Thursday, November 23, 2006


Pray for Lebanon.

Hezbollah is on a mission to topple the Lebanese government. They will likely succeed.

Bush's democratization of the ME has not played out as he planned. He saw democracy as a stabilizing force, but never understood the tribal-ethnic-religious divides of the area. A pure democracy, quote unquote, of Lebanon would have Hezbollah (the Shia) control roughly 50% of the power. As they are now the dominant ethnic religious group.

It is the same problem Bush had with the Hamas democratic victory in Palestine as with Hezbollah. Democracy is a vote of pure mass in these lands. Democracy is not trust in institutions, constitutions, separate judiciaries in these lands. Only in those situations (classical liberal gov.) does democracy work.

Hezbollah wants power relative to its strength-power. I see no way around getting them involved. The issue is whether violence will erupt. Hezbollah is a state within a non-state.

This recent assassaination has already brought about a chorus (Hansen, Hitchens, neocons) of not following the Baker Comm.'s proposal to re-engage with Syria (and Iran). Bush's public negative reponse so far to the Report could be the prime reason behind the murder of Pierre Gemayel. The Syrians and Iranians still see (rightly I suspect) the policy be to overthrow them. Hence instead of waiting for us to pre-emptively attack them--militarily, diplomatically--they pre-empt us. They have learned the lessons of Iraq.

America's power in the ME is on the wane and the Shia are on the rise. No talk about Syria being Nazis is going to matter. We could destroy the Syrian government, but can not, as we have seen in Iraq, build a long-standing government.

It is going to take a containment strategy with the Shia which will take 30-50 years. Do everything within our now reduced prestige to protect minorities (Maronite Christians, Sunnis).

The Iranian rise I think, when co-opted, is the only thing that can bring a more lasting (long-lasting? permanent?) resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli issue.

Syria will want the Golan Heights. Iran the bomb. Iran major influence in Shia Iraq. Hezbollah the majority share (veto power on anything) of power in the Lebanese government.


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