Michael Totten

Assad regime to kill Berri if he convenes parliament

By Abu Kais

The Assad regime is in a hurry. Nasrallah hasn’t been able to deliver quickly enough. The Grand Serail is a fortress, and the Lebanese street is slowly turning against the protestors, who don’t even have safe passage back to their homes now. The orders from the Dark Lord’s council are to pack more people in downtown Beirut, and as soon as possible. The plan to occupy or lay siege to the Rafik Hariri International airport seems to be in full swing, although the Lebanese army will reportedly not allow it.

What’s the hurry for?

This sunday, the 15-day time limit for Lahoud to sign the Hariri tribunal plan expires. As of Monday, the cabinet can constitutionally send it to parliament for endorsement.

Nabih Berri is in a pickle. He was forced to declare the cabinet session that approved the tribunal unconstitutional after telling journalists days before, that it wasn’t. On Wednesday, when it appeared that there was a dim hope of reaching a settlement, the speaker of parliament received a death threat from Maher Assad, Bashar’s brother. According to al-Seyassah, Assad threatened to kill Berri if he calls parliament into session to approve the plan (Again, al-Seyassah is to be read with a grain of salt, although they’ve gotten it right in the past with regards to Lebanon. In any case, this isn’t the first time we’ve heard this.)

That’s how Lahoud’s term was extended, by threatening even pro-Syrian ministers who hated Lahoud (including Suleiman Franjieh). And that’s how the Syrian security regime worked in Lebanon—a regime that Nasrallah found no shame praising during his infamous speech that followed the threat to Berri. In that speech, Nasrallah challenged his opponents to find him one incident where a protestor was killed on his way back from a protest during the Syrian reign. Aounists must have found this funny, or let it go over their heads like the many sick jokes and embarrassing insults their Napoleonic leader utters every day. They, of all people, should know how many of them were taken to Syrian jails, how many were tortured, killed, and threatened because they dared protest when protests weren’t even allowed. And why bring up the deep past when the recent past bears testimony to the murders committed by the Assad regime—a regime Nasrallah considers better than the Siniora government. So good that he thanked the Syrian army for its sacrifices in Lebanon less than a month after Hariri was killed.

Pretty soon, there will be no one left to remind Nasrallah’s worshippers of all these crimes. Not when Assad is allowed to complete the plan to assassinate anyone who speaks, let alone protests, against Hizbullah’s second favorite regime.