Friday, May 9, 2008

Battles in Lebanon

So it would seem that things in Lebanon are slowly but surely escalating. There have been open street battles in Beirut over the last day, with Shiite militias pushing aside rival forces. Though calm appears to have returned, albiet in a fragile state, I haven't seen any indication that a larger political solution is viable yet. Majority leader Hariri's proposal to make Army commander Gen. Michel Suleiman President as a solution to the deadlock doesn't seem to have gained any traction with Hezbollah. That group's response to the proposed deal troubled me especially:

...Al Manar television, which is run by Hezbollah, said the group had rejected Mr. Hariri’s proposal. The station cited a pro-Hezbollah official, who said the group and its allies would reject any ideas for ending the conflict that were not proposed by Mr. Nasrallah.

I really hope that's just posturing. It's one thing to reject a deal, it's another thing to categorically reject the notion of any deal not proposed by one's own side. If Hezbollah has basically decided that they are in a position to dictate terms - and who knows, before long they may be - then I'm not sure what the way is out of this mess.

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