"... But the shooting in Beirut should not be diminished. Gunmen back on the streets of the capital produces a mixture of intense fear and weariness among the Lebanese. The fighting centred around the Berjawi family – Sheikh Shaker Berjawi, who was once pro-Palestinian and then pro-Mourabitoun, a particularly venal militia, and is now pro-Syrian, versus other members of his anti-Syrian extended family who support the Prime Minister Saad Hariri. But it spread from Tarek el-Jdeideh into the shopping district of Verdun and then moved towards the museum, the old civil war crossing point in Beirut.The problem is that Syria now dominates Lebanon as surely as it did in the days when tens of thousands of its troops occupied much of the country. You only have to count how many times the phrases "pro-Syrian" and "anti-Syrian" appear in reports about Lebanon to grasp that the division between the government – electorally pro-Syrian and very much supported by Hezbollah and pro-Syrian Christian parties and the Shia Muslims – and the anti-Syrian Sunnis and Druze and Phalangist Christians is presently incurable.
But every time the Lebanese have been offered another civil war, they have turned it down. The young men and women educated outside Lebanon during the 1975-90 war do not want another conflict and are contemptuous of the sectarian politics, introduced by the French almost 100 years ago. And no one can forget who won the civil war: the one neighbouring power whose soldiers were stabled across the land, that rock-solid, secure dictatorship which would never suffer internal dissent, a nation called Syria."
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
"What was the religious affiliation of the soldiers who apparently stopped, or tried to stop, the sheikh's car at a roadblock north of Tripoli?"
Posted by G, M, Z, or B at 10:45 AM