The fault line that caused the political earthquake that erupted in the Middle East last winter and changed the chemicals in the environment continues to spread wider and wider into the months, and perhaps a new year – threatening to call the hopeful journalistic moniker, “the Arab Spring” a misnomer!
So what’s going down in the neighborhood?
Ali Abdullah Saleh, wicked ruler of Yemen says he won’t step down and submit to a Coup d’etat that would come in the form of a democratic restructuring of that country should his opponents be permitted to compete in the next election.
Saleh is specifically referring to the dissident General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, who defected earlier in the year to the favor of anti-government demonstrators, as well as the stalwart tribal chief Sheikh Sadiq al-Ahmar. Ali Abdullah Saleh recently returned to Yemen from Saudi Arabia on September 23, where he was receiving treatment for injuries he received in a June 3 rocket attack on the presidential palace.
The 69-year-old has consistently refused to sign a power transfer deal brokered by the Gulf Cooperation Council; a deal that would see him hand over power to Vice President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi in return for immunity from prosecution.
In another part of the world, Najib Mikati is the prime-minister of Lebanon, where the Iranian-proxy Hezbollah commands all military authority. Lebanon says that an Israeli reconnaissance plane penetrated Lebanese airspace and thereby violated UN Security Council Resolution 1701.
The Lebanese military reported last Saturday that the Israeli aircraft entered Lebanese airspace from the southern border at 10:05 a.m. (0705 GMT) on Friday and flew over several areas of the country. Afterwards, the plane left the country at 3:15 p.m. (1215 GMT). UNIFIL, the United Nations-appointed peacekeeper in the region condemn such flyovers.
Lebanon’s leader, Mikati, has supported the President Bashar al-Assad’s Baath regime in Syria from the get-go. In an interview with the Daily Beast he said:
Are you worried that the unrest in Syria will spill over into Lebanon?
No … What I’m trying to do is create a kind of wall between what’s happening in Syria and any implication here on the Lebanese side … I’m trying to say, “Please, this is an internal Syrian issue. Let us take care of our own agenda; take care of our own problems.”
You’ve had business ties with Assad in the past. Are you still in touch with him? Do you talk?
Yes, we were friends. Unfortunately, now he’s so busy. [I haven’t had] the chance to see him or even talk to him. Some Syrian opposition groups have criticized you for supporting Assad.
That’s politics. Some analysts predict that Hizbullah will attempt a military takeover of Lebanon if the Assad regime falls. This is a very hypothetical issue.
Your critics have called you “Hizbullah’s candidate.” Your reaction?
In the beginning, they put this label of Hizbullah [on me]. But … we’re taking our decisions independently.
You don’t take Hizbullah’s interests into account?
We listen to everybody.
When the Special Tribunal for Lebanon issued indictments in the assassination of Hariri, you said you would follow up. But in early August, the prosecutor general said no suspects have been found or arrested. What is the government doing?
The relevant authorities have been looking for the various people on a daily basis. And they already submitted a detailed report about their findings. I believe it’s now up to the court to decide if what we did is right and what we have to do next.
Hezbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah recently said that even if it took 300 years, nobody from Hezbullah would be arrested. Did that undermine the work of your government?
It’s his point of view. We have complete freedom of speech … He has the right to say whatever he wants.
In other news, Libyan Jews are now returning home after a 44-year exile imposed by General Muammar al-Qadaffi. He had expelled the rest of Libya’s 38,000 Jews two years after the 1967 war broke out between Israel and a conglomerate of Arab nations. The Jews went to America, Italy, Israel; all over.