May 8, 2008


Sunnis and Shiites clash for a second day in Lebanon (The Associated Press, 5/08/08)

The political crisis exploded into violence Wednesday when supporters of the Hezbollah-led opposition blocked roads in the capital to enforce a strike called by labor unions protesting the government's economic policies and demanding pay raises.

The strike quickly escalated into street confrontations between supporters of the rival camps. About a dozen people were injured, mostly by stones, but no deaths were reported.

On Thursday, the violence spread outside the capital. Sunnis and Shiites exchanged gunfire in the village of Saadnayel in the eastern Bekaa Valley. Four people were injured, said security officials, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with military regulations.

The area is on a major crossroads linking the Shiite areas of Baalbek, a Hezbollah stronghold, with central Lebanon and Beirut.

Also, supporters of the militant Shiite Hezbollah kept the road to the country's only airport blocked, effectively closing the airport for a second straight day.

Lebanon's national carrier, Middle East Airlines, said it was canceling flights until noon Thursday because of the road closures and will reassess the situation later.

The clashes have taken on a sectarian tone, bringing back bad memories of the devastating 1975-1990 civil war that has left lasting scars on Lebanon.

It's not a scar, it's a fracture. It won't be healed, so just divide it permanently.

Hezbollah Piles Pressure on Lebanese Government (Reuters, 08/05/2008)

An opposition source, declining to be identified, said protests would go on until the government rescinded decisions affecting Hezbollah, including action against a telecommunications network operated by the group. Government sources ruled that out.

"It's double jeopardy: the cabinet can't retreat or it is practically finished and can't go through with it to the end because of the balance of power on the ground," columnist Rafik Khouri wrote in the newspaper al-Anwar.

"And Hezbollah can't step back from its position because it would be agreeing to getting its wings clipped and can't go all the way because of the dangers sectarian strife poses for everyone."

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 8, 2008 7:38 AM

Is anyone else as thoroughly sick as I am of the Sunni, the Shia, Hamas, Hezbollah, the mullahs, the Wahhabi, ad infinitum?

We gave them all a chance to behave like adults and join the family of civilized nations. Enough is enough. Time to bomb them back to their golden age of the 7th century.

Posted by: erp at May 8, 2008 8:39 AM

I'm sure they were saying the same thing about us during the Reformation.

Posted by: Bryan at May 8, 2008 9:15 AM

"Is anyone sick.."


Posted by: h-man at May 8, 2008 9:21 AM


No, we haven't. In Lebanon for instance -- even today -- we support oppression of the Shi'a majority by Christian and Sunni cliques. Nevermind our giving them all back to the Europeans after WWI...

Posted by: oj at May 8, 2008 10:25 AM

I find Shiite "oppression" in Lebanon hard to find and consider when the people supposedly opposing the oppression are rioting, Jew-hating, anti-American, theocratic terrorist thugs in the pay of Iran. If they want to live in a peaceful democracy, why don't they act like it?

Posted by: PapayaSF at May 8, 2008 12:17 PM

They aren't oppressed because they hate their oppressors? Odd.

Posted by: oj at May 8, 2008 1:31 PM

My point is that the response to the "oppression" is disproportionate and led by totalitarian thugs. No doubt the Shiites in Lebanon have some legitimate gripes, but the fact that their self-appointed leaders have all the negatives traits I listed means that nobody with any sense wants them to win right now. Many Russians were oppressed under the Czar, too, but that doesn't mean the Bolsheviks were right.

Posted by: PapayaSF at May 8, 2008 3:29 PM

Our gripes were less significant and we had a Revolution. We just look down on their aspirations for reasons of ethnicity.

Posted by: oj at May 8, 2008 7:30 PM

No, I look down on their aspirations because their aspirations are to kill Jews and Christians and Americans and institute a religious tyranny. Their ethnicity is irrelevant. I look down on everyone who advocates those things.

Posted by: PapayaSF at May 8, 2008 11:58 PM

No, you assign false aspirations to them because of bigotry. Common enough.

Posted by: oj at May 9, 2008 6:05 AM

Indiscriminate firing of rockets towards civilians and bombing senior citizens make for some pretty clear aspirations, no?

Posted by: ratbert at May 9, 2008 7:48 AM

No. Hiroshima was all civilian, but it wasn't about killing Japanese.

Posted by: oj at May 9, 2008 11:24 AM