Tomorrow’s by-elections in Metn

flag_of_lebanon_official_big.jpgBEIRUT — Tomorrow’s by-elections have turned into a critical test of political power here in Lebanon and the results will be seen as a bellweather for the influence of either the United States or the Islamic Republic Iran.
Some background on the election is here, in a column I wrote for Spot-on.com. I’ll wait while you read and come back.
All done? Good. Right now, the March 14 alliance, primarily made up of Saad Hariri’s Future Movement, Walid Jumblatt’s Progressive Socialist Party, Samir Geagea’s Lebanese Forces and Amin Gemayel’s Phalange Party (which is related to the LF), is freaking out over the elections. They’re acting like people who are scared to death of losing. Meanwhile, Gen. Michel Aoun’s Free Patriotic Movement is acting like a party that’s already won. (Aoun is allied with the pro-Syrian faction in Lebanon and includes Hezbollah, Amal Movement and the Syrian Socialist National Party.)

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