Most people expected Saudi Arabia to go far in its mission to destroy Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon, but few expected it would be so quick to move the confrontation to a new level, deploying its soldiers of death on the doorsteps of the Iranian embassy in Beirut.
It is clear from the questionable behavior of the Saudis of late that their bitter defeat in Syria will impose on us more of the kind of meaningless bloodletting that we witnessed in Beirut on November 19.
We can only assume that by deciding to deploy ugly tactics such as suicide bombings against a power on the scale of Iran, the Saudi royals have chosen to commit political suicide. We need not go back over the whole history, but the following clarifications are necessary:
First: An attack of this sort will do nothing to change the situation on the ground in Syria – Iran and Hezbollah are unlikely to change their commitments to that struggle. Neither will it reverse the series of losses that the Syrian opposition has suffered on virtually all the major fronts, including Damascus, Aleppo, and now Qalamoun.
Second: The Saudi escalation, which seeks to ignite an arc of mayhem and chaos stretching from Iraq to Lebanon, in addition to Yemen and Bahrain, will inevitably prompt a response from the other side that many believe the kingdom cannot possibly withstand.
Third: As for those Lebanese who treat these kinds of attacks lightly and offer justifications, they are nothing more than partners in the crime. This approach can only lead to the strengthening of Takfiri elements at the expense of those who call themselves moderates.
Fourth: The measures employed by Hezbollah and the Lebanese security forces have succeeded in preventing a number of attacks so far. But the deployment of suicide operations will force the targeted parties to resort to deterrence through preventative operations, which is the only way to confront lunatics eager to meet their maker.
It is clear from the questionable behavior of the Saudis of late that their bitter defeat in Syria will impose on us more of the kind of meaningless bloodletting that we witnessed in Beirut on on November 19.
By Ibrahim al-Amin for Al-Akhbar newspaper