Hizbullah Has Trapped Itself in Lebanon

(Carnegie Middle East Center-Lebanon) Michael Young - Since the start of the Lebanese uprising on Oct. 17, Hizbullah has maneuvered itself into a terrible dilemma, one with potentially existential implications for the party. Hizbullah is now seen as the main defender of a thoroughly discredited political order. Moreover, Lebanon is facing a looming economic collapse. If the system crumbles at a moment when Hizbullah is perceived as the strongest defender of the political class that brought about this calamity, the consequences could be far-reaching for the party. The Shi'a did not support Hizbullah to spend years in poverty. They always considered Hizbullah as a ticket to social promotion in the Lebanese state and a way out of their past impoverishment. Asking them to grit their teeth and bear it is hardly a good plan. Once the system folds, Nasrallah will have hundreds of thousands of coreligionists to feed, and a majority may soon blame Hizbullah for their predicament. What will Hizbullah be able to offer? Weapons? Resistance? Slogans? The writer, a former columnist for the Beirut Daily Star, is a senior editor at the Carnegie Center.

2019-11-29 00:00:00

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