New Lebanese Civil War?

Today I digress from arts matters since the sad news that a new civil war may be underway in Lebanon has made me very upset.

Having briefly lived in Beirut in the late 1990s I can imagine the fear the Lebanese people are experiencing considering the devastating toll the first civil war (1975-1990) had on the country and the wounds from that period that still fester among the populace unresolved and largely ignored.

Thankfully the blogosphere offers us a number of first-person accounts of this (unofficial) war via the English-language Lebanese blogs here and here.

If you’re interested in some MSM background on the current stalemate in government that has caused this flare up, I suggest reading the very intelligent Michael Young, whose op-ed in Beirut’s Daily Star newspaper is entitled “Heading Towards a Lebanese Divorce:”

Once we accept that this week’s alleged labor unrest was only the latest phase in Hizbullah’s war against the Lebanese state, will we understand what actually took place yesterday. And once we realize that cutting the airport road was a calculated effort by Hizbullah to reverse the Siniora government’s transfer of the airport security chief, Wafiq Shouqair, will we understand what may take place in the coming days…

…Most [Lebanese] Christians, not to mention vast majorities of Sunnis and Druze, see no possible coexistence between the idea of the Lebanese state and a Hizbullah that insists on demanding veto power over any decision that might limit its political and military margin of maneuver.

...And if Hizbullah does decide to reject Lebanon, then we shouldn’t be surprised if some start speaking of an amicable divorce between Shiites and the rest of Lebanon.

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