Battlepanda: "Lebanon is on the brink"


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

"Lebanon is on the brink"

Just what the mid-east needs: another state on the cusp of failure. I don't know to what degree Israel's pointless little war contributed to this current perilous state of affairs, but this latest assasination does highlight rather grotesquely the unreasonableness of its raison d'etre. How was the Lebanese government supposed to be held accountable for not stamping out Hezbollah militia in the south when they can barely keep their own government together and their cabinet ministers from assasins?
Syria did withdraw. At that point, Lebanese politics became less polarized, and elections produced a national unity government that Hizbullah also joined.

But then in summer of 2006, Israel launched its long-planned war on little Lebanon, wreaking vast destruction on south Lebanon and on the southern slums of Beirut where Hizbullah was based. Israeli policy was in part to attempt to divide and conquer the Lebanese by making the reform government of Fuad Seniora attempt to disarm Hizbullah, which maintains a small paramilitary force of 3,000 to 5,000. The Lebanese government is too weak to take on Hizbullah, but members of the March 14th reform movement did lay the blame for the war at its feet.

As a result, Hizbullah has pulled out of the government. With Gemayel's assassination, the government will fall if it loses even one more cabinet minister. Worse, the society has now been economically devastated by Israeli bombing raids and is increasingly polarized. The Olmert government's plan for the second Lebanese civil war seems increasingly plausible. Syria has stupidly played into Israel's hands in this regard. The Lebanese themselves are in danger of once again allowing themselves to be used as proxies by people like Bush and Asad and Olmert. The positive achievements of the national unity government of summer-fall 2005 have been undone. Lebanon is on the brink.