Saturday, January 22, 2011

Trickle to Crisis

Push NY Times 

            “It’s on the razor’s edge,” Walid Jumblatt, a politician and a leader of the Druse minority who has emerged as a kingmaker, said in an interview. “I can see the nervousness of Hezbollah and the Syrians. They feel — and they are right to feel — outmaneuvered and betrayed.”

Special Tribunal for Lebanon is expected to name high ranking members of Hezbollah for the assassination of the former PM of Lebanon. The current PM, the son of the assassinated PM, is allied with US and Saudi Arabia (the “West”) against Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran. The "West" insists the STL is not in the hands of the Lebanese government on the continuation of the STL work and have taken up financial responcibility for it. Hezbollah believes that the STL is an American Israeli tool to attack them and want a Lebanese Gov that will abolish all further cooperation and denounce the STL.

Saudi Arabia and Syria were said to be negotiating out the difference between the parties (in relation to the after effects of the indictment, delineation of borders, Palestinian militias, and presumably other issues that have not been leaked). The Saudis, after a lengthy period of optimism, publicly withdrew from negotiations refering to them as "a waste of time". Jumblatt stated “Hezbollah and Syria feel out maneuvered and betrayed” not elaborating on who they feel out maneuvered and betrayed by. The Saudi Prince stated that this was an affair of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques (who was in the US) and this was not a Saudi affair. Turkey and Qatar stepped in as mediators for two days. They then went home to inform there governments of the situation.  

Lebanon has a very fragmented society and very high level actors in the Government, Military, and Industry have been arrested for spying. With high levels of espionage and a great deal of foreign interference Hezbollah believes in order to defend Lebanon its "resistance” arm needs to be separate from the Lebanese Armed Forces and Government of Lebanon. The west wants Hezbollah disarmed and destroyed.

Further consultations on the formation of a government have been postponed.