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Lebanon: A forgotten agony

09/20/2007

If we try very hard, I am sure we can all remember, if only we try hard enough, that there is a country called Lebanon, and that a very brief while ago we were all watching events there very attentively. Remember when Rafiq Hariri (who?) was assassinated? Remember the March 14 movement. Remember the Hezbollah kidnapping of Israeli sodliers, the Israeli invasion? Remember the Hezbollah and "Sister" Syria?

If you remember, you are doing much better than the French or Americans or the UN, who seem to have forgotten entirely and are leaving Lebanon to its agony. Those who insist, against the evidence, that radical Jihadist parties are adapting to democracy have a case in point. Hezbollah is adapting admirably. In elections, Stalin supposedly said, it doesn't matter who votes, it matters who counts the votes. Hezbollah and its ally, "Sister" Syria have a new version of that aphorism. In a democracy, it only matters who is alive to vote. When a president is elected by a legislature, the matter is fairly simple. As part of their "campaign" for the Lebanese presidency, the opposition has been garnering support by killing off anti-Syrian Members of parliament. Four have been killed so far. The latest casualty is Antoine Ghanem He and at least seven others were democratically murdered by a car bomb. The government now holds only 68 out of 128 seats in parliament. Perhaps some of the others will not show up.

And what of the allies and the "international community?" The French are busy making and retracting statements about Iran. The Americans, and especially Seceretary of State Condoleezza Rice, once so solicitious of the fragile Lebanese democracy, have apparently forgotten that Lebanon exists, as they are immersed in the debacle of the Iraq war and in the non-preparations for the non-peace non-summit that is scheduled for November. The UN has done what it usually does in the Middle East. Having passed a vote about a tribunal, it considers that its work is done. It is not the affair of the Security Council if the Hariri Tribunal never convenes, or if a new and docile Lebanese government, anxious to please "sister" Syria, doctors the evidence presented to the court, so that the "right" people are acquitted.

As for the Hezbollah, they are providing a sterling example of how Jihadists can "adapt" to "democracy."

Ami Isseroff

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Original text copyright by the author and MidEastWeb for Coexistence, RA. Posted at MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log at http://www.mideastweb.org/log/archives/00000625.htm where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Distributed by MEW Newslist. Subscribe by e-mail to mew-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Please forward by email with this notice and link to and cite this article. Other uses by permission.

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