Lebanese political analyst Saleh El Machnouk said in an April 16, 2023 episode of the MTV Podcast, which belongs to the Lebanon-based MTV channel, that Lebanon is bearing the brunt of the "unity of fronts" against Israel. He asked why the joint operations room of the "resistance axis" is set up specifically in Beirut and not in another capital, and he said while countries in the Gulf deliberated over the location of U.S. CENTCOM commander General Kenneth McKenzie, Lebanon has hosted IRGC Qods Force commander Esmail Qaani. He elaborated that Iran uses Hizbullah as a "subcontractor" that in turn uses Hamas as its "subcontractor" to fire rockets at Israel from southern Lebanon, particularly since the Palestinian Authority won't allow Hamas to operate in the West Bank. El Machnouk also said that if Lebanon were a "real state," it would have arrested the people who fired the rockets at Israel and banished Hamas and its leader Ismail Haniyeh, in a fashion similar to how the Colombian government went into the jungles to fight the Colombian drug cartels. He added that regardless, Lebanon is not a "normal country" and people don't even know the name of its defense minister.
Saleh El Machnouk: "I'd like to understand something about the 'unity of fronts' theory. How come only one country always pays the price on behalf of all these fronts, while nobody is asking the people of that country whether they want all the fronts to be united at their expense?"
El Machnouk: "They tell you that the ranks of the resistance axis in the region are being reorganized, and there is a join operations room. Where?"
Interviewer: "In Lebanon."
El Machnouk: ""In Beirut. It can't be in Sana'a, it can't be in Damascus..."
Interviewer: "What do you want? They give you leadership..."
El Machnouk: "Saudi Arabia and the UAE are having a hotheaded clash over whether Gen. McKenzie's headquarters should be in Riyadh or Dubai. How come we end up with the headquarters of Esmail Qaani?
"No country on the face of the Earth has paid the price for someone else's cause as much as Lebanon has. In addition, they go for subcontracts at your expense.
"The Iranians do not want to fight, so they've subcontracted Hizbullah. Along comes Hizbullah and subcontracts Hamas. Then Hamas subcontracts some peasant in his village, in south Lebanon. Did you know that Hamas is not allowed to operate from half of Palestine? Hamas was banished from the West Bank.
"The [Palestinian] leadership banished Hamas. They are not allowed to fire rockets from the West Bank so they come to fire them from south Lebanon.
"Do you know the name of our Defense Minister?"
Interviewer: "Ahhh... no."
El Machnouk: "If you remember his name, I'll give you 10 dollars. Just imagine. You live in a country that was just on the brink of a regional war, after we had fired those rockets, yet you don't know the name of the Defense Minister. "
Interviewer: "Do you know his name or did you google it?"
El Machnouk: "I prepared his name here, because I was afraid I'd forget his name during the interview. I would have played this trick on you, and the would not remember his name myself... The Defense Minister is in a coma..."
Interviewer: "True. I haven't heard him."
El Machnouk: "The Foreign Minister said that we would lodge a complaint with the Security Council against Israel for its violation of Resolution 1701."
Interviewer: "But we started it..."
El Machnouk: "Brother, they have no shame. You fired 30 rockets, in violation of Resolution 1701, and their response was disproportionately feeble, yet you plan to lodge a complaint against them with the Security Council.
"The militia is not the entire problem. The [ruling] mafia is also a problem. You need to cripple both. If this was a normal country... I always give the example of FARC and Colombia. They also had a narco-militia operating in the jungles... But in their case, the state took action.
"If we had a [proper] state in Lebanon, the Prime Minister would issue a statement, saying that the military would take action today, would arrest the people who fired those rockets, would shut down Hamas' offices in Lebanon, would deport [Hamas leader] Ismail Haniyeh from Lebanon, and would start a military operation to confiscate the Palestinian weapons. That's what a real state would do."