Sit Rep for Lebanon after Hezb'allah defeat: Unchanged
While many are justifiably celebrating Hezb'allah's (the party of God) defeat in last Sunday's Lebanese election, JINSA (Jewish Institute of National Security Affairs) had a more sober assessment, warning "Worry if it loses." Huh? First, not that much changes in Lebanon, as Hezb'allah has about the same number of seats in Lebanon's parliament as it had before the election. Therefore, for Hizb'allah
losing the election leaves you in a better position to win the war. Winning makes you responsible, and Hezbollah has learned that responsibility can be painfully counterproductive.
In other words if Hezb'allah had won, it would not be able to bomb northern Israel with impunity and snatch Israeli soldiers as it did in the summer of 2006, precipitating an Israeli invasion of Lebanon. (Israel, surrounded by enemies, has to contend with Hez'ballah in Lebanon on its northern border; Hamas continues to bomb Israel in the south.) Although a minority in the Lebanese government in 2006, the terrorist Hezb'allah was a majority in the areas that border Israel. In 2009 the situation remains the same. If Hezb'allah had won, the US
would have to re-evaluate the millions of dollars our government is spending arming and training the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF). The United States cannot support a military controlled by the organization that killed 241 United States Marines, and gruesomely murdered Col. Rich Higgins, James Buckley and U.S. Navy Diver Robert Stethem.
Hezbollah comes in 5-10 percentage points lower, Hezbollah will be able to claim minority status while pursuing its long-term agenda. Claiming that Hezbollah isn't actually in charge would allow the United States to continue providing economic aid to Lebanon and arming and training the LAF. That would suit Hezbollah and suit the United States - although it doesn't do much for the long-term security of Israel.
Or for the US hopes for a stable pro US government in the country plus
it will likely destroy any remaining hopes for the long-term prospects of Lebanon as a pluralistic, pro-Western, democratic country.
Or, in the language of France, which colonized Lebanon and is still used there, "Plus ça change, plus c'est la meme chose." Or, in the language of the US, which will be sending millions of our tax dollars to support this so called democracy in the hopes Lebanon can resist the terrorist Syrian expansion, "The more things change, the more they remain the same."
Expect further trouble in the country.