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May 08, 2008

Comments

Chris Williams

This is all a bit French Wars of Religion. Not in a good way, because there's no good way for anything to be a bit French Wars of Religion. Look out for the welcome arrival of 'politiques' as part of the peace of exhaustion in about 15 years.

londanium

None of this seems very likely.

Hizbullah just walked into the Future Movement heartland, took over their offices and occupied their TV and radio stations without any opposition. There's simply no "force" within Lebanon that is actually prepared to fight them, let alone capable of it. BBC are reporting that "pro-gov" forces have actually surrendered.

The "Lebanese" army did nothing to stop them. The BBC corresp. on the spot remarked that there was nothing to stop Hizbullah from walking into the Parliament and taking it over should it choose to do so. Needless to say, there seem to be some frantic efforts by Siniora/Future movement to backtrack - the question is how much face they're going to accept losing over this.

Realistically speaking, it's not a question of the Lebanese state tying down Hizb, it's the other way round.

If you cast your mind back to the Fatah-al-Islam debacle, and the fact that a couple of hundred third-stringers were able to tie down Lebanese forces whilst trapped in an enclosed space for months, then you get the picture as to where, in crude brute force terms, the power lies.

jamie

I read this morning that Amal, under Hezbollah leadership, were more or less strolling into March 14 controlled areas and handing them over to the army, which was following on.

I thought that this was the precursor to an invasion precisely because the Lebanese state was too weak to challenge the Hezbies without foreign help. Given how weak the March 14 coalition actually seems to be, I now can't understand why they tried it on in the first place.

Chris Williams

Fuck - I thought that Hizb were the Huegenots. Hariri is. Perhaps they're not screwed after all.

Stephen

Can't see Nasrallah announcing that Beirut is worth a Mass though, can you?

londanium

Jamie

There is no foreign "cavalry" coming to M14's rescue in this, and, unless uncle Dick made a promise that he can't keep, I can't understand why the fuck M14 started the ball rolling. It's not as if there's a large Marine expeditionary force anywhere on the near ( or far ) horizon waiting to step in, and the Israelis simply aren't up to the job.

FWIW, anyone who thinks that the way to "get" Hizbullah is by Israel invading Syria and going for the left hook is deluding themselves - apart from requiring a major national mobilisation, thereby taking the country into recession, for what would be a massive, open-ended committment with no guarantee of any kind of victory, an unresolved Gaza front and the possibility of a West Bank front opening up as well, the whole thing is, er, worse than a crime...

By Lebanese civil war standards, Hizbullah and their allies have accomplished a near-bloodless victory..in less than 72 hours. Lov 'em, loath 'em, not really an issue - but you have to admire the professionalism involved.

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