the Taif Agreement – the non-implementation of which caused the unceasing crises that we are witnessing today in Lebanon. [These crises are] due to the alliances between influential Lebanese elements and external elements that seek to remain dominant in Lebanon.

"There is no doubt that none [of these external elements] could have gained even one inch of Lebanese land or spilled a single drop of blood on this land had it not been for the help of some of the Lebanese – those who conspire against their homeland. Indeed, throughout history there has never been [a country] whose sons have done to it what some of the Lebanese have done to their country.

"So [why] is it permitted only to reproach others [outside Lebanon]? Can we tell them 'Take your hands off Lebanon' while some Lebanese are happy about this… and conspire against their country – for the sake of narrow interests and aspirations that they could achieve even without conspiring with a foreigner against their homeland?

"In Lebanon, there is a group that claims to be the opposition. But its deeds are nothing but the deeds of a gang sworn to destroy its homeland, down to its last man, its last grain of earth, and its last drop of water. But this is not how an opposition acts. We have never heard nor read [of any] opposition – in the civilized world or in the uncivilized world – that acted towards its homeland like the Lebanese opposition is acting towards its homeland.

"Moreover, in modern democracies it has never happened that the parliamentary speaker conspired with enemies of the state, to the point of making them into an element helping to destroy the homeland, to spread anarchy within it, and to ruin its economic infrastructure. What kind of position is this for someone who is meant to be defending the constitution and who is responsible for the democratic process? Did [they threaten him] with assassination, as happened to others before him? What is life worth when one betrays principles and values?..."

Nasrallah is Betraying His Homeland

"Since the end of the war launched by [Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan] Nasrallah against Israel, on orders from abroad – the war that destroyed everything – Hizbullah has begun... to plunder the [Lebanese] government and to force its agenda on it – an agenda which is fundamentally external [to Lebanon] and is aimed at carrying out the [Syrian] threat to destroy Lebanon over the heads of its sons...

"Nasrallah has destroyed [Lebanon's] political, economic, and social life, and all the while has never stopped accusing the Lebanese government of having the disease that he himself has – that is, betrayal of the homeland...

"However, despite all the opposition's deeds, Lebanon is not dead... But at the same time, Lebanon's enemies and their lackeys have not despaired of destroying Lebanon, particularly with the approach of the [date] of the [U.N. Security Council's] approval of the international tribunal to try the assassins of [former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq] Al-Hariri and his associates.

"[After Lebanon's enemies] having played all their cards – including assassinations, bombings, Shi'ite ministers' quitting the government, a sit-down strike in the heart of Beirut, and blocking roads and intersections – the homeland has not crumbled, and the government has not fallen... After all their cards were burned, [Lebanon's enemies] turned to their last card – the card of the Palestinian refugee camps. These refugee camps have [now] become centers of conflict... and are subject to the agenda of elements whose interest it is to damage the security and stability of Lebanon."

Fath Al-Islam Was Sent By Lebanon's Enemies to Destroy It

"The increase in political tension in Lebanon is connected to the international pressures on Syria and Iran. As international pressure on Syria and Iran increases, so do the tension and escalation [in Lebanon]. This is done through the creation of political tension [in Lebanon] by means of [Syria's and Iran's] loyal allies, or through assassinations and bombings...

"The enemies of Lebanon, who seek its destruction and devastation, have exploited the terrorists being held in their prisons – some of them foreigners and some of them the remnants of Al-Qaeda, and their numbers are estimated in the thousands – in order to use them against Lebanon and against these terrorists' home countries. They sent them to the Palestinian refugee camps [in Lebanon] where the Lebanese army did not go.

"However, they disregarded the fact that these terrorists would expose them to the eyes of all when they were apprehended, and would name the element that recruited them and sent them to Lebanon to [join] the terrorist militia calling itself Fath Al-Islam. [Fath Al-Islam] is a terror organization that received support, aid, and weapons from an element [i.e. Syria] which since its emergence has taken it upon itself to poison the lives of the Arabs in general and of the Lebanese in particular."

There is No Justification for Leaving Weapons in Hizbullah's Hands

"The existence of armed militias that owe loyalty [to external elements] will lead Lebanon to an unknown future. Therefore, there is no escape from implementing the international decision [stating that] all armed militias must be disarmed, whether it is Hizbullah's weapons or the weapons of the Palestinian refugee camps…

"One of the most important things in any independent country that emerges from occupation or civil war is that all the forces in the field hand over all their weapons and ammunition to the country's regular army. In this way, the only [weapons] remaining in the country will be [weapons in the hands of the state]. With regard to [disarming] Hizbullah, this move should have been made since the Taif Agreement, but [the weapons] remained [in Hizbullah's hands] under the excuse that [they need them for] 'resistance' [against Israel in southern Lebanon]. But [now], when the role of these weapons has already ended, there is no reason for leaving them [in place] – unless they are being stockpiled for use against the internal Lebanese arena."



[1] Al-Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), June 10, 2007.