Worried Lebanese

thought crumbs on lebanese and middle eastern politics

Dealing with Hezbollah, an american recommendation

Posted by worriedlebanese on 26/12/2006

New York Times logoAn interesting opinion article written by a former head of the CIA counterintelligence  center. Oddly enough, the argument he advance is equally true for Hamas in Palestine: Americans might not like them, but they have to put emotions aside and deal with them… as facts on the grounds.

His central recommendation is as follows:

“A far more genuine American commitment to Lebanon would focus on helping the parties to come up with a reasonable formula to redress the under-representation of Shiites in the power structure while getting greater government control over Hezbollah’s war-making capacity”. 

In other words, he believes that Hezbollah cannot be ignored, and cornering it is a bad idea. It is better to get the party more involved in the Lebanese political game as the main Shiite player, than encourage it to side with foreign regimes in a battle for survival.
His point is interesting. But it leaves out a central problem: the difficulty Lebanon has in modifying its complicated power-sharing arrangement. It is a zero sum game. One community’s gain is another community’s loss. Who will be willing to sacrifice part of his “share” in power (and ressources) for the political integration and gradual decommissioning of Hezbollah?

If you love Lebanon, Set it free

Click on the left box to view article.

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