Words of Wisdom:

"No-one is listening until you fart." - Sheetal

Forced Tide

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 03:22 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 24.1 
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ABSTRACT REFERENCE



Distressed Lebanon has experienced in recent months might destabilize even a sturdy country, let alone one polarized along political and sectarian lines. That it has held together is in large part due to memories of the recent civil war. But Lebanon has a history of serving as an arena for proxy struggles, and communal divisions are deepening dangerously. The international community should continue to deal cautiously with Lebanese and related Syrian affairs, strengthening the government   and preserving stability, while putting aside more ambitious agendas for Hizbollah’s disarmament or system change in Damascus.

The governmental elections held immediately after Syria’s withdrawal showed the scale of the domestic test. The opposition, united in desire to force the Syrians out, fragmented once left on its own. Opportunistic new alliances were formed, with so-called pro- and anti-Syrians making common electoral cause to defend unshakable interests. Elections meant as a starting point for reform were a reminder of the power of sectarianism and the status quo, while assassinations and car bombs took more lives.

Decisions have been mired by a power struggle between the Western-backed alliance of the prime minister and the son of the ex-prime minister, Rafiq Al-Hariri, whose assassination started the chain of events, and the Syrian-backed president and his allies. Unsure whose orders to follow, security and civil officials sit on the fence. Fearful for their lives, many leaders have scattered, waiting in exile for the dust to settle.

Even after publication of the UN-sponsored Mehlis report on the Hariri assassination, politics remains in virtual deferral. The report offered a glimpse of an detailed plan, allegedly involving senior Lebanese and Syrian officials, to murder the former prime minister, but in mid-December of 2006 it was followed by a more detailed account that intensify the tensions further. All this...

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