Misimpressions about Lebanon

BEIRUT — Well, the oafs at Little Green Footballs are at it again. Of course, they never stopped. But it gives me a chance to point out the sheer wrongness of their worldview and clear up some wrong ideas about Lebanon. At the end of the day, we all learn something, right?

Anyway, LGF is warning that Lebanon is hanging in the balance with Hezbollah’s coming putsch against the American-friendly Siniora government. Now, like a broken clock, even bloviating idiots can be right now and then assuming they talk enough, but the LGF’s commenters of course blow it:

There should be some way to get Lebanese Christians out of there before it’s too late.

I have a couple of frends, Lebanese Christians, that still have family there. I hope they get out before it’s too late.

The Christian city dwellers will rue the day they let these savages immigrate. (not sure what this means… — CA)

The Christians in Beirut have been whistling past the graveyard.

Christians are being heavily persecuted in most of the muslim countries, with the worst in the ME. Persecution.com has lots of information about it.


In 1968 70% Christian.

In 2006 45% Christian.

The gain was almost all for the muslims; the palestinian tsunami.

Such comments always inspire in me a Lou Reed-size world-weary sigh. Yes, it’s all so simple: evil Muslims, persecuted Christians.

Except, it’s completely wrong.

Hezbollah’s strongest ally in its push to topple the government is … Christian. It’s the Free Patriotic Movement headed by Maronite politician Michel Aoun, a man who’s so obsessed with being President that he will ally with the people who work for his old enemy: Syria.

And the Free Patriotic Movement is supported by — by some estimates — up to 70 percent of Lebanon’s Christians. The rest fall mainly into Samir Geagea’s camp, the Lebanese Forces, a party/militia that owes traces it its pedegree to the Hitler Youth of the 1930s. (No wonder the LGF ogres like it.)

This current political fight here has very little to do with Christian vs. Muslims. Instead, it’s a fight between a pro-Syrian bloc (Hezbollah, Amal, FPM and a few smaller parties) and an anti-Syrian bloc (Future Movement, Lebanese Forces and Progressive Socialist Party). And this split in the Lebanese political society mirrors the greater struggle for the Middle East: the contest for influence between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

There’s lot more to say about this — I’ve written about it before “here”:http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/07/02/INGIJJM87B1.DTL&hw=allbritton&sn=001&sc=1000 and “here”:http://www.back-to-iraq.com/archives/2006/11/lebanon_hurtles_toward_crisis.php — but I’m on deadline. More later, if possible.

Oh, and comments are still fubar’ed. Still trying to fix that.