Monday, February 25, 2008

Sins of the Sons...

Moussa is back in town, but he may already have failed; since the basic motivations of all remain unchanged, his dog and pony show may well find no takers. But the show hides some worrying gathering clouds; some closer to home, some further away.

Wither the State

In the immediate, the Lebanese state institution is in really bad shape. After so much messing around, the constitution has been all but destroyed, and what was left of the state is slowly withering away.

At this stage, whether the feuding clans may not want war is immaterial; each side underestimates the other’s resolve, each overestimates its own cohesion, each misunderstands its own allies’ true motivations... The result of this brinkmanship may bring the country’s final demise. The bickering has (further) weakened the state’s institutions, and as respect for the rule of law withers away, the pissing contest is gotting messier. The warlords may even lose control over their pawns as various factions fight over turf.

Hezb’s adversaries are not necessarily Lebanon’s friends, and they may even love watching the mess, at least in the short term. They know that the destruction of the Lebanese economy will not strengthen Nasrallah’s state within a non-state; by killing its host, a parasite brings on its own demise.

The Clouds Further Away

In the medium term, however, Lebanon will feel the aftershocks of Mughnieh’s assassination, especially because of Hezb’s acknowledgement of him as a leader. Mughnieh is now being “marketed” as an über-terrorist, who caused trouble far and wide. The prosecution is gatherings its dossier, and in addition to the stuff he actually did, we have;

1- There he was in Kuwait. Not only was he kidnapping a few planes, but he was also apparently organising some local branch of our national “resistance”. Yes, Kuwait has long been liberated, but you never know…

2- He appeared also in Iraq, where his tracks are well documented, and where he made a few locals unhappy. One of them may yet be implicated in assassination attempts against local officials, with support from the Iranians… Or something…

3- He was involved in the Khobar attack. Apparently, the local Bin Laden franchisee did not do that deed… Or at least, not yet; we’ll find about this later.

4-… ?

No, climate Change may not be pinned on him, but expect to see a few more “revelations” over the coming few days.

Mughnieh was no boy-scout, but neither was he Fantômas… All this “marketing” hints that something larger has been set in motion with his death. They may loom large in Lebanon, but both Hezb and Syria are bit players in the larger regional game, with far larger interests at play in the region.

The Syrians appear to understand this now, but they too far gone down the impasse to heed any warnings. They are bravely trying to avoid accusations for treason, either by claiming incompetence, or by accusing those devious Lebanese of the killing. But they have upset far too many people, and even Al-Jazeera may not be able to spin this one for them; March 14th or Siniora as the Godfather?

Nasrallah may find that anger is a poor policy guide. He can still motivate ‘em, but quite a few now realize that, while Syria is driving him towards a precipice, but so is Iran expending them for larger goals… For all practical purposes, and in spite of all the talk, he has cut himself off from the rest of Lebanon. And now, as the prosecution gathers its “evidence”, he will now be associated with Mugnieh’s alleged crimes. This will find him cut-off from the rest of the Arab world, with far too little of Lebanon left for him to hide behind…

So, will the sins of the sons be visited upon the fathers?

…And when?

(H/T Fubar)


Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...


The sin hardest to come to terms with is the sin of inaction by those who could have made a difference.

"The generals had by their [inaction] destroyed the last pillar capable of holding back Khomeini."

There is a lesson here for Lebanon.