May 20, 2008

HOW COMPLEX IS DIVIDING IT INTO NATURAL CONFESSIONAL STATES?:

No Easy Answers in Lebanon (Council On Foreign Relations, 5/20/08)

Whether Lebanon veered close to "civil war" this month--a question broached by many newspapers--seems purely academic at this point, and perhaps irrelevant. Beirut settled into a tenuous calm after Lebanon's cabinet conceded (CNN) the immediate demands of Hezbollah, but the upheaval resolved none of the many issues destabilizing the country. Lebanon's paralyzed government, Beirut's inability to reform its electoral system, and Hezbollah's broad influence continue to loom as threats to regional stability.

Civil wars occur within a nation--this is between nations.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 20, 2008 11:12 AM
Comments

So Hezbollah now has a "veto" over the government (which is impotent) and control over part of the Sunni portion of Beirut. What does that mean (if anything), other than potentially bad news for Israel?

They can't go into the mountains (they were firmly rebuffed by the Druze and the Christians last week). The real 'civil war' will be if they try to expand northwards (above Beirut). But undoubtedly Syria and Iran will want that as well. Will their puppet dance? And will they risk another "war" with Israel (at the bidding of their masters), knowing that their 'domestic' situation will be weakened if they take losses from the IDF?

Posted by: ratbert at May 21, 2008 7:33 AM

Of course it's bad for Israel, because it's inherently unstable. Dividing the state into coherent nations is good for everyone, except Syria.

Posted by: oj at May 21, 2008 7:58 AM
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