‘Another hot summer’

Hanin Ghaddar raises the issue that has mystified many since the government’s sudden denouncing of Hizbullah and its announcing of measures against the opposition: ‘So what has spurred the government’s decision to take such a firm stance now, after years of backing down and trying to play nice? Allouch explained that tensions have recently reached a boiling point, and that the government simply had to act – a theory echoed by other March 14 sources. The coming days and weeks will likely determine whether we have truly entered a new era, or rather are simply in the middle of a fleeting moment of fortitude. However, it is long past time that both sides drop the charade that the present crisis is about the president, cabinet, electoral law, or the standard of minimum wages. The Lebanese may long have mastered the art of leaving things for tomorrow, but no progress can really be achieved until leaders and laypeople alike start focusing on the actual problem: Hezbollah’s rapidly emerging state within a state.’

He doesn’t mention David Welsh’s recent visit to Lebanon, or the increasingly frequent visits to the White House by every M14 figure from Geagea to Junblatt to Sfeir. Welsh famously said only last week or so that Lebanon was to expect ‘another hot summer’. When asked what exactly he meant by that he realized his mistake and swallowed his words, saying instead that he only meant ‘Lebanese told me they are afraid of a hot summer’…

To me the whole thing looks like a deliberate act by the government/M14 ordered by their US/Saudi/Israeli masters and designed to provoke HA into taking impulsive actions and committing mistakes. So far, yesterday’s action seems already to have cost Hizbullah the support of Aoun and the Free Patriotic Movement, not to mention a lot of the general sympathy they had, as well as turning the political battle into a sectarian fight between the shia and the sunnis. With the added advantage of keeping HA employed internally while Israel celebrates its 60th anniversary and Bush visits the Middle East…

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