World View: Hezbollah Promises to Keep Fighting for Assad in Syria

World View: Hezbollah Promises to Keep Fighting for Assad in Syria

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Hezbollah promises to keep fighting for Assad in Syria
  • U.S. plan to send small arms to Syria receives mixed reviews
  • European outrage after Greece shuts down public broadcasting

Hezbollah promises to keep fighting for Assad in Syria

Nasrallah gives televised speech on Friday (Al-Jazeera)
Nasrallah gives televised speech on Friday (Al-Jazeera)

As we’ve been reporting, the recent announcement by Hezbollah leaderSayyed Hassan Nasrallah, and his subsequent actions in providingthousands of fighters to help Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian army, hasresulted in a harsh Sunni/Shia divide throughout the Mideast, withArab Sunni Muslims vitriolically condemning and threatening all Shias,especially after the stunning al-Assad/Hezbollah victory in Qusair.Nasrallah continued to pour gasoline onto the flames on Friday in anew televised speech, where he promised to continue his invasion ofSyria on behalf of al-Assad: 

Before Qusair is the same as after Qusair. Nothinghas changed. 

Isn’t the conspiracy the same?… Have the facts changed? On thecontrary, the other side is stirring up this conflict even more.Where we need to be, we will be. Where we began to assume ourresponsibilities, we will continue to assume our responsibilities. 

To defeat this very, very dangerous conspiracy (against Syria) wewill bear any sacrifices and all the consequences.”

Fresh from its victory in Qusair, the al-Assad regime is nowattempting a similar victory in Aleppo. A victory there may deal afatal blow to the opposition. AFP and Al-Jazeera

U.S. plan to send small arms to Syria receives mixed reviews

On Friday, Obama administration officials revealed somedetails about the plan to support rebels in Syria, followingThursday’s statement confirming that the regime ofpresident Bashar al-Assad had used chemical weapons, includingsarin gas, against his own people. The CIA willsend small arms, ammunition, and potentially anti-tank weapons toSyria’s rebels. Setting up a no-fly zone or any “boots onthe ground” are off the table. 

Republican Senator John McCain, who has been extremelycritical of President Obama’s lack of leadership in Syria,called the new proposal “disgraceful”: 

For us to sit by, and watch these people beingmassacred, raped, tortured in the most terrible fashion,meanwhile, the Russians are all in, Hezbollah is all in, and we’retalking about giving them more light weapons? It’sinsane.

On the other hand, the Russians are critical of any action by theObama administration at all. According to Aleksey Pushkov, the headof the Duma’s Foreign Affairs Committee: 

The data about Assad’s use of chemical weapons isfabricated by the same facility that made up the lies about SaddamHussein’s weapons of mass destruction. Obama is walking GeorgeW. Bush’s path. 

Now they are arming the rebels but then they will come to someform of direct military involvement. We cannot exclude thepossibility of cruise missile strikes and if this measure bringsno result – of direct military intervention.

The Russians are warning that the U.S. action may start an arms racein the region, which is laughable because the Russians have alreadystarted an arms race by supplying the al-Assad regime with heavyweapons for many months. The U.S. administration is reluctant to givethe opposition heavy weapons out of fear that they’ll fall into thehands of al-Qaeda linked forces, such as Jabhat al-Nusra. CNN andPolitico and Russia Today

European outrage after Greece shuts down public broadcasting

The Europeans have been demanding that Greece, in return for itsbailout payments, lay off 4,000 civil service employees thisyear and 11,000 more in 2014.  You’d think that the Europeanswould be happy that Greece’s prime minister, Antonis Samaras,announced on Tuesday that he would shut down public broadcaster ERTand dismiss some 2,700 employees. The decision isn’t as radical as itsounds, since there are plenty of private broadcasters in Greece, andSamaras said that soon there would a smaller, leaner publicbroadcasting service. 

Well, the Europeans were not happy with this decision, because itapparently affects one of their sacred cows. There have beenwidespread expressions of outrage that Samaras closed down the ERT.The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) called the actionGreece is: “Lay off 4,000 civil service employees this year, but notanyone that we want to protect.” That’s why it’s hard to lay off anycivil service employees. 

The outrage, both inside and outside of Greece, has become so greatthat the stability of the coalition government is threatened, withcoalition partners demanding that ERT be reopened immediately.Samaras is attempting to negotiate a compromise that would keep ERTclosed down but that would speed up the creation of a newbroadcaster, under the acronym NERIT. BBC andKathimerini

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Hezbollah, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah,Syria, Bashar al-Assad, Qusair, Aleppo,John McCain, Russia, Aleksey Pushkov, Jabhat al-Nusra,Europe, Greece, Antonis Samaras, ERT, NERIT,European Broadcasting Union, EBU 

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