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Friday, May 9, 2008

Lebanon On the Brink?

The unmitigated disaster that was the war between Israel and Hezbollah is finally materializing as an emboldened Hezbollah is looking to start a civil war

Shiite Hezbollah gunmen seized nearly all of the Lebanese capital's Muslim sector from Sunni foes loyal to the U.S.-backed government Friday in the country's worst sectarian clashes since the 15-year civil war.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Hezbollah, backed by Syria and Iran, was killing innocent civilians in Lebanon.

At least 14 people have been killed and more than 20 wounded in three days of street battles in West Beirut between the Iranian- and Syrian-backed Hezbollah fighters and gunmen loyal to the government, security officials said.

Right now the events on the ground are extremely fluid. It is unclear if this situation will explode
or simple burn out. This is not the first time that Hezbollah has raised the intensity level in Lebanon since the war with Israel. The previous encounters have all ended relatively peacefully.

That said, what is clear is that the only victory over Hezbollah is total victory. Any sort of negotiated settlement like the one reached by the UN in 2006 will only lead to future disaster, the fruits of which we are witnessing now.

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