Syria: Crisis in Neighboring Lebanon

As the Lebanese leaders go to Doha, Qatar, to resume their “National Dialogue”, here is a roundup of what Syrian bloggers had to say on the latest crisis in Lebanon.
The crisis which was sparked by the 2 controversial government decisions aimed against the opposition, and especially against Hizbulla, and the swift response by Hizbulla with civil disobedience that developed into a military operation that put Hizbulla in control of Beirut in two days, and left 100 people dead. All of this coupled with political tension accumulating for more than two years, and the threat of a sectarian strife, brought back to the Lebanese to the horrid memories of their civil war.

The Syrian bloggers were as divided as their counterparts in Lebanon about who is to blame for this latest crisis, and what must be done to avoid such events in the future.

We start with Ayman‘s post titled “Rai” or “Opinion” [Ar]:

لقد آلمني كثيراً أن يستعمل حزب الله سلاحه في صراع سياسي داخلي، وأن أرى صور المسلحين الملثمين في شوارع بيروت من جديد. لكني لا أستطيع أن أخفي شماتتي لانكسار شوكة جماعة 14 آذار.
إن بلداً كلبنان يستحق أكثر من أن يكون دمية بيد الخارج، ويستحق حكاماً أفضل من مجرمي الحرب الذين على رأس السلطة الآن.

It was truly painful to me to see Hizbulla using its arms in an internal political conflict, and to see pictures of masked gunmen in the streets of Beirut again. But I can't hide my joy for having them broken the thorn of the forces of March 14.
A country like Lebanon deserves a lot more than to be just a puppet for foreign powers, and it deserves better leaders than the war criminals who are in power now.

This is how Sasa started his coverage of the events:

There's not much I can add. It's a mess, and as usual, it's a mess of Lebanon's creating.
Hizbollah is to blame for starting this civil violence. March 14 is to blame for letting this political crisis fester for 18 months.

Wassim of Maysaloon, writes about what he perceives as the “Liberation of Beirut“:

After so much talk, so much posturing and so much thuggery in the end it took only 24 hours for Beirut to be liberated. Let me come out clean from the start, those men who flushed out the Future movement and surrounded Jumblatt are clean men, strong men and, I feel, the most honourable men in the region.

While Abu Kareem of the Levantine Dreamhouse, makes his case against Hizbulla's military action, and says “Hizb Should Disband its Militia“:

I have little sympathy for most of the March 14 politicians but my anger today is directed squarely at Hizbullah and Nasrallah. Many of us, because Hizbullah managed to deliver a black eye to the Israeli army in the summer of 2006, seem to be willing to overlook their transgressions or question their political motives. But I cannot escape the fact that, no matter how you slice it, the presence of an independent militia, armed to the teeth, that is accountable to no one is an unsustainable and destabilizing situation in a sovereign state. The repeated claims, that the arms are only for protection against Israel, ring hollow, especially in the last twenty four hours with Nasrallah’s bombastic threats of civil war if he does not get his way.

Over at Joshua LandisSyria Comment, he writes on Rex Brynen's (of McGill University) argument that Hizbullah has blundered, saying:

He is correct that the Shiite move on Sunni West Beirut has exacerbated sectarian anxieties and fears – not only Sunni fears, but Christian fears as well. Lebanon's other sects now realize how little stands between them and Hizbullah's militia.
Second, Sunnis such as Salim al-Hoss and Najib Mikati who would be expected to lead Lebanon in a compromise and who have showed themselves in the past to be willing to work with Syria even at the most trying of times, have taken an anti-Hizbullah line.

Also at Syria Comment, Qifa Nabki, presents a comprehensive analysis of what happened in Lebanon in the last few years, and how that culminated in last weeks crisis:

It is tempting to regard the political stalemate that has gripped Lebanon for the past seventeen months – with all of its futile spats and squabbles, accusations and recriminations – as yet another example of the mundane and self-destructive charade of Lebanese democracy. The level of discourse among the political elite has fallen so low that it is often scarcely distinguishable from the sloganeering of propagandists and the taunts of schoolyard bullies.

And last but not least, Razan reports on one largely forgotten victim in this conflict, Syrian workers in Lebanon:

This is something that will not be mentioned in the media of March 14 or in the media of the opposition because both could care less about the plight of Syrian workers in Lebanon. Today, Hariri militia men in the North stopped a bus carrying Syrian workers and shot at them.

1 comment

  • Nice round-up, as usual Yazan. What strikes me is how considered and balanced Syrian bloggers have been, during this crisis. And I mean that with no irony!

    Now, if only the Lebanese…

Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »


  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.