Thursday, May 15, 2008

A Victory for Hezbollah

Washington leaned on "Lebanon's governing coalition" to disarm Hizballah, just as it pushed the "Iraqi government" to disarm the Mahdi Army. Both moves failed to achieve their goals -- more spectacularly in the case of Lebanon:
Lebanon’s governing coalition on Wednesday night formally reversed two decisions that had provoked the militant group Hezbollah, bringing the country a step closer to resolving the week-old political crisis that set off the worst factional violence since the nation's 15-year civil war.

The announcement was made after a day of intensive meetings between Lebanese leaders and an Arab diplomatic delegation led by the foreign minister of Qatar. Rescinding the decisions was a victory for Hezbollah, the Shiite group backed by Syria and Iran that has been trying to wrest more political power from the government. After it was announced, shortly after 11 p.m., loud bursts of celebratory gunfire echoed across the city for almost an hour from Beirut’s southern suburbs, Hezbollah’s stronghold.

Lebanon’s information minister, Ghazi Aridi, said the cabinet reversed the two decisions -- which challenged the militant group’s private telephone network and the job of a Hezbollah ally who directs airport security -- "in view of the higher national interest." (Robert F. Worth, Lebanon Reverses Decisions That Prompted Violence," New York Times, 15 May 2008)
Washington has trouble winning in the so-called Shia crescent, as well as in Latin America, because the nature of its imperial project compels it to ally only with the pro-American, upper-class factions against organizations based in lower classes.

Politics is more ambiguous in Brazil, India, Turkey, and South Africa, the key nations in their respective regions, whose popular classes have hitherto backed the parties that have played both sides of the game. These are the key swing votes determining the fate of socialists in Latin America and Islamo-Leninists in the Shia crescent.

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