Cheat-Seeking Missles

Friday, July 21, 2006

Lebanon's Unspoken Hatred Of Hezbollah

Michael Young has a piece in the UK Spectator that's good enough for you to go through the registeration hassle if you haven't already.

It deals with Lebanon's unspoken opinion of Israel and Hezbollah, and it's written by a guy who knows. Young is the opinion editor of the Lebanon Daily Star.

His finding: Many people in Lebanon, including Shiites from the bombarded southern suburbs and political leaders downtown, won't say so publicly but they're routing for the Israelis. They've had enough of Hezbollah, and they want them gone. Writes Young:
The Lebanese people have watched as Hezbollah has built up a heavily armed state-within-a-state that has now carried the country into a devastating conflict it cannot win and many are fed up. Sunni Muslims, Christians and the Druze have no desire to pay for the martial vanity of the Hezbollah leader, Hassan Nasrallah. Nor will they take kindly to his transforming the devastation into a political victory.

Some even welcome Israel’s intervention. As one Lebanese politician said to me in private (but would never dare say in public) Israel must not stop now. It sounds cynical, he said, but ‘for things to get better in Lebanon, Nasrallah must be weakened further’.

Even some Shiites are beginning to have doubts about Nasrallah. If interviewed on television they will praise Hezbollah, but when the cameras are off, there are those who will suddenly become more critical. Many have had to flee, leaving behind their homes and possessions with no hope of recovering anything of any worth.

Israel is comfortable with its role as the world's sewer-cleaner, ridiculed to its face, praised in private. How much easier their job would be if the leaders of Europe -- and some Middle Eastern countries, and some Beltway politicians -- would say what they really believed, and put some power behind it.

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