Across the Bay

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Report from Northern Lebanon

Hanin Ghaddar filed an interesting report the other day on the situation in the north that confirms the conclusions covered in my previous two posts:

Residents admit the Salafists did fight alongside the Popular Resistance, made up of supporters of former prime ministers Omar Karami and Najib Mikati. But this was no holy war; residents claim that they took up arms fearing another massacre. “The recent battles proved that [the Salafists] are weak,” said another former fighter, who claimed to have been held in a Syrian jail for several years. “Those who really fought and defended the neighborhood are the boys and men who felt that they need to defend their families against another massacre. People never forget,” he said.

Also, Hazem Amin echoes another of the conclusions noted in the posts (Translation and emphasis mine):

Regarding the Tripoli explosion specifically, what does attributing it to "international terrorism" aim at? First, it aims at reviving illusions about ties between international terrorism to Lebanese political factions, which is something no one dared to hint at after the Tripoli explosion save for General Aoun, who it seems has been delegated for these types of tasks. Second, it aims at focusing attention on one side and none other when analyzing the goals behind the explosion. Third and most important, it leads to neglecting the hypothesis that the explosion aimed at splintering the structure of a community that has followed a political project after the assassination of prime minister Rafik Hariri, and that this explosion is a part of incidents that began with the battles in Nahr el-Bared, on to the battles in Bab el-Tebbaneh and Baal Mohsen, and today have moved to a new style in targeting that society and exhausting it.