Thursday, November 30, 2006

Lebanon's Leaders Failed the Test in the 1970s, and will their successors fail it today?

As someone who witnessed the ravages of civil war in Lebanon first-hand, both in Beirut and the South, it is extraordinary that Lebanese youths would embrace the notion of living their father's and mother's youth.
In my recent trip to Lebanon, I did not sense the widescale willingness to jump back into the fire, but I was not in the country long enough to draw definitive conclusions.
As I wrote when the July war started, a bomb was being thrown into the Lebanese political system. I will post here shortly a reprint of my July 25 piece that some readers may find provocative.
Lebanese think the unthinkable: another civil war - Los Angeles Times: "Electronics student Shadi Akouri, a 23-year-old Christian, says he would 'pay in blood' for control of the Lebanese government. 'Hezbollah has arms and [is] making clear [it] wants this. OK, we want it too. If their intention is to fight, we'll fight. If you don't defend yourself, what is the point of existence?'

Across town, 18-year-old Hezbollah supporter Mohammed Haidar also said he was willing to give up his life. 'When you want to change the government, people always die,' said Haidar, a Shiite Muslim who says the U.S.-backed Lebanese government is illegitimate. 'I will be on the front lines. Why? Because I want to build a country where we can hold our heads up because we are Shia.'"

No comments: