Saturday, January 27, 2007

Hizbullah Stumbles, for Now

From the FPM website: apparently the guy on the groundis a 65-year-old (Aoun supporter?)
being kicked by a Lebanese Forces member (

The latest attempt by Hizbullah and company to bring down the Siniora government in Lebanon has failed - at least for now. On the streets, Christian pro-government forces held their own against the anti-government Christian backers of Michel Aoun's FMP, while Sunni activists flexed enough muscle to thwart Hizbullah and Amal. But the key was outside intervention, including perhaps a restraining order by the Iranians, after pressure from the Saudis (see Ha'aretz). Or maybe it was the overt backing of King Abdullah as well as the U.S. (which is intent on preventing the victory of the Syrian-Iranian proxies) and France for the government. In any case, Siniora et al. seem to have acquired a new lease on life.

Meanwhile, most of the Sunni Arab world viewed the latest showdown in Lebanon as a must-win confrontation in the regional Sunni-Shi'a showdown. With Iraq in Shi'a hands and Syria in Iran's pockets, the Saudis can capitalize on widespread support from Sunnis who are still fuming about the execution of Saddam Hussein. This, in turn, has emboldened the Sunni supporters of the Lebanese government. Nasrallah has taken notice and trying to tread carefully.

On a related note, the Jordanian Mohammed al-Masri has an op-ed in the Daily Star about Jordan's position on the Sunni-Shi'a rift. The article is about Jordanian encounters with Shi'a Iraqi expatriates in their midst. Apparently, the Jordanian state is following a "zero-tolerance policy toward the public practice of Shiism." However, al-Masri concludes that the real threat to Jordan is not the practice of Shiism in the country or the specter of mass conversions by its Sunni population; rather, the real danger is
political Shiism: support for Shiite political organizations and acceptance of their political paradigms
Al-Masri goes on to say that
the sweeping support for Hizbullah during the war in Lebanon last summer was a clear manifestation of political Shiism,
which is a sneaky way of criticizing the wide-scale support for Hizbullah in the Arab world during the war. Ultimately, he blames Israel for the rise of "political Shiism" - i.e., for the increasing threat to regimes like Jordan by Iran and its proxies:

As much as events in Iraq and interaction with Iraqi communities within Jordan lead to Jordanian antipathy toward Iraqi Shiites and Iran, the Israeli factor and potential conflict between Israel and Hizbullah still encourage support for Hizbullah-style Shiite organizations. Therefore it might be misleading to assume that new anti-Iranian feelings in Jordan are sustainable, when the Israel factor in regional developments could undermine them

1 comment:

Jeha said...

Do not trust all the pics you see, this war has "spin" from all sides.

Aoun and Hezb are doing more spin than others, however, and dishing out more lies...