Jerusalem, Israel - Michael Young gets at the key point: who will gain the upper hand among Lebanon's Shiites? Will it be the nationalists who hate what Hezbollah has done to their country or Hezbollah itself? I can see why Michael is pessimistic but two factors could turn the tables.
First, Israel could finally turn the corner militarily by pushing Hezbollah northward beyond Katyusha range so that missiles could no longer rain down on Israel once a ceasefire takes effect. Second, the international community could tell the Lebanese government that crying (as Siniora did before the Arab League) won't help if Lebanon does not disarm Hezbollah and still, as Ali Ettefagh suggests, regards it as a legitimate "resistance" movement.
"Before the Israeli attack, Lebanon no longer existed, it was no more than a hologram," writes the courageous Michael Behe in Beirut. "Each Irano-Syrian fort that Jerusalem destroys, each Islamic fighter they eliminate, and Lebanon proportionally starts to live again!"
Lebanon squandered the chance it was handed by the Israeli unilateral withdrawal in 2000 when it could have deployed in the south without having to confront a single Hezbollah fighter. Israel also watched the buildup for six years without sounding the alarm, let alone lifting a finger. There may be a limit to what Israel can do this time to grant everyone a second chance. Lebanese patriots and the international community will have to do their part as well.
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