December 22, 2006

IT'S THE ECONOMY, HASSAN:

Cracks in Hezbollah support: While militia still has firm control in south Lebanon, some residents grumble. (Tom Lasseter, December 22, 2006, McClatchy Newspapers)

Hezbollah remains in firm control of southern Lebanon and enjoys overwhelming popularity here. The streets outside the pharmacy are plastered with posters bearing the faces of men killed in the name of Hezbollah -- "the party of God" -- and recounting the sayings and proverbs of leader Hassan Nasrallah.

But fissures are beginning to creep across that support as winter comes, with crops destroyed, jobs scarce and the wreckage of war still unrepaired.

On the outskirts of Bint Jbail, a town that was pounded by Israeli artillery and bombs, an elderly man recently pushed a wheelbarrow full of branches and plywood scraps through the rubble. The neighborhood still has no electricity; he'll burn the wood for heat, he said.

"Hezbollah gave me $900 to rebuild, but it's going to cost me $10,000 to repair the entire house," said the man, who gave his name as Abdul Kareem. "Hezbollah sent consultants here, but so far they have done nothing."

Ali al-Amine, a prominent Shiite cleric in the southern town of Tyre and longtime Hezbollah critic, said such comments are becoming more frequent.


The more responsibility they claim the more these groups are expected to deliver, which is why we should just heaping it on them.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 22, 2006 8:57 AM
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