Rustum Ghazaleh

The 'Commendable Terrorism' and the Condemnable Terrorism

Hezbollah's Reign of Terror in Lebanon is a 'Praiseworthy Terrorism!'

In an article published by AlArabiya on August 14, 2012, and entitled "Michel Samaha between judgment … and fate," the London-based Lebanese journalist Eyad Abu Shakra (Twitter: @eyad1949) discusses the terror affair of Michel Samaha -- an individual designated by the United States as a global terrorist -- while highlighting how Hezbollah intoxicates and stymies political life and judicial authority in Lebanon in multiple fashions. Here we share with the reader a synopsis of Abu Shakra's points:

Political bullying: "Hezbollah has continued to dominate Lebanon, starting by imposing 'governments' by the power of its arms, and by enforcing the implementation of election laws that suits its party interests."

The Lebanese convicted terrorist Michel SamahaPolitical stonewalling: "Hezbollah has worked to obstruct other fractions of the country, in the same time, it has attempted to enhance its ascendancy by purchasing lands and expand in various regions in Lebanon."

Political hypocrisy: "Hezbollah and the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus, applauded 'Arab spring', they all turned against it and chose to wage an open war when Syrians rebelled against the dictatorial, despotic and nepotism-ru, Ba’thist Syrian regime."

Judicial obstruction: "Hezbollah chose to ignore the Lebanese judiciary condemnation of one of the most prominent Aounist advisers who contacted Israeli intelligence."

Sectarian political manipulation: "Hezbollah has even emboldened and strengthened [Michel] Aoun’s position. It has also sought to enhance his standing within the Christian community in Lebanon."

Abu Shakra also emphasizes the alarming nature of the Samaha terror case, especially its links to both the Assad regime, through Major General Ali Mamlouk, and Hezbollah. Abu Shakra concludes, "Yesterday, without interfering with issues that the Lebanese courts are handling, one must say that many dangerous issues were revealed when deputy and former minister Michel Samaha, who is a close aide of President Bashar Assad and subsequently of Hezbollah and by extension of Aoun, was arrested and accused of security-related crimes."

That was in 2012.

On May 13, 2015, Samaha was convicted by a Military Tribunal of transporting bombs to from Syria to Lebanon and sentenced to four and a half years of imprisonment. A judicial year in Lebanon is only nine months. The Daily Star reported that Samaha "has been in jail since August 2012, and will be eligible for release in December" of this year.

Basically, this was a slap on the hand for Samaha -- a terrorist extraordinaire whose plan to blast ordinary citizens as well as politicians and clerics would have ignited a new round of sectarian strife and bloodshed in Lebanon.

Supporters of the Assad regime in Lebanon sought to undermine the charges against Samaha by alleging that transporting explosives between two locations is not a very serious crime, especially if the targets are enemies of Bashar Assad!

It was obvious that the military tribunal, which is perceived as heavily influenced by Hezbollah, was biased in its ruling. Indeed, there are numerous Sunni Muslims who were detained for extended periods of time without trial -- on the basis of allegations, or for much less serious crimes.

MP Khaled Daher, a Sunni Muslim, commented, "The Military Tribunal will be transformed from a court specializing in harming and subjugating Sunnis youths to a court that will subjugate every free element in Lebanon."

Lebanon's Justice Minister, General Ashraf Rifi (Twitter: @Ashraf_Rifi) tweeted, "The Military Tribunal is a tool in the hand of the authority. When the Assad regime [of Syria] was the authority, the Court was a tool in the hand of [the late Syrian General] Rustum Ghazaleh."

The Future Bloc released a statement that condemned “in the strong terms the lenient sentence issued by the Military Tribunal against the criminal terrorist Michel Samaha."

The Bloc noted that Samaha "was working, planning and directing a series of severe crimes by conspiring with the Syrian security agencies to target innocent civilians, religious figures and politicians.”

“The crimes could have caused the ugliest strife in the history of Lebanon,” the Bloc's statement highlighted.

The next day, Defense Minister Samir Moqbel countered by stating that, “Threatening and slandering judges and the judiciary is not acceptable by any means."

Moqbel added, "This campaign against the Military Tribunal at this time in particular has negative repercussions on the security situation" in the country.

Basically, Moqbel reconfirmed that demands for justice and accountability in Lebanon continue to be unwelcome. Previously, Hezbollah refused to allow the Lebanese security forces to arrest four members of the organization suspected in involvement in the terror blast that killed former Prime Minister Rafic Hariri (Twitter: @RaficBHariri), his companions, and passersby. The Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) (Twitter: @stlebanon) had submitted to the Lebanese Government warrants requiring the Hezbollah suspects' arrest.

So, it turns out that in Lebanon, as is the case in Iran, Syria, Iraq, Bahrain, and Yemen -- i.e., wherever there exists militants loyal to, or allied with the Iranian regime -- there are two categories of terrorism: The 'praiseworthy terrorism' and the unworthy terrorism.

If the Assad regime purposely and persistently drops barrel bombs on civilian neighborhoods throughout Syria, that would be 'laudable terrorism.'

If Shiite militias, backed by the Iranian regime, force Iraqi Sunnis to abandon their towns and burn their domiciles afterwards, that too is 'commendable terrorism.'

If Bahraini Shiites loyal to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei assault their nation's security personnel, that too is 'praisable terrorism.'

Facing this atmosphere of absurdities, Dr. Samir Geagea (Twitter: @DRSAMIRGEAGEA), leader of the Lebanese Forces Party tweeted: "I am with transferring the case of Samaha-Mamlouk to the the International Tribunal.

Radio show host and cyber activist Imad Bazzi (Twitter: @TrellaLB) sarcastically commented on the Samaha case via Twitter:

But, in the aftermath of Daesh's terror attack on the mosque in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, National Syrian Coalition member Alia Mansour (Twitter: @aliamansour) made a stern statement via Twitter: "If the Samaha-Mamlouk scheme had succeeded, Daesh would have claimed the operation [attack].. Search for the Saudi Michel Samaha."

In other words, when Assad and his partners engage in terrorism, they like to lay the responsibility of on a 'usual suspect,' such as Israel, or easily condemnable terrorists: Al-Qaeda, Daesh or other active state or non-state actors in the Middle East.

In 2015, Eyad Abu Shakra revisits what is known as the Samaha-Mamlouk conspiracy in an article entitled "No More Illusions about an 'Occupied Lebanon'." Abu Shaqra carefully guides the reader through the events that took place in Lebanon in 2005, in the aftermath of the assassination of Rafic Hariri.

​Abu Shakra notes that while the protesters of the Hariri murder succeeded in forcing the Assad regime to withdraw its troops from Lebanon, the victory was short-lived:

Unfortunately, as would later become clear, the Tehran–Damascus axis had only lost a battle, not the war. In fact, it turned out that this was a minor “battle” that did not exceed the true nature of Hezbollah being brought out into the open after it had been well concealed by the shadow of the Syrian–Lebanese security apparatus. Hezbollah was openly handed the task it had previously been accorded in secret, after it had spent several years silently working, recruiting, building and expanding across Lebanon.

What came thereafter was a long series of disturbing and horrific events: Hezbollah's unnecessary destructive war with Israel in 2006; Hezbollah's subsequent occupation of Beirut's city center; Hezbollah's systemic assassination of March 14 Coalition figures; Hezbollah's invasion of Sunni neighborhoods in Beirut and Druze towns in Mount Lebanon in 2008; and, finally Hezbollah's toppling of the Lebanese national unity government in 2011!

Hezbollah and allied forces invaded Beirut's Sunni neighborhoods on May 7, 2008.
Hezbollah and its allies invaded Beirut's Sunni neighborhoods on May 7, 2008.

With this, Abu Shakra rightly concludes that "Hezbollah’s occupation of Lebanon does not differ much from the occupation of Syria by the militias’ of Bashar Assad and Iranian general Qassim Suleimani."

As to Samaha, he "would not have been able to partake in this conspiracy -- alone or in collaboration with Gen. Mamlouk -- were it not for the fact that Lebanon is truly an occupied country," Abu Shakra writes.

Indeed, there are absolutely no more illusions that Lebanon is an occupied country -- by 'commendable' terrorists!

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