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Power and Clarity in Lebanon

From Lebanon's An-Nahar, a clear indication of who holds true power in Lebanon.

Hizbullah freed two detainees after they were apprehended by police for having no identity cards on them, security sources said Thursday.

They said two bearded men on two motorbikes were stopped at the security checkpoint around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Qmatiyeh village near the mountain resort town of Aley, east of Beirut.

One of the cyclists made a cell phone call and shortly afterwards about 100 Hizbullah members surrounded the security force and freed the two men, the security sources added.

They said the Hizbullah force also recovered the bikes.

Perhaps of shared interest, the latest book to arrive at the doorstep is Augustus Richard Norton's Hezbollah - A Short History. Published in 2007, but playing catch-up and is next in line after I complete Mike Yon's Moment of Truth in Iraq and Andy McCarthy's Willful Blindness: Memoir of the Jihad. Both of the latter are outstanding, and I find myself bouncing between each, chapter by chapter, unable to find the discipline to read one or the other first.

1 Comment

Democracy vs martial law vs consolidated demographic powers. When the stand offs are resolved at street level with impunity, we must start to assume that the first two are loosing their hold. Oddly enough, the fact that Hezbollah holds virtual (or pragmatically complicit) control over a large swathe of Lebanese territory (and has for a long time) is often overlooked. Such would seem to be the nature of such an ethnically religiously and politically divided country. May we trust Israel to reunite Lebanon's efforts, are we to witness a re-balance of power based on Lebanon's democratic principals (either through military means or diplomatic), or are we to witness Lebanon's demise as we know it. I do not have the answer, but the one thing that we may be sure of is that it is not possible for the situation to continue as it is for very much longer. Sadly, there are those that would keep it that way, and each is capable of finding the fault in the other.