February 20, 2007


Lebanon will be first victim of Iran crisis (Robert Fisk, 21 February 2007, Independent)

How easily the sparks from the American-Israeli fire fall across the Middle East. Every threat, every intransigence uttered in Washington and Tehran now burns a little bit more of Lebanon. It is not by chance that the UN forces in the south of the country now face growing suspicion among the Shia Muslims who live there. It is no coincidence that Israel thunders that the Hizbollah are now more powerful than they were before last year's July war. [...]

In last month's street fighting in Beirut and other towns, General Sulieman's soldiers achieved the extraordinary feat of repeatedly breaking up riots without killing a single one of their own citizens.

"Lebanon cannot be governed by its military or through a dictatorship," he said. "It is a country satiated with democracy... but such a great amount of democracy in Lebanon might lead to chaos.

"Soldiers are even more conscientious than many leaders in this country."

Up to 70 per cent of the Lebanese army - which is now a volunteer, rather than a conscript force - are Shia, which is why it cannot be used to disarm the Shia Hizbollah.

Indeed, it's so satiated the majority insists it should be fully represented.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 20, 2007 9:50 PM
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