Wednesday, November 21, 2007

"Beirut Is Not Tehran"

Exum & McInerney in the WaPo, here and Exum's (Abu Muqawama's) comments below:
"1. The U.S. doesn't seem to realize -- publicly, at least -- that the Lebanese populace is really quite evenly divided between the two warring camps. We would prefer to think that our allies in the pro-West March 14th alliance command a solid majority of all Lebanese, but recent polling data indicate that isn't the case..."
"2.You get the feeling the U.S. would rather "wish away" the 35%+ of the population that is Shia and for whom Hizbollah is the sole political representative. From a U.S. policy perspective, it would be a lot easier if those people just didn't exist, or there was a political alternative to Hizbollah (no, Amal is not an alternative), or they didn't have the support of a large part of Lebanon's Christian community..."

"3. The U.S. insists on seeing the conflict in Lebanon through the prism of its greater clash with Iran ...this is a huge mistake. While we're viewing Hizbollah as a conflict with Iran, some of our allies in Lebanon and the greater Middle East are funding and manipulating some nasty transnational Sunni terror groups -- the kind of guys who were not only responsible for the recent fighting in Nahr al-Bared but also the worst terror attacks in Iraq. (Oh, and that whole 9/11 thing.) We said post-9/11 that we would not allow another terrorist safe haven after Afghanistan, but that's exactly what the Palestinian refugee camps have become -- often with the support of U.S. allies..."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting - zero comments on that op-ed at the WaPo site and I didn't see it linked on the opinion page yesterday ...
See also "A powder keg in Lebanon -
Deadlock over a new leader could set off a civil war and fuel Mideast volatility."
By Milton Viorst,0,7917308.story?coll=la-opinion-rightrail