Arutz Sheva reports:
Hizbullah scored a bloodless coup Tuesday and is set to become Israel’s new political neighbor to the north, but the shadows of civil war stalk the streets of Beirut.
The Lebanese parliament gave billionaire banker Najib Makati, Hizbullah’s nominee, a solid majority of 68-60 to replace caretaker Prime Minister Said Hariri....
.... Riots broke out in Beirut and in the northern port city of Tripoli in a “day of rage” declared by Hariri’s supporters. The Lebanese army struggled to re-open major roads that were blocked with tires and vehicles set on fire by Sunni Muslims, who fear Hizbullah’s Shi’ite rule even though Makati is a Sunni....
.... Hizbullah’ political coup comes several days after a United Nations tribunal turned over to a Belgian judge a sealed envelope with the indictments of Hizbullah leaders suspected of being involved in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, who was fiercely anti-Syria. His son Said has forged an alliance with Damascus but apparently was outflanked by the Iranian-Syria-Hizbullah axis.
The choice of Makati puts the finishing touches on Hizbullah’s initial political coup two weeks ago, when it toppled the government by pulling out of the coalition. A Hizbullah-controlled government is expected to denounce the U.N. tribunal’s conclusions.
Makati’s victory is another Middle East setback for the United States, which warned Lebanon it might face a cut in aid if the terrorist party were officially to take control of Lebanon, which it already dominates with the assistance of Syrian President Bashar Assad and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
We'll see what Michael Totten says today, but here's his take as of last night:
Lebanese Sunnis are blocking roads and burning tires to protest what they say is a coup d’etat by Hezbollah. Saad Hariri most likely won’t be prime minister for very much longer, not because he lost an election but because Hezbollah is threatening his allies and pressuring them to throw their “support” behind a pro-Syrian replacement.
No community in Lebanon is allowed to select or de-select the leader of a different community, yet an Iranian-backed Shia militia is now poised to do both to the Sunnis. They are not going to tolerate the removal of Hariri as their zaim, especially not at a time when the United Nations is about to indict Hezbollah for car-bombing his father.
I can practically hear Lebanese Sunnis locking and loading from here.
And from Friday -- at contentions:
.... Beirut is being cleverly reconquered by Damascus and Tehran, and is rejoining, against its will, the Iran-led Resistance Bloc.
Everybody in Lebanon needs to understand something: Israel is more likely than ever to target the entire country during the next round of conflict. Not since 1948 has Israel fought a war against the Lebanese government; its wars in Lebanon have always been waged against terrorist organizations that were beyond the control of the state.
But if Hezbollah leads the government, the government will be a legitimate target....