Michael Totten

No Peace in Lebanon

You aren’t hearing about it in the Western media, but the truce agreement reached last month in Doha, Qatar, between the Lebanese government and the Hezbollah-led opposition is no more operative than “the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas”:http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/jpodhoretz/13131.
“Fighting broke out”:http://www.nowlebanon.com/NewsArticleDetails.aspx?ID=48559 in the northern city of Tripoli between Sunni supporters of the “March 14” majority bloc in parliament and gunmen from the Alawite sect loyal to the Syrian Baath regime and Hezbollah. We’re not talking about street brawling here. Machine guns, mortars, and rocket-propelled grenades were deployed. Several houses and a gas station were burned to the ground. Ten people were killed and at least 52 people were wounded.
One of Lebanon’s few pro-Syrian Sunni leaders, Omar Karami (he was prime minister during the Syrian occupation), “said the Doha agreement”:http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=2&article_id=93486 was only a “temporary truce because historical grudges still exist.” [Emphasis added.] He is right about that much, at least. Historical grudges most certainly do still exist, even if the ceasefire doesn’t.
Rifaat Eid, who represents Lebanese Alawites, “claims radical Sunni remnants”:http://www.nowlebanon.com/NewsArticleDetails.aspx?ID=48482 from the terrorist group Fatah al Islam were involved. “Armed groups from outside the region come to Bab al-Tabbaneh, open fire in our direction and leave,” he said. “The fighting was premeditated given the kind of weapons, their quantity, and the Islamic extremist factions that are joining the fighters . . . Is Fatah al Islam gone? I doubt it.”
“Read the rest in COMMENTARY Magazine”:http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/totten/13301.