February 4, 2008


Lebanon's crumbling pact (Paul Evans, 04 February 2008, New Statesman)

The pact established a 'confessionalist' principle; that while the president should be Maronite, the prime minister should always be a Sunni Muslim, and the parliament's speaker a Shia Muslim. Other political posts, and seats in the parliament were divided amongst smaller religious groups.

In the 1940s, Lebanon's Christians still out-numbered their Muslim and Druze neighbours. But migration and a disparity in birth rates have left Christians accounting for a little under 40% of the population. This figure is an estimate: because, curiously, holding a national census is forbidden.

...is that we recognized his conspiracy against the Shi'a majority was evil, while we excuse our own.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 4, 2008 11:42 AM

Come on OJ, are we digging up mass graves in Lebanon? A little perspective on the "evil", please.

Posted by: Brandon at February 4, 2008 2:04 PM

150,000 dead Lebanese ain't chopped liver.

Posted by: oj at February 4, 2008 3:44 PM

No, it wouldn't be but...what are you talking about? What 150,000 dead Lebanese?

Posted by: Brandon at February 4, 2008 6:22 PM

Lebanon WAS a majority Christian nation.

Until the Shia started butchering Christians and driving the rest into exile.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at February 4, 2008 7:01 PM

No, it wasn't, which is why there's never been a real census and the Christians committed demographic suicide. But, to the extent they were killed, they deserved it as oppressors. We killed the Brits for no less.

Posted by: oj at February 4, 2008 8:47 PM

Exactly, you can't even be bothered to notice the dead.

Posted by: oj at February 4, 2008 8:52 PM

Sorry but that's silly. The Christians were colonizers? (I'll leave the bit about us and the Brits alone, since, frankly, I come down on the Brit side in that conflict, as you've intimated, do you). There's been a large X'n population there for a long time, since before there were Muslims.

As for the census. Yes 1932 wasn't ideal, but a 1999 article on it admits that though the X'ians rigged it to make it look like they had a massive majority, they were still about equal to the combined Shia/Sunni population.

Which means the Shia were hardly dominant. And in fact then, there were very little Shia in Beirut, as it was almost entirely Sunni and Christian, more or less split between them.

I'm all for a Shia state in the south, and admit that they've been discriminated against, but you do a diservice to the other religious groups in Lebanon, and really to the Shia themselves, when you maintain the fairytail of some Shia dominated Lebanon since time immemorial. In fact I wouldn't bet against a Sunni/Christian plurality today.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at February 4, 2008 10:18 PM

Thousands of people die every day, I don't notice them either. BUt I would have heard of a systematic murder of 150,000 people. I guessing that you are lumping together everyone who's died in the Lebanese civil wars since the 1970's, and laying them at our feet.

But since you don't explain, I'll just go with the conclusion that you're just making up stuff to support your point.

Posted by: Brandon at February 4, 2008 11:08 PM

What do you think the war is about?

Posted by: oj at February 5, 2008 7:55 AM

Yes, those are the same articles that claimed Iraq was 40% Shi'ite.

Posted by: oj at February 5, 2008 7:57 AM