Sources across the Middle East are reeling with the resignation of Lebanon’s Prime Minister Hariri. Harari’s resignation, ordered by Saudi Arabia and, by our estimation Israel as well, signals a new phase of wars as the “ISIS experiment” draws to a close. Hariri claimed Iran and Hezbollah were planning to assassinate him. From the UK Guardian: “We are living in a climate similar to the atmosphere that prevailed before the assassination of [his father, the late prime minister] martyr Rafik Hariri. I have sensed what is being plotted covertly to target my life,” he said in a televised speech on Saturday. Hariri said Iran was “losing in its interference in the affairs of the Arab world”, and that Lebanon would “rise as it had done in the past” and “cut off the hands that wickedly extend into it”.(1 comment)

At the end of the day, it appeared that Saudi is politically less stable than Lebanon, something that has hardly ever been the case in modern history, let alone at a time when one would assume it is Lebanon that is about to be plunged into new chaos, not the formerly predictable Wahhabi regime. This is a very good analysis of both the Saudi Arabia and Lebanon actions in the past few days. As is all too often the case in the Middle East, the US has its fingerprints all over it. The authors present some possible outcomes.(1 comment)