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July 25, 2006

Beirut Journalist: The Lebanese Fault Hezbollah

Writing in the Spectator, Michael Young, an opinion editor of the Daily Star in Beirut and a contributing editor to Reason magazine in the U.S., says that the Lebanese really blame Hezbollah for their plight:

[W]hat has not been so widely reported is that while officials will blame Israel for the misery and chaos, a substantial number of Lebanese - in some cases, ironically, the officials themselves - have a more nuanced view. Of course the people here are angry and anxious about the possibility of a widening of the Israeli attacks, but their rage, as they see the country being taken apart, is often directed against Hezbollah.

The Lebanese people have watched as Hezbollah has built up a heavily armed state-within-a-state that has now carried the country into a devastating conflict it cannot win and many are fed up. Sunni Muslims, Christians and the Druze have no desire to pay for the martial vanity of the Hezbollah leader, Hassan Nasrallah. Nor will they take kindly to his transforming the devastation into a political victory.

Some even welcome Israel's intervention. As one Lebanese politician said to me in private (but would never dare say in public) Israel must not stop now.
It sounds cynical, he said, but 'for things to get better in Lebanon, Nasrallah must be weakened further'.

Even some Shiites are beginning to have doubts about Nasrallah. If interviewed on television they will praise Hezbollah, but when the cameras are off, there are those who will suddenly become more critical.

(Hat tip: IMRA)

Posted by TS at July 25, 2006 08:02 AM


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