14 May, 2008

Lebanon: friends and enemies

US President George W. Bush has spotted that the government of Lebanon is in trouble, so he has decided to "beef up" the Lebanese Army. Lebanese prime minister, Fuad Siniora, must be excited that help is coming his way, similar to that which the Palestinian Authority's president, Mahmud Abbas, received prior to the Hamas uprising in Gaza. Tony Blair might also be on his way.

Meanwhile, a blogwriting fellow called Optimussven has made an interesting post about Lebanese politician Walid Jumblatt. Jumblatt is the leader of the Progressive Socialist Party, and the de facto hereditary leader of many members of Lebanon's Druze community. Optimussven reports that Dick Cheney introduced a speech to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy by praising Jumblatt's "courageous stand [...] for freedom and democracy". How times change... my understanding is that when US troops were last stationed in Lebanon, Jumblatt's militia was one of those that did its best to kill as many of them as possible; it was of course less successful in this than the truck-bombers of proto-Hezbollah. Back then, Jumblatt was feuding with the Phalange militia of the Maronites, who were closely allied to Israel. Now Jumblatt and the Phalange are pals against the Syrian-allied Hezbollah, making him a lover of freedom and democracy.

No comments: