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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Michael Totten's primer on Lebanon's Third Civil War

Very few people understand Lebanon as well as Michael Totten, who loves the country. Here's his article in Commentary:
Lebanon’s Third Civil War
The first war was a short one. Sunni Arab Nationalists in thrall to Egyptian dictator Gamal Abdel Nasser wanted to attach Lebanon to the United Arab Republic – a brief union of Egypt and Syria. An even larger bloc of Maronite Christians resisted. A nation cannot hold itself together when a large percentage of its population – roughly a third – wish to be annexed by foreign powers.

The second war was a long one. This time, Yasser Arafat’s Palestinian Liberation Organization formed a state-within-a-state in West Beirut and South Lebanon and used it as a launching pad for terrorist attacks against Israel. Again, Lebanon’s Christians resisted, as did Lebanon’s Shias. The second civil war was actually a series of wars that were merely triggered by that first fatal schism.

The third civil war resembles both the first and the second. With Iranian money and weapons, Hezbollah has built its own state-within-a-state in South Lebanon and South Beirut which is used as a base to wage war against Israel. Hezbollah also wishes to violently yank Lebanon from its current pro-Western alignment into the Syrian-Iranian axis. Roughly one-fourth of the population supports this agenda. No country on earth can withstand that kind of geopolitical tectonic pressure. For more than a year members of Hezbollah have tried unsuccessfully to topple the elected government with a minimal use of force, but their patience is at an end and they have turned to war.
Michael concludes,
There may be lulls in the violence, but there will be no real peace in Lebanon until Hezbollah is disarmed or destroyed.
Hezbollah is not going to disarm.

Yid With Lid thanks France for Hezbollah's takeover of Lebanon.

We talked about Lebanon in last Friday's podcast - and we're not optimistic.


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