Tags: hezbollah lebanon

For Hezbollah, Claiming Victory Is Costly

Thursday, 13 Jan 2011 08:11 PM

With Hezbollah’s toppling of the Lebanese government, the militant Shiite Muslim movement entered what may prove one of the most dangerous chapters in a 30-year history that has made it reviled in the West and popular in the Arab world: At the moment seemingly of its greatest power, the path facing it could unveil its most glaring weaknesses.

The New York Times reports that Hezbollah and its allies acted on long-standing threats Wednesday to bring down Lebanon’s national unity government in a dispute over a United Nations-backed tribunal, which is expected to indict its members in the assassination of a former prime minister, Rafik Hariri.

The result followed a familiar script in Lebanon, where institutions have been paralyzed more often than not since the killing of Hariri and 22 others in a devastating bombing along Beirut’s seafront in February 2005. Lawmakers predicted weeks, perhaps months, of stalemate as the country tries to navigate questions unanswered since the end of its civil war in 1990: the power of Lebanon’s largest religious communities, its posture toward Israel, the fate of Hezbollah’s arms, and the power of foreign patrons.

Few dispute Hezbollah’s prowess in that standoff; it vanquished its foes in just a few days of fighting in May 2008, when it seized part of the capital. But to do so again could further tarnish its reputation here, making it look more and more like a sectarian militia than the resistance movement to Israel it considers itself.

It undoubtedly would heighten tensions between Sunni and Shiite Muslims, a prospect the movement fears could undermine its stature in the wider, predominantly Sunni Middle East. The irony is that only that confrontation may deliver it what it wants: a Lebanese government that denounces the indictments and ends cooperation with the tribunal.

Read the entire story at nytimes.com

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With Hezbollah’s toppling of the Lebanese government, the militant Shiite Muslim movement entered what may prove one of the most dangerous chapters in a 30-year history that has made it reviled in the West and popular in the Arab world: At the moment seemingly of its greatest power, the path facing
hezbollah lebanon
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2011-11-13
Thursday, 13 Jan 2011 08:11 PM
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