Hezbollah is conducting exercises, preparing for a takeover of Beirut in case the international tribunal implicates the group in Hariri’s murder. The Lebanese army is weak and heavily infiltrated by Hezbollah, and thus stands no chance against it. Lacking firm support from Israel, Druze will not oppose Hezbollah, at least not until the terrorist group tries to extend its control over Christian and Druze areas.
The Saudis and Syrians are pushing Hariri Jr. to step down and thus effectively dissolve the tribunal. Should he do so, Hezbollah will immediately fill the power vacuum with one of its puppets.
The idea of the Hariri tribunal was misconceived. It relied on the assumption that the West and the Saudis would be able to enforce the tribunal’s decision—an impossible outcome. What was the point of the tribunal? Was it to ostracize Hezbollah? The group is not ostracized for its involvement in international terrorism, so who cares about the assassination of an ex-PM? Shaming Hezbollah into retreat? Absurd. Teaching Hezbollah a lesson by jailing its top brass? The perpetrators were released from detention well before the trial.
The West merely staged a show trial, and in doing so created a government crisis in Lebanon, which brought that fragmented country to the brink of an Iranian takeover.