Following the election of Michel 'Aoun as Lebanon's new president and the appointment of Sa'd Al-Hariri to form a new government, Saudi journalist Khalaf Al-Harbi wrote in his daily column in the Saudi government daily 'Okaz that Saudi Arabia must not support the Al-Hariri government or assist it politically or economically. This, because such support would enable Hizbullah to continue its military involvement in Syria as part of Assad's war of extermination against his own people, and would leave Lebanon hostage to Hizbullah and its patron, Iran. He added that Saudi Arabia should demand that Hizbullah withdraw from Syria as a condition for maintaining any kind of ties with the Lebanese state. He concluded by warning that Hizbullah's fighters, who do not hesitate to kill Syrian children, would not hesitate to kill Saudi children, and asked his readers: "Will you extend political and financial aid to those who kill your children?"
The following is a translation of the article:
Khalaf Al-Harbi (image: 'Okaz, Saudi Arabia)
"Lebanon is flesh of our flesh. Our love for it and for its people is beyond doubt. Our dearest wish is that the latest arrangements [reached there], thanks to which a president has been elected after a relatively long period of [presidential] vacuum, will lead to Lebanon resuming [its status] as a fortress of liberty, culture and beauty. However, we must always take into consideration that Lebanon is unable to free itself of the Iranian equation that Hizbullah has imposed upon it by the force of arms. Hence, however much we love our Lebanese brothers, we must always remember that an entire army of [Hizbullah] fighters crossed the borders of this small country in order to kill our brothers in Syria. This means that, in the current situation, any military or financial support for Lebanon will first of all mean perpetuating Iran's control over the decision-making in Beirut, and consenting to the killing of more innocent Syrians throughout Syria.
"Many will say that [Saudi Arabia's] desertion of Lebanon in this dangerous situation might [only] push it towards the Iranian axis. No matter, let them run [to Iran] if they wish to. This is preferable to our being part of a ridiculous game in which Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states support a Sa'd Al-Hariri government, thereby freeing Hizbullah to burn Syria without worrying about the internal situation in Lebanon. We must understand that any political or economic support for the Lebanese government is like building a sand castle, because Hizbullah can, at any moment, expel Sa'd Al-Hariri and General [Michel 'Aoun] from Beirut, as it has done in the past. Then, when it's too late, we will realize that we have failed to learn from past mistakes and have fallen into the same trap for the thousandth time.
"We are certainly not obliged to fix a skewed political situation that is not of our making, especially when we are in a difficult economic situation that does not allow us to lavish funds on a government that [Hizbullah secretary-general] Hassan Nasrallah can depose with a television speech lasting no more than five minutes.
"Hizbullah's withdrawal from Syria must be the first condition we pose for holding political and economic ties with Lebanon. This, so that we do not inadvertently become party to the war of extermination with which our brothers, the Syrian people, are contending, and so our good intentions, or naivete, do not lead us to perpetuate the current situation, in which the will of the Lebanese state has fallen hostage to a militia subordinate to Iran.
"[Go ahead and] love Lebanon, but remember that this is the country from which the Hizbullah fighters set forth to Syria in full sight of the government and with the indirect backing of [the Lebanese] army. Know that these fighters, whose salaries are paid by Iran, will not really distinguish between murdering a Syrian child and murdering your own children, should they have a chance to do so. [In fact], they have already done so in the past, by means of terror attacks and espionage operations in Kuwait, Bahrain, the UAE and eastern [Saudi Arabia], not to mention [their] support of the Houthis in Yemen. Will you extend political and financial aid to those who kill your children?"
 'Okaz (Saudi Arabia), November 8, 2016.