Lebanon: Violence, Paris 3 and Cluster Bombs

The past week was a violent week for Lebanon. Fighting broke out around one of the universities in Beirut between pro and anti government students. This was two days after a general strike, accompanied by riots, that was staged by the opposition. On the same day of the strike, the government, represented by the prime minister and other ministers, was taking part in an international conference to aid Lebanon in Paris (Paris 3 Conference). As a result there were many posts discussing these topics in the Lebanese Blogosphere. Most of which can not be mentioned here because of lack of space and time. I have chosen a representative sample, especially those that have not been mentioned before in a summary. In addition to the topics mentioned, there are posts on the issue of the Israeli cluster bombs leftovers from last year’s July war that are still causing casualties.

Posts about the violence:
The Arabist summarizes a lecture/analysis about the situation and the fears that the violence may escalate into a civil war:

Khoury and Traboulsi said that it is not in Hezbullah’s interest to start a
civil war, and that Hezbullah knows this; but the movement it started–which has
been using the exact same methods as last year’s “cedar revolution” to topple
the government–has now painted itself into a corner, and Hezbullah’s allies
(Syria and the party of Christian General Michel Aoun) may be pushing for a war
because they have virtually nothing to lose from it.

Dmitri Marine writes on the Blogger News Network about the same topic and does not see an imminent violent escalation of the situation:

There is a significant segment of the Lebanese population that dislikes the way
the current government is handling the country. And instead of doing things
un-democratically, through terror, the disenchanted are taking peaceful means to
voice their concerns and demands. No one can doubt that Hezbollah, a key player
in the protests, is capable of acts of terror (and ones of magnitude). After
all, it was Hezbollah that seriously challenged the reputation of the IDF this
summer. However, Hezbollah has not been violent.

Badger at Arab Links translates (from Arabic) an editorial from a local newspaper that explains why the events in Lebanon last week were an early implementation of the new strategy that Secretary Rice seems to be implementing in the Middle East. …

Read the rest here…


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