August 6, 2007

The Lebanon politics

An opposition candidate has narrowly won a by-election for a Maronite Christian seat in Lebanon's parliament. Elections for the Lebanese presidency are due next month.

The existence of democracy in Lebanon is an ongoing danger for Syria since it effectively muffles Hezbollah, transforming it from a band of freedom fighters into a meaningless minority party. Even worse. A functional democracy could give Syrian citizens heady ideas on how a state could be run. As long as its attention is not diverted by the West, the regime in Syria will continue to destabilize Lebanon as a matter of self preservation.

Hezbollah will not be shaken off the political - and cultural map - of Lebanon. Their success in the elections last year was enough to encourage them that force wasn't needed against the Lebanese people. Its conjecture that they started instead hostilities against Israel. But they are not a democracy loving party, more prepared to get their Islamist based way by any means. You have to feel that the long term does not bode well for Lebanon or its non-Muslim section.

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