Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Who really rules in Lebanon

After heavy fighting in the Chouf mountain region and Tripoli, the Lebanonese Army has announced it will use force to enforce the peace. Lebanon Daily Star:
BEIRUT: Lebanon's army said on Monday it would use force if necessary to impose law and order in the country and prevent any armed presence of any of the warring factions.

"Army units will halt violations ... in accordance with the law, even if that leads to the use of force," a military statement said. It said the army would start implementing the order at 6 a.m. on Tuesday.

All of which begs the question – who rules in Lebanon? While some may answer who cares as it is a Lebanese internal question; the answer to this question has a far greater regional implications. The implications of which, was not lost on Israeli’s body politic. Ha’aretz:
Israel's vice premier Haim Ramon told cabinet members Sunday that Lebanon must be viewed as a "Hezbollah state," after the Shi'ite guerilla group seized control of the western part of the Lebanese capital over the weekend. "Lebanon has no government. It is a fiction, there is only Hezbollah," Ramon said during the weekly cabinet meeting.
And if Hezbollah is Lebanon what about UN Resolution 1701? Certainly in light of Hezbollah’s use of force against Lebanese civilians and the shelling of cities in the Chouf mountain region UNIFIL has demonstrably failed in the disarmament of Hezbollah. So what role has UNIFIL still to play in Lebanon when Hezbollah is Lebanon? How does one say “hostage” in Farsi???

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