have had a very close relationship since the beginning of the violence in Lebanon. And while I sit here and curse the American media firewall against all non-American news, I just want to show some undying love to the people who blog in English about the fighting for the non-Arabic speakers like me.
and The Angry Arab News Service.
The latter which gave me my one and only moment of laughter during this horror:
Commenting on the Saudi propogranda war-
"AlArabiya TV rolls out advocates for Husni Mubarak and House of Saud and Hashemite Kingdom who state (without irony) that they are opposed to Hizbullah because the latter is not democratic."
I too wonder how they could say that with a straight face.
But what I want to know is why were the Sunni militia told to stand down? Whats the ultimate game here?
Charles Malik writes here that it is Syria backing Hezbollah with the plan of resuming control over Lebanese politics, hokay, and this seems to be a general consensus. As'ad Abukhalil (Angry Arab) wrote :
"You can't analyze the situation in the Middle East only in pure sectarian terms. For example: NBN TV (Nabih Birri TV) yesterday reported that `Adil `Abdul-Mahdi (a leader of the pro-US, pro-Iranian Badr sectarian militia which, among other crimes, largely orchestrated the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in Iraq) called Nabih Birri (the leader of the Amal sectarian militia which led the war on the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, when Palestinian brothers and sisters were forced to eat rats to survive). So the leader of a militia that is implementing the US plan in Iraq, called and congratulated (?) the leader of the militia that is fighting the US plan in Lebanon?"
Which would lead one to believe that this may have been US-backed, but how in the hell could someone be "pro-US" AND "pro-Iranian" at the same time?
I spoke Thursday evening with the clerk of the Lebanese-owned cornerstore by my house who talked about Hezbollah being backed by Syria, or more specifically the pro-Alouwite (or shall I say Alouwite majority?) government in Syria and Iran. Which was news to me as I had largely ignored Syria and did not know the president is an Alouwite (shi'a for those who don't know what Alouwite is.. crazy ass shi'a.)
Anyways, so one could with confidence assume that Hezbollah, Amal, and the SSNP were backed by Syria and Iran (which Iran is so much of a given that I almost forgot to mention it,) but why US-backed?
And why were the Sunnis told to back down?
Abukhalil quoted from the NY Times,
""On Friday, numerous men in the Sunni neighborhood of Tarik Jadideh complained that they had been given instructions not to fight, and now felt humiliated. “Saad Hariri let us down,” said one young man in Tarik Jadideh, where the streets were still littered with broken glass on Friday, and blackened building facades bore witness to fierce battles the night before with rocket-propelled grenades and small arms. “We don’t want the Future Movement any more, or the whole Hariri family.” The man refused to give his name, because Mr. Hariri is such an important figure in the area. Another young man added: “What happened last night around midnight is that orders were given to desert our positions and go home.""
And Sandmonkey writes,
"I never thought that the Sunni neighborhoods would fall this quickly, nor that Hezbollah would control Beirut this easily. But here we are, and it all seems so…deliberate. Like M14 wanted this to happen. Like they wanted Hezbollah exposed. Their refusal to engage with the opposition fighters is making the latter look-and rightfully so- like thugs."
So who is playing who? Syria/Iran funds/arms the Shi'a militia with the idea of setting up a Shi'a-ruled puppet government (don't pay any attention to the sect behind the curtain...,) somehow with the backing of the US (never you mind the chest thumping the US has been doing about fighting Iran) and the Sunni officials tell the Sunni militia to back down and let Hezbollah make an ass of itself as the meanie on the playground.
So my take out of all of this is that Hezbollah tried to take over Lebanon but, without an enemy to fight, found no ground... what is keeping them from completely over-running the government offices and setting up shop?
And the humiliation the Sunnis have endured, was it a master strike in this political game of chess?
Politics... oh politics.