Who is it that threatens Lebanese democracy?

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Michael Young, opinion editor of Beirut's Daily Star: stalemate with Hezbollah would be viewed as a victory and weaken the Lebanese government further. So, while there is much caterwalling about preserving the power of the Lebanese Government, one expert on the ground sees that acease—fire would have the opposite effect.

Michael Young, the opinion editor for Beirut's Daily Star, writes that a Hezbollah "victory" (which would be accomplished by a mere stalemate on the battlefield) would weaken the government further. It would show that this minority party "can stand up to Israel, and can do so because it mobilized its armed state within the state without consulting any of its Lebanese political partners." As a result, Lebanon's "already frayed" political consensus "may crack." Young elaborates:

When [Lebanon's] diverse religious communities decide the problem is that one side has the weapons while the others have nothing but a choice to remain silent, Lebanon will break down, and it could do so violently.

This is one reason Israeli leaders are so determined to fight on for weeks, if necessary, in the hopes of crushing Hezbollah or at least pushing them permanently out of southern Lebanon and weakening them severely.

Ed Lasky   7 21 06

Michael Young, opinion editor of Beirut's Daily Star: stalemate with Hezbollah would be viewed as a victory and weaken the Lebanese government further. So, while there is much caterwalling about preserving the power of the Lebanese Government, one expert on the ground sees that acease—fire would have the opposite effect.

Michael Young, the opinion editor for Beirut's Daily Star, writes that a Hezbollah "victory" (which would be accomplished by a mere stalemate on the battlefield) would weaken the government further. It would show that this minority party "can stand up to Israel, and can do so because it mobilized its armed state within the state without consulting any of its Lebanese political partners." As a result, Lebanon's "already frayed" political consensus "may crack." Young elaborates:

When [Lebanon's] diverse religious communities decide the problem is that one side has the weapons while the others have nothing but a choice to remain silent, Lebanon will break down, and it could do so violently.

This is one reason Israeli leaders are so determined to fight on for weeks, if necessary, in the hopes of crushing Hezbollah or at least pushing them permanently out of southern Lebanon and weakening them severely.

Ed Lasky   7 21 06