December 14, 2010

THE LIBERATION OF THE PREVIOUSLY OPPRESSED SHI'A....

U.S. Illusions in Lebanon (ROGER COHEN, 12/14/10, NY Times)

Four years on, Hezbollah is stronger than ever. It has the more powerful of those two armies (the other being the Lebanese armed forces), a presence in government, veto power over Lebanon’s direction, and a leader — Hassan Nasrallah — whose popularity as the proud face of Arab defiance has never been higher.

Dahiye, the Hezbollah-controlled southern Beirut suburb flattened by Israel in 2006, now bustles with construction and commerce, including state-of-the-art juice bars and risqué lingerie stores. It feels about as threatening as New York’s Canal Street.

And America continues to dream, albeit in sobered fashion. Sure, the “new Middle East” has joined “axis of evil” in the diplomatic junkyard. But U.S. policy still involves an attempt to ignore reality.

Hezbollah, Iran-financed and Syrian-backed, has assumed a pivotal role in Lebanese politics. It’s a political party, a social movement and a militia for which the term “terrorist group” is entirely inadequate. It has also become the single most powerful symbol of what is known throughout the Middle East as “the resistance.”

This is an unpalatable truth. It’s also, I suspect, an enduring one.


...is exactly what's new about the Middle East. How can the self-determination of peoples be unpalatable to America?

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Posted by Orrin Judd at December 14, 2010 6:04 AM
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