May 13, 2008


A deadly miscalculation in Lebanon (Sami Moubayed, 5/14/08, Asia Times)

Veteran Shi'ite cleric Abdul-Amir Qabalan, deputy chairman of the Higher Shi'ite Council, contacted the Lebanese government and advised it to back down, warning that Nasrallah must not be provoked and that he would not stand by and watch his security system being torn down. Qabalan said, "Touching this [communication] system affects our nationalism, integrity and loyalty to the nation."

The government refused to change course, arguing that security must be monopolized by the state and that it was inconceivable that a non-state party like Hezbollah could run a parallel security system at Beirut Airport.

In this stubbornness, the government failed to anticipate the value Hezbollah places on what it believed its key rights. Worse, Defense Minister Elias al-Murr, Interior Minister Hasan al-Sabe and Public Persecutor Said Mirza were tasked to create a team to look into other security violations committed by Hezbollah.

Engineering the escalation was Druze leader Walid Jumblatt, a one-time Nasrallah friend now turned enemy, who knew that within 48 hours the United Nations Security Council was due to discuss resolution 1559, regarding the disarmament of Hezbollah, which has yet to be fully implemented.

They can't be Shi'a nationalist and loyal to Lebanon. That's the incoherence that division fixes.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 13, 2008 6:27 AM
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