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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

While Obama worries about the 'Palestinians,' a real crisis is brewing in Lebanon

Martin Peretz gets one thing right here: The next crisis in our region does not involve the 'Palestinians.' It's the collapse of Lebanon.
In the next weeks, the judgement of the international panel set up to examine the assassination of the Sunni billionaire Rafiq al-Hariri -also, as it happens, the Lebanese prime minister- will be rendered. It is all but certain that the judges will conclude that the killing of Hariri (and 22 others) was committed on September 14, 2005 on the Beirut seafront by men of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah's men, Shi'a thugs.

This poses a blood curdling dilemma for Rafiq's son, Saad-eddine Rafiq Al-Hariri, the current prime minister, because Hezbollah is the dominant force in Lebanese life. (There is a precedent in the behavior of Walid Jumblatt, the Druze pater familias and its "socialist" parliamentary leader, whose own father had been murdered by the Assad clan. After some years of recriminations, Walid apologized to the Assads for telling the truth.) Safic can imitate Walid's move...or he can at least resign from the premiership.

If the tribunal acts as I believe it will Hezbollah will be faced with a terrible fact that most of the population will also accept as true. This is at least an implicit threat to its authority which means to Nasrallah's Shi'a rule. So it will exacerbate the crisis by crushing what's left of the parliamentary alliance between the Sunni middle class and the what's left of Maronite influence. It is true that Hezbollah tried to deflect blame for Hariri's killing onto the Israelis. But some lies are just too preposterous even for one's own. The fact is that no one could grasp why Jerusalem would have wanted Hariri and his men blown up.

Despite the intentions of the big powers to curb Hezbollah through Security Council resolution 1701, the effect of its mandate was to accomplish just the opposite. Iran has now claimed a border with Israel, and it is the frontier which the Shi'a mob patrols. Please don't tell me that the threat to peace lies in the immobilisme of the West Bank. Lebanon is the scene of the next battle.
Unfortunately, the Obama administration feels no 'fierce moral urgency' to save the Sunnis and Maronites of Lebanon like they feel about establishing a 'Palestinian state.'

What could go wrong?


At 8:36 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Hezbollah will probably take over Lebanon if it is pushed into a corner.

And I don't see the US or Europe doing anything to stop it.

What could go wrong indeed

At 3:23 PM, Blogger Andre (Canada) said...

Of coure, Hizbollah will claim that Israel was behind the assassination precisely so Hizbollah would be blamed for it. These crafty Jews thought they could get away with it!
I guarantee that Hariri will resign, Hizbollah will put in a puppet replacement and Lebanon will introduce a UN resolution condemning Israel. The commission will change its report or all its members will fall "ill" all of a sudden.
This is all a done deal as far as I can tell.

At 5:12 AM, Blogger tuleesh said...

My G-d! I'm so sick of seeing that fat tub of goat cheese, Nasrallah!


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