Can Syria Accept a Hizbullah-Dominated Lebanon?

(Daily Star-Lebanon) Michael Young - Syria cannot any more accept formal Hizbullah hegemony over Lebanon than it could a Lebanon ruled by the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1976, when it intervened militarily to prevent such an outcome. A Hizbullah-led government would substantially heighten the prospect of war between Lebanon and Israel, leading to an Israeli intervention that could drag Syria into a conflict not of its choosing. Ceding to Hizbullah the power of governance in Lebanon would mean effectively surrendering the country to Iran. Instead, Assad wants Lebanon to be surrendered to Syria. Assad sees opportunities ahead. When the Special Tribunal's indictment is confirmed, Assad will contrive to step in and broker a settlement allowing him to seize a large share of the Lebanese pie. Hizbullah may escalate its actions, but making Lebanon ungovernable will not sway the Special Tribunal.

2011-01-21 08:28:29

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