Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Chalice from Hell

The latest Hezb’O’tantrum is revealing in two ways;

First, it now establishes that Lebanon is indeed a failed state. We're beyond simple electile dysfunction; the absence of the rule of law had already been documented, it is now exposed to the outside world. The Lebanese government now has received two warnings. The first warning comes from its hawkish American protectors that it needed to live up to its responsibilities, or face the consequences of its incompetence. The second warning is from Hezb’O’’Partners that it better do no such thing, lest Bachar’s promise to Hariri be realized.

Second, it demonstrates that we’ve been barking up the wrong occupier. Those who fear “Saudization of Lebanon” under Hariri better take heed. We have lost much more than a presidential "chair" warmer. What may have started as a Syrian occupation has now turned into an Iranian takeover of Lebanon, if not the entire Levant. This indicates that Lebanon may not be a failed state as much as a “pod-state”, a bystander to its own demise, taken over by a parasitic Hezb’O’State.

With the above in mind, consider that Assad’s last “offer” of a peace-related land swap is now all but rejected by a skeptical Israel. Factor out the much-abused UNIFIL. Add in the fact that Israel, now chafing at the bit, may have a better land-swap in mind.

You get an interesting “external” motivation.

Now, in addition to the external implications. Consider the corrosive effect of Hezb’O’Monopoly. Factor in the rising Sunni anger at the martyrdom of “our modern-day Hussein”. Add in the unique features of our Lebanese "lobster basket".

You get an interesting “internal” motivation.

Now, mix both implications. Add a zest of Arab-Iranian rivalry, and a pinch of a “frozen” Palestinian issue.

And Wait…

But be mindful of Von Moltke, and keep a safe distance away


10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am afraid that lebanon is lost.

Solomon2 said...

Ah, Jeha, if only more Lebanese could have said this eighteen months ago! Still, even now there is a little hope, if Lebanese aren't too proud or cowardly to publicly beg the West for assistance. Soon, though, it may be too late.

Jeha said...

We'll see; Lebanon has seen far worse, as evidenced by the inscriptions left by the many past invaders on Nahr-El-Kalb.

It is sure that Lebanon is in lousy shape, and this looks set to be a long fight. But I am not sure we're lost yet. But I am sure of one thing; enemies, we can deal with, as we have dealt with before. It is our "friends" who are the problem. Why do we need to "beg" spineless Westerners live up to their professed ideals, and stop stabbing us in the back by carping to Syria and Iran.

Solomon2 said...

Why do we need to "beg" spineless Westerners live up to their professed ideals

Basically, it's because one of the ideals of the West is national self-determination, meaning that, unless the West cares about human rights violations in your country, what goes on in your country is your business until it starts to threaten the security of other countries, or unless you ask for help. In short, the West isn't going to "live up to its ideals" of eliminating the growing terror organism eating at Lebanon until Lebanon "lives up to its ideals" and rejects the cancer itself, and asks for assistance to do so.

The sick patient doesn't go to the hospital until it desires to do so. Must that be at the verge of death? The sane patient knows better than that. For the not-so-sane, the destination may be the asylum or morgue, rather than intensive care.

Jeha said...

Solomon,

I am afraid you misunderstand my point. Let the West clean up their own mess. We can clean up ours, provided they stop supporting our enemies with their carping and incompetence.

Solomon2 said...

Let the West clean up their own mess.

What mess? Why shouldn't Western politicians be tempted to snuggle up to Syria if Lebanese themselves don't object?

In the 1980s, the countries surrounding South Africa successfully explained why Western countries should boycott S.A. while they themselves continued to do business with it. Lebanon doesn't explain this clearly, perhaps out of incompetence and/or the current confusion among foreign affairs officials, but more likely because they are afraid not to be seen kissing the asses of Lebanon's true enemies.

Anonymous said...

Call me a simpleton, but from my corner of the world (in south america) I refuse to let it go (the dream of lebanon, not OTV) even if I have to put a cedar seed in my living room and wait a generation to show it's growth (without the iranian wheather) to my kids...
But of course, it's a hell lot easier from here (armchair style) instead of the "beirutian heat"

Jeha said...

Anon 08:41,

That was my point I was trying to make to Solomon. Such an attitude is why I remain hopeful about Lebanon, even as the connection wears thinner by the day. The Iranians will leave, like the Syrians did before them, and like the French, Turks, Egyptians, Turks, Byzantines, Romans, Greeks, Assyrians, Hittites, Egyptians... Lebanon will remain, as it always had. Call it an irrational hope.

I ever get outta Dodge, I'll have to copy your Cedar seed Idea.

Marillionlb said...

I am afraid that this invasion is somehow different than the past ones. We have on one hand a local cancer fast spreading (Hizb), and on the other a buch of incompetent fools (M14) who are doing absolutely nothing to eradicate such cancer. In the middle is what I call the silent majority, who is still unorganized and silent and therefore useless.
Unlike you Jeha, I am loosing hope.

Solomon2 said...

Iranians will leave... Lebanon will remain, as it always had -

Food for thought:

"The Levantines...could escape from their penalization by abandoning their religion and adopting that of their masters. Few, however, cared to take this course; instead...they set themselves to exploit the limited opportunities left open by their arbitrarily imposed disabilities, and in so doing they displayed that curious and unattractive combination of toughness of character and obsequiousness of manner which seems to be characteristic...It made no difference that the Levantine might be descended physically from one of the most warlike and imperious...in the stifling atmosphere of their Ottoman ghetto they must either make the same response to the challenge of religious penalization as their fellow victims of diverse origins or else succumb."

- Toynbee, "The Challenge of the Environment"