May 19, 2008


Sunni backlash follows Hezbollah's strike in Lebanon: Sectarianism hardened in Lebanon after the Shiite militants clashed with Sunni groups. Talks in Qatar aim to resolve the crisis between Hezbollah and the Lebanese government. (Nicholas Blanford, 5/19/08, The Christian Science Monitor)

"They said they were resistance against Israel, but now the mask has fallen, exposing their true faces," thundered the sheikh, his oratory just one of many similarly themed Friday sermons from dozens of other mosques scattered throughout the Sunni-dominated Iqlim al-Kharroub district between Beirut and the coastal city of Sidon. [...]

As the fighting flared in Beirut, jihadist websites were abuzz with speculation about a civil war in Lebanon. Fatah al-Islam, an Al Qaeda-inspired faction that fought a bloody three-month battle against the Lebanese Army last summer, vowed to come to the aid of Lebanese Sunnis against Hezbollah. "What has happened in Beirut – the invasion, the killing, the incineration, the humiliation against the Sunnis – is not acceptable," said a statement, the authenticity of which could not be verified.

Sheikh Hammoud, the Hezbollah-allied Sunni cleric in Sidon, acknowledges that there is support for Al Qaeda in Lebanon and that it could grow in the wake of the sectarian battles.

...except to the extent it impinges upon the sovereignty of Hezbollahstan.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 19, 2008 6:22 AM

Yes, that clearly explains all the rocket attacks on Israel and the re-arming for more.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at May 19, 2008 7:38 AM

No, Israeli incursions into South Lebanon do. Nations defend themselves.

Posted by: oj at May 19, 2008 1:51 PM

Then why hasn't Hezbollah just put up some checkpoints and declared themselves a state? It doesn't look like the Lebanese government has the will or resources to stop them. Could it be because they really are the murderous Jew-hating thugs they appear to be? The Mafia doesn't want to be the government of Sicily, either.

Posted by: PapayaSF at May 19, 2008 11:22 PM

The same reason Taiwan, the Northern League and others haven't. Too cautious. Declaring nationhood is a relative rarity.

We imposed it quite easily on North and South Korea, East and West Germany, etc.

Posted by: oj at May 20, 2008 6:09 AM

Well, if AQ wants to fight the Shi'a (i.e., Hezbollah) in Lebanon, I suppose our reaction would be like that of the Iran-Iraq war.

It would be interesting to see a rocket go northward instead of south. But I'm not holding my breath.

Posted by: ratbert at May 20, 2008 7:38 AM

They don't need rockets to beat AQ--even the feeble Lebanese Army did.

Posted by: oj at May 20, 2008 10:59 AM