Paris, 19 Aug. (IPS) As pro democracy groups in Lebanon, known as the “Forces of 14 March” went into attack against what they call “a coup” by the Iran and Syria-backed Hezbollah in the one hand and “a call for sedition from the Syrian president Bashar Asad”, Arab media, except in Syria, strongly came out, accusing Damascus and Tehran on direct involvement in the Lebanon War.
Saad Hariri, the son of the former Lebanese premier Rafiq Hariri assassinated last year very probably on orders from the young Assad, sharply accused the Syrian leader to “send a new missile on the Lebanese by exploiting shamelessly the blood of the sons of Qana, Gaza and Baghdad” and praising the Hezbollah while he is keeping silent over the occupation of Golan Heights.
For his part, Mr. Walid Jumblatt, the Druze leader, openly described Mr. Assad as a “criminal” and at the same time accused h Hezbollah of “trying to remodel Lebanon according to its priorities”.
"be aware of the enemies planting the virus of impatience and hesitation among the Lebanese people and divergences among Lebanese politicians”
“If Hezbollah refuse to be integrated into the Lebanese society, Lebanon would remain a theatre for confrontations among regional powers and Israel would take pretext from everything to again destroy our nation”, Mr. jumblatt warned.
Probably it is of fear to see his Lebanese protégé becoming the target of more criticism that Ayatollah Ali Khameneh’i, the leader of the Islamic Republic, in a letter to Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, the General Secretary of the Hezbollah, told him to be “aware of the enemies planting the virus of impatience and hesitation among the Lebanese people and divergences among Lebanese politicians”.
In fact, the war between Israel and Hezbollah has revealed profound disagreement in the Arab world between countries that support this Organisation and those that oppose it, headed by Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The disagreement was reflected in the Arab media, which published articles supporting Hezbollah along with harsh criticism and accusations against it.
One of the accusations leveled against the Party of God was that the organization does not serve the interests of the Lebanese people, but acts in the service of Syria and Iran, thereby jeopardizing Arab interests. Many articles argued that Syria and Iran had manufactured the crisis in order to draw world attention away from the Iranian nuclear issue and away from the results of the investigation into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri. It was also claimed that Iran was working to destroy the Arab countries from within by encouraging armed militias to rebel against the Arab regimes.
Supporters of Hezbollah in Syria and Lebanon rejected the claim that it was serving Syrian and Iranian agendas. They countered that it is Israel that is acting in the service of the West, which aims to redraw the map of the Middle East.
The following are excerpts from articles published in the Arab media:
“The abduction of the Israeli soldiers was planned in advance by Syria and Iran”, said Lebanese columnist Huda Al-Husseini in the London Arabic daily “Al-Sharq Al-Awsat”, adding: "These two countries want to leave their troubles behind, and both of them are holding some of the same cards, including Hamas and Hezbollah.
Syria wants to break out of its isolation and to wreak havoc [in the region] in order to avoid the consequences of the investigation into the murder of [former Lebanese] prime minister Rafiq Al-Hariri, and Iran wants to avoid giving any response to the European-American proposal [regarding its nuclear program]...
"Iran dispatched the head of its nuclear negotiations team, Ali Larijani, [to Europe] in order to postpone the date on which it would have to stop its uranium enrichment activities, and when it heard that the matter would be referred to the Security Council, the abduction of the two Israeli soldiers was carried out... Larijani made a surprise visit to Damascus and consulted with Syrian Vice-President Farouq Al-Shar', after receiving instructions from Tehran to instigate a regional crisis which would draw attention away from Iran.
[Larijani] spoke of the need for a war against Israel, and [Farouq Al-Shar'] replied that the occupation justifies resistance [activities] in Lebanon and Palestine... Syria speaks of resistance, even at the cost of Lebanon's destruction, and Iran speaks in the name of all Muslims. Lebanon has [thus] been taken hostage by Hizbullah, Syria and Iran, and Islam [itself] has almost become a hostage to Iran's aspirations... Why must Lebanon always pay the price for the adventurism of local forces that are supported by regional forces?"
Under the title “The Timing of the Operation - on the Same Day That Iran's Nuclear Dossier was Referred to the Security Council - Indicates Direct Iranian Involvement”, Abd Al-Rahim Ali, director of the Arab Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy in Cairo, wrote in the Egyptian government daily “Al-Ahram”: "When Hezbollah responded to Iran's promptings and to incitement by other regional [forces], it knew that it was starting a war between two unequal forces - [a war] whose full price would be paid by the Lebanese people alone... When [Iran] saw that its [nuclear] dossier would soon be transferred to the Security Council, it decided to use Lebanon, along with Iraq, as a bargaining card to increase the pressure on the Americans”.
“The question is whether the Lebanese people must [really] be subjected to all this destruction for the sake of a campaign in which they have no part. If the abduction of the two Israeli soldiers had been carried out during an Israeli offensive in South Lebanon, or during fighting between [Israel] and Hizbullah, this escapade might have been justifiable. But the timing of the operation was puzzling, and clearly indicates Iranian involvement in the crisis".
For its part, Tareq Al-Humeid, editor-in-chief of the London Arabic daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, wrote that, "It is inconceivable that our abilities and resources should be destroyed and eliminated [just] because [some] group has decided to set the region on fire in the service of foreign agendas... Those who wish to fight Israel should bear the consequences [for their own actions] - especially since, in his speeches, Nasrallah presents himself as the ultimate Arab leader and says that he 'is not asking for anyone's help.' The same goes for [Hamas Political Bureau head] Khaled Mash'al. You two [i.e. Nasrallah and Mash'al] should bear responsibility [for the situation you have created] and suffer the consequences yourselves".
In Cairo, Mohammad Ali Ibrahim, chief editor of the Egyptian government daily “Al-Gumhuriyya” wrote: "We are faced with two plans, each more dangerous than the other. The first is the Israeli-American plan which seeks to destroy the Arab countries from without, either through military operations or by means of economic restrictions. The second is the Iranian plan which seeks to destroy the Arab states from within [by using] Hizbullah in Lebanon and Hamas in Palestine [as proxies], and by swallowing Iraq, [an aim] which seems to have already been realized... Iran wishes and plans to turn the entire Arab world into a [assortment of] armed militias like Hizbullah”.
"The next struggle in the Arab world will be a struggle between two axes or camps - the Iranian [axis] and the American [axis] - and Lebanon seems to be the first instance of a struggle between the two... These two axes are seeking to wage war on their own behalf, or by employing proxies so as to not dirty their own hands”, he went on, adding: “These wars will deepen the rift between the movements and the states [in which they operate], or between the insurgents and the Arab regimes - or, to be explicit, between the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and Hezbollah [on the one hand] and the Arab governments [on the other].
The proof of [the truth] of my statement is the demonstration at which Sheikh Mahdi 'Akef, the supreme guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, called for jihad against Israel. This is an Iranian jihad, which aims to destroy Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan from within by turning them into [a battleground] for various militias, as is occurring in Lebanon..."
The abduction of the Israeli soldiers was planned in advance by Syria and Iran.
Egyptian columnist Hazem Abd Al-Rahman wrote in the Egyptian government daily “Al-Ahram”: "[Let me say it] for the thousandth time - all Iran wants is to extend its hegemony over the eastern Arab countries, and it is trying to use Hizbullah as a Trojan horse to achieve this aim. [Hezbollah] is paying [the price] in [sacrificing] the lives of its leaders, activists and supporters, and in the future [it will pay the price] by [sacrificing] the people and resources of Lebanon. Iran, [on the other hand], only reaps the benefit, and Iranian President Ahmadinejad contents himself with making fiery speeches about a new Middle East without Israel." 
Probably, one of the most virulent attack came from Ashraf Al-Ajrami, the columnist for the Palestinian Authority daily “Al-Ayyam”, saying: "It may be said that the Damascus-Tehran axis, which includes Hezbollah and Hamas - who are supporting actors but are playing a primary role - wanted to wreak havoc in the region, and [carried out this plan] in two main arenas - Palestine and Lebanon. [They] used the Palestinians and the Lebanese as pawns in the international game, in order to promote the interests of Tehran and Damascus in their conflict with the U.S. and in order to strengthen their international status..."
Jamal Hashukji, former editor of the Saudi daily “Al-Watan”, characterized the Saudi objection to Hezbollah's actions as "courageous", but said that it had come too late, since the Arab countries should have worked to disarm Hezbollah in advance [of the war].
"Saudi Arabia," he wrote, "was not the only one who [woke up] too late. So did the other Arab states, which neglected [to do anything about] Hizbullah's special status that has been prevailing for many years, waiting for firm Arab intervention to put an end to it. The U.S. also [woke up] too late, and should be held responsible for generating the present crisis by neglecting the peace process...
"One did not have to be a prophet or a psychic to foresee a [future] crisis in Lebanon... Hizbullah is the primary [side] that had an interest in the recent escalation. Political forces in Lebanon demanded its disarmament even before Israel and America [made this demand]. [So] Hezbollah extended its military life by kidnapping the two [Israeli] soldiers and setting the region on fire. Iran, [for its part], was interested in drawing attention away from its nuclear project. And Syria - angry, anxious, and hurting because of the loss of its hegemony over Lebanon - was interested in drawing attention away from the investigation into the assassination of Prime Minister Al-Hariri...
Ahmad Al-Jarallah, editor-in-chief of the Kuwaiti dailies “Arab Times” and “Al-Siyassa”, wrote: "Forgetting the interests of their own countries, Hamas and Hezbollah have gone so far as to represent the interests of Iran and Syria in their countries. These organizations became representatives of Syria and Iran without worrying about the consequences of their action...
"The fact that Hamas and Hezbollah gave the same reason for kidnapping the Israeli soldiers gives us a glimpse of their agenda, which is similar to the agenda of Syria and Iran in their conflict with the United States".
For the Syrians, like he Iranians, “This was a New Imperialist War”, as stated the Syrian government daily “Teshreen”, claiming that “it is the American administration that is making the decisions in this war against Lebanon, while Israel only carries out its instructions”.
"This imperialist war to which Lebanon and the [Muslim] nation are being subjected proves that these new imperialists do not respect the U.N. resolutions or the Convention on Human Rights... Their only goal is to divide our Arab region and carve it up into smaller and smaller [pieces] in order to implement their [plan for a] 'New Middle East'. [Israeli Minister] Shimon Peres announced [this plan] one day, and the American administration then directed Israel to begin the implementation of its first phase. The disturbing question in this context is this: Will the [Muslim] nation wake up [in time] to defend its identity and honor before we all sink?..."
Syrian columnist Mohammad Ali Boza expressed same kind of concern, wrote in the Syrian government daily “Al-Thawra”: "[The actions of] targeting Lebanon, changing its face, and redrawing its map are merely another stage in the series of hasty, foolish and reckless actions taken by the neo-conservatives in the U.S. and by their ally Israel with the aim of suborning the region to their authority, defeating it, and breaking its will”.
“It is the Bush administration that is running... this destructive and murderous war, which moves [from one country to another in the Middle East], while Olmert's government supplies the mechanism [for carrying it out]. [In light of] the failure of [the American] strategy in Iraq and its helplessness [there] after so many years... America [has decided] - in order to compensate itself and cover up [its failure]... - to expand the circle of fire and death by aiming all this criminal, blind hatred at Lebanon..."
Another article in the same daily said: "The war that is currently waging [in Lebanon], with its declared and undeclared goals, makes us more certain than ever that Israel and the U.S. are the forces behind the assassination of [former Lebanese prime minister] Rafiq Al-Hariri. The assassination was part of an unsuccessful attempt by the U.S. to enforce U.N. Resolution 1559. The aggression [we see] today began because Israel, as it turns out, is the only one who benefits from this resolution and from Al-Hariri's assassination..” ENDS ARAB MEDIA 19806