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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 22-Nov-06
Assassination of Lebanese Minister threatens viability of Lebanon government

Web Log - November, 2006

Assassination of Lebanese Minister threatens viability of Lebanon government

Independence Day celebrations were canceled on Wednesday as thousands mourned the murder of cabinet minister Pierre Gemayel, a strong opponent of Syrian influence in Lebanon. The murder occurred as Gemayel was arriving to pay condolences to the family of an old woman who had died. Gemayel's face was destroyed by a dozen bullets.

The murder comes 1 years after a powerful car bomb blast in Beirut killed the beloved former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.

Hariri was a strong supporter of Lebanese nationalism -- that is, a Lebanon not under Syrian control. Most people blamed Syria for the assassination, and international pressure forced Syria to withdraw its army units from Lebanon.

The Lebanese became polarized into pro-Syria and anti-Syria factions, with the militia group Hizbollah leading the pro-Syria group.

Since then, there have been 6 more assassinations of public officials -- all of them opposed to Syrian influence -- culminating in Gemayel's assassination.

As if that weren't enough suffering for this poor little country, it became the theatre of war for 34 days this past summer, when pro-Syrian Hizbollah started shooting missiles into Israel, and Israel brought its air force into Lebanon to flatten Hizbollah -- though in the end it may have flattened every EXCEPT Hizbollah.

Hizbollah chief Sheik Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has been claiming that it won the war against Israel, and has been demanding control of the Lebanese government. Nasrallah precipitated a crisis two weeks ago by withdrawing the six ministers he controls from the Lebanese cabinet, and Thursday was the day he had threatened massive anti-government demonstrations.

That's on hold now -- at least for a while. But the government and the people of Lebanon have been thrown into political chaos.

Many Lebanese are fearing a return to the violence genocidal civil war of the 1980s, but regular readers of this web site already know that's impossible -- you can't have a new crisis war now since only one generation has passed since the end of the last one.

Still, the current chaos could lead to Nasrallah having significantly more power in Lebanon's government, as now seems possible in some scenarios. This it would effectively mean Syrian and Iranian control of Lebanon, and Iran's use of Lebanon as a base of operations in the coming regional Mideast war between Arabs and Jews. (22-Nov-06) Permanent Link
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