April 19, 2007


Hezbollah's big challenge (Pepe Escobar, 4/19/07, Asia Times)

The easiest way to avoid trouble in Lebanon is to behave like a Shi'ite in the south, like a Sunni in Jiyyih and like a Christian in Beirut. Anyone strictly secular may run the risk of talking to the deaf. Unlike Syria, sectarianism rules. It sounds like Iraq in more ways than one - a non-viable state.

Crackpots abound - like Druze leader Walid Jumblatt, who qualifies Nasrallah as a Syrian agent, Assad as a "serial killer" and Hezbollah as puppets of Tehran. Or Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, who proposed chartering flights full of Lebanese politicians to Saudi Arabia so they can be all swayed (by checkbook?) by King Abdullah. As'ad AbuKhalil, host of the Angry Arab website, always stresses that the Lebanese civil war never ended. What outsiders don't know is the current sectarian wave was unleashed by Hariri Inc and their wealthy Saudi associates.

But the buck doesn't stop with them. Because there will always be the Washington-House of Saud axis.

Saudi Arabia's powerful Prince Bandar, former ambassador to Washington, also known as Bandar Bush - who harbors desires of becoming the next Saudi king - is basically pro-US and anti-Syria, thus fiercely anti-Hezbollah. Bandar has been instrumental in convincing other members of the "axis of fear" apart from Saudi Arabia - Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait and the Emirates - that the US must attack Iran sooner rather than later.

It's an open secret in Beirut - and across the Middle East - that the US is financing the Fouad Siniora government with Bandar money, not to mention the almost $9 billion which "mysteriously" disappeared from Iraq.

You don't have to buy into all the Middle Eastern conspiracy theories to see how incoherent our policy vis-a-vis the Shi'a/Sunni divide is.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 19, 2007 9:13 AM


Quoting the incoherent to prove the incoherent is a formidable rhetorical strategy.

Posted by: Barry Meislin at April 19, 2007 8:56 AM

Our policy is quite coherent. We want them all to get along, and we intend to hold them at gunpoint until they do so.

Posted by: Brandon at April 19, 2007 10:32 AM

Convoluted, incoherent.

The simple fact is Saudis are Sunnis, Hezbollahs are Shiites. You know what? They don't get along even without the Great Satan. Another simple fact, the Saudis are very capable of financing the Siniora govt. without using the US as a front. An additional simple fact is some of the $9 billion mysteriously disappeared money was found in the pockets of a mysteriously disappeared Iraqi minister and his cronies who are residing in Syria right now. Crackpot Escobar needs to rescrew his head.

Posted by: ic at April 19, 2007 1:08 PM