Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Drums of War Begin to Beat in Lebanon

Lebanon continues its slow, worrisome march towards war. Currently the pro-West Christian and Sunni March 14th Coalition in parliament has a slim majority the ability to appoint the next president of Lebanon. However, the pro-Syria/Iran axis of Shia Hezbollah, Shia Amal, and Christian Free Patriotic Movement’s March 8 Alliance stands in the way.

Assassinations, riots, threats of violence, and rallies which Hezbollah’s leader Nasrallah talks of enemies’ heads he has collected have cowed March 14 into not declaring a president just yet. March 14th has proposed a compromise, General Michel Sulaiman, but March 8 feels it can gain more concessions so it is playing hardball.

The situation is becoming unbearable for some of March 14. Druze leader Walid Jumblat, who is famous for wagging war against everyone during the civil war and winning, has threatened war against March 8th if they continue aggression. Various translations vary on what exactly was said but Hezbollah released a public statement calling Jumblat said “You want war, we welcome war. You want chaos, we welcome chaos.”

The situation is getting dire in Lebanon. Al Qaeda is also running around randomly attacking UN troops and may possibly be involved in assassinations as well. While the world is focused on Iraq and Afghanistan, democracy in Lebanon is struggling to survive.

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