June 25, 2008

No Peace in Lebanon

You aren’t hearing about it in the Western media, but the truce agreement reached last month in Doha, Qatar, between the Lebanese government and the Hezbollah-led opposition is no more operative than the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

Fighting broke out in the northern city of Tripoli between Sunni supporters of the “March 14” majority bloc in parliament and gunmen from the Alawite sect loyal to the Syrian Baath regime and Hezbollah. We’re not talking about street brawling here. Machine guns, mortars, and rocket-propelled grenades were deployed. Several houses and a gas station were burned to the ground. Ten people were killed and at least 52 people were wounded.

One of Lebanon’s few pro-Syrian Sunni leaders, Omar Karami (he was prime minister during the Syrian occupation), said the Doha agreement was only a “temporary truce because historical grudges still exist.” [Emphasis added.] He is right about that much, at least. Historical grudges most certainly do still exist, even if the ceasefire doesn’t.

Rifaat Eid, who represents Lebanese Alawites, claims radical Sunni remnants from the terrorist group Fatah al Islam were involved. “Armed groups from outside the region come to Bab al-Tabbaneh, open fire in our direction and leave,” he said. “The fighting was premeditated given the kind of weapons, their quantity, and the Islamic extremist factions that are joining the fighters . . . Is Fatah al Islam gone? I doubt it.”

Read the rest in COMMENTARY Magazine.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at June 25, 2008 2:01 PM
Comments

Well, I hate to be the consummate cynic, but I wasn't terribly hopeful at the idea of the so-called truce in Lebanon, nor the failed cease-fire in Gaza. One has to question the intentions of these militants. No matter how badly the world needs peace, it is not always achieved through temporary truces that allow terrorist groups to re-arm.

Wishful thinking fueled the Israel/Hamas truce; and I think genuine fear was at play in Lebanon. Hezbollah is too powerful there...

Posted by: E.D. Kain Author Profile Page at June 25, 2008 3:31 PM

Speaking of Israel/Hamas truce.
As of June 24th three Qassams had landed in Sderot since truce "went into effect".

Posted by: leo Author Profile Page at June 26, 2008 5:21 AM

"March 14th" has well known ties to Sunni extremists. They have been arming and funding them for some time with Saudi and American cash and arms.

It would not surprise me if these extremists did attack the Alawites. Sunni extremists would view the Alawites as deviants, much like they view the Shi'a, non Muslims at best, apostates at worst. We all know what that means.

These are the types of allied organisations we are supporting when we support March 14th.

This is another case where we are thinking we are supporting the "good guys" in a country and it will most certainly turn out to be a grave mistake. These Sunni extremists allied with March 14th hate America and Israel as much as Hizb'Allah.

We can sit and hope they satisfy themselves with Alawite, Shi'ite and opposition Christian victims, but all too often these people will end up biting the hand that feeds them.

Posted by: Marc Author Profile Page at June 26, 2008 5:56 AM

“March 14th” has well known ties to Sunni extremists.

America has well known ties to Sunni extremists too. Our president holds hands with them, we beg them for oil. Most of the governments around the world do the same thing. Let those without sin throw the first stone.

Sure, it would be a good thing to stop feeding this crocodile. We should lead by example.

Posted by: maryatexitzero Author Profile Page at June 26, 2008 8:55 AM

Isn't it strange how we expect the Leopard to change his spots and, oh, if he does not we are so willing to change ours. Can we expect successful negotiations when they are willing to die and sacrifice their children's future and we are not? Spending time trying to reform them will not work.

I mean seriously, do we really believe that sharing a latte and agreeing that the western world is the cause of all this mess will gain us their support? In past generations this strategy was known as appeasment and it didn't appear to be a very successful one. If anything, it was the most expensive option in terms of life and financial commitment.

I guess I am a cynic too. Until we decide what we are willing to fight and pay for, a lot of innocent people will continue to die.

Posted by: Chris in Tulsa Author Profile Page at June 26, 2008 9:51 AM

"I mean seriously, do we really believe that sharing a latte and agreeing that the western world is the cause of all this mess will gain us their support? In past generations this strategy was known as appeasment and it didn't appear to be a very successful one."

I agree. America-hate; perpetual apologies for just being "the West"; using said attitude of apology as the groundwork for the type of moral relativism we see in the UK these days, etc. none of this will end terrorism, extremism, the expansion of Islamist groups into Western society.

We're dealing with very well-organized propaganda machines (for example the mechanics of propaganda that went into the Danish Cartoon hysteria) that will not suddenly cease and desist should every Westerner suddenly throw up their hands in appeasement....

Posted by: E.D. Kain Author Profile Page at June 26, 2008 3:27 PM

America has well known ties to Sunni extremists too. Our president holds hands with them, we beg them for oil. Most of the governments around the world do the same thing. Let those without sin throw the first stone.

Sure, it would be a good thing to stop feeding this crocodile. We should lead by example.

I couldnt have said it better myself. It is a bit silly for our leaders to tell us they are fighting "radical Islam" but then support and fund the governments that support radical Islam.

Posted by: Marc Author Profile Page at July 2, 2008 6:35 AM
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