7 May.. When Iranian Militias Swept Beirut, Announcing Lebanon an Iranian Territory
“The day when powers was usurped by the force of arms …”, with these words the Lebanese politician and former MP Fares Souaid described the 7th May anniversary, when armed groups of Hezbollah militias raided Beirut and large swathes of Lebanon Mountain , a day back in 2008, that increased the power of Hezbollah militia that turned its arms towards Lebanon.
A day when arms had fallen by arms
One of the factors that trigged the crisis in May was Hezbollah’s force and military power on the internal level, a step that revealed the real agendas of Hezbollah and its Secretary General Hassan Nasrullah, the Lebanese jurist Shukri Mansour says.
Hezbollah’s main principles are based on military approach, that is why it rushed to use weapons back in May 2008, making the scene bloodier. In this context, the Lebanese journalist Ziad Eitani says that Hezbollah uses the “intelligence mentality” with any case, particularly in the domestic arena.
Economy after the new May
Although 12 years have passed, Lebanese fear of experiencing another bloody May.
Walid Jumblatt, President of the Social Democratic Union, believes that his country is currently re-experiencing the economic crisis of May 7: “We wanted to participate in the government, but some parties reject our presence. There is a Syrian-Iranian regional equation that does not accept opposition voices in Lebanon.”
Lebanese politicians, Western governments and the Lebanese civil movement accuse the current government of Hassan Diab of being obedient to Hezbollah, which played the major role in forming and supporting this government, through the groups’ alliance with the Amal Movement and the Free Patriotic Movement.
Hezbollah’s hostile policy regarding the banking sector indicates that the events of May 7 could happen again.
A few weeks ago, Hezbollah launched a war against the Central Bank’s governor, blaming him for the deterioration of the Lebanese Lira, after the US dollar exchange rates reached 4,000 L.L in non-official transactions.
According to Eitani, Hezbollah considers the popular movement as part of the conspiracy against the so-called axis of resistance: “It’s not surprising that Hezbollah’s commanders and supporters are waving with a new May 7, as they have already attacked protestors’ tents in Beirut and in southern regions, using bladed weapons and wounding dozens of protesters.”
May 7 produced failed state
Although Hezbollah has been armed 30 years ago, it started dominating the decision in Lebanon and became the only ruling party after May 2008, where the former Lebanese General Ashraf Rifi says: “On this day, the militia arms of the sub-state began to control the state,” referring to the failed state institutions and the complete collapse in Lebanon, which are the most important results of May 2008.
Rifi believes that the Lebanese state has fallen on that day and was isolated as an Iranian prison, stressing that a rebirth cannot be achieved in Lebanon without regaining the sovereignty over Lebanon territory and eliminating the sub-state.
According to Mustafa Alloush, a member of the political bureau in the Future Movement, the sectarian clashes in Lebanon between Sunnis and Shiites are, unlike what many people think, not the result of civil war in the Eighties of the last century, but of May 7 2008 events. Sunnis in Lebanon became more concerned about their future after 2008, confirming that sectarian strife has become a popular trend in Lebanon after May 2008.
During the Syrian Army presence in Lebanon, Hezbollah used to have good relations with the Future Movement that represents the Sunnis in Lebanon. However, the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri, presumably Hezbollah and Syrian regime related, created a state of hostility between both parties. That state of hostility was enhanced by the events of May 7 in 2008, like the events in Tripoli between Alevites and Sunnis in 2013.
“On May 7, Lebanon was officially announced as governed by Iran,” Alloush remarks, referring to the fact that Hezbollah is completely controlled by Iran.
The former Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora underlines that the May 7 events dragged the country into a civil war, which in fact meant a great opportunity for Hezbollah to impose its power and control over any national decision.