Across the Bay

Friday, September 29, 2006

Syria, Iran, Hezbollah: The Destruction of Lebanon

Hazem Saghieh pens a short, dark piece on the choice that Syria, Iran, and Hezbollah have imposed on Lebanon:

Either Lebanon becomes a mini-Iran garrison state/battlefront ruled by Hezbollah with a bunch of minor satellites like Aoun et al., or it becomes a mini-Iraq with al-Qaeda roaming around blowing things up, as Assad and his thugs have been saying explicitly for months now. Syria, after all, as Barry Rubin recently put it, is today (with Iran) a state sponsor of al-Qaeda.

The choice is: death by [Hezbollah's] rockets or death by [al-Qaeda's] car bombs.

But as Saghieh notes, it's likely that many Lebanese won't stand idly by and watch this happen. Hence the rally by the Lebanese Forces, the responses of Jumblat and Hariri. This is Lebanon: there's a compact of minorities. Once one party decides to break the compact, the rest will challenge it.

As Gebran Tueni, who was murdered by Assad's thugs, wrote almost 20 years ago, as Hezbollah was killing fellow Lebanese Shiites from Amal (yes, learn your history, Hezbollah killed other Lebanese, unlike what their propaganda says), the Lebanese will not allow Hezbollah to "Iranify" Lebanon. The late Tueni is today being echoed by Walid Jumblat. It's not coincidental that Jumblat says that his break with Hezbollah came after their jubilant reaction to Tueni's murder by their Syrian allies. Hezbollah, being the private army of another state, is bound to Iran, and has made its strategic choice with Syria. As such, as Jumblat said, Hezbollah has chosen to break the (national) agreement, in alliance with Syria and Iran.

That's what Syria, Iran, and Hezbollah have to offer: death.