Monday, November 13, 2006

Hezbollah, Al Qaida Seek Regime Change in Lebanon

Day by day the democratic government in Lebanon begins to more and more resemble the Weimar Republic, whipsawed by competing anti-democratic forces that seek to either dominate the regime or topple it. Ominously, the past week has witenessed dual threats to the Lebanese government.

First,as reported here
, came the resignation of the government ministers loyal to Hezbollah and its allied Druse faction Amal, after Prime Minister Fuad Saniora refused the Hezbollah demand to form a "government of national unity," in which the guerrilla group would have veto power. It is widely assumed that Iran and Syria are behind the political maneuvering of Hezbollah and Amal. The departure of Hezbollah and Amal from the government is an unsubtle threat to use their militias, which are well-armed and well-financed by Syria and Iran, to overthrow the government, achieving by attack from without what Hezbollah so far has been unable to achieve by subversion and intimidation from within. The present government led by Prime Minister Saniora came to power on an anti-Syrian platform, during the "Cedar Revolution" that followed the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Syrian agents are widely believed to have perpetrated the bombing that murdered Hariri. The photo above depicts the now nearly forgotten optimism of the Cedar Revolution.

Now, today, on top of the threat from the Shiite Hezbollah, comes a threat of coup by the Sunni-dominated, anti-Shiite Al Qaida, as reported here.

If the Lebanese government falls, a renewal of the Lebanese civil war will surely follow, with the very real danger of armed confrontation between Israel and Syria.


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