Lebanon, Not Egypt, May Determine the Fate of Democracy in the Middle East

(Los Angeles Times) John R. Bolton - Western support for Lebanese democracy has been for the most part limited to a series of Security Council resolutions, particularly Resolution 1559, calling for Syria to withdraw its forces from Lebanon, and Resolution 1595, creating an international investigation commission to assist Lebanon in prosecuting the Hariri assassination. But Hizbullah foiled these efforts in 2006 by provoking war with Israel. The Security Council ultimately imposed a cease-fire and called for "the disarming of all armed groups in Lebanon," for an embargo against rearming Hizbullah, and for Lebanon's government to take control of its entire territory, in order to eliminate Hizbullah's state within a state. But, as so often before, the West did not follow through. Instead, Iran and Syria rearmed and restored Hizbullah to greater strength (unequivocally demonstrating that Hizbullah was their proxy). The West must insist on enforcing the Security Council resolutions in support of Lebanese sovereignty and peaceful, representative government, or stop engaging in meaningless gestures. This is our last opportunity before Hizbullah's armed capabilities swallow democracy in Lebanon, perhaps permanently, and dramatically increase the risk of renewed hostilities throughout the region. We must refuse to recognize any Hizbullah-dominated government as legitimate, at least until Hizbullah fully disarms and becomes a real political party.

2011-02-07 09:17:23

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