Politics: Lebanon: Prime Minister refuses to bow to Hizbollah street demos to terminate elected govt
So far, howling Hizbollah the terrorism-backing Shi'ites with their Christan renegade allies of Amal, have not succeeding in capsizing the parliament-elected govt of Lebanon. Neither by mass street demonstrations in Beirut, nor by the recent assassination of the anti-Syrian Christian leader Pierre Gemayel--nor by the earlier resignation of 5 Hizbullites and 1 Amalite from the unity-govt cabinet where they could not stop the UN investigation of Syrian involvement, nor by winning for themselves a majority in the cabinet of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora (who the terrorist supporters want to remove from office)--has the Hizbullah Shi'ite movement been able achieve their intended revolution. Siniora is a Sunni Muslim, formerly lieutenant to the previously assassinated Sunni leader Rafik Hariri.
MidEast > Lebanon
As Michael Youws has pointed out at length in The Times [London,UK], "How does 'engaging Syria' look now? (Dec3,2k6) the recent pressure to solve USA/UK problems in Iraq by cozying up to Syria (and Iran) are juridically and ethically misbegotten.
This is a priority for Syria as it would undermine Lebanon’s formal endorsement of the court being established by the UN to try suspects in the Hariri case. Syrian officials fear being fingered by the UN investigation.It is important and impressive that Siniora's govt has held on despite the massive crowds in the streets drummed by the pro-Syrian Hizbullites. The UN must have time to set up and launch its investigatoin of Syria. In the meantime, Syria should be kept in isolation by the international community.
Syria has encouraged its powerful Lebanese ally, Hezbollah, to bring down the Government. The recent ministerial resignations were led by the party which has been planning demonstrations to force the Government out.
Developments in Lebanon make the idea of engaging Syria at best premature. The Hariri investigation is continuing, and until the UN releases its final report on the assassination it makes no sense to talk to a Syrian regime that may find itself in the dock. Moreover, its President, Bashar Assad, has implied he would not allow Syrian suspects to appear before the tribunal, making a confrontation between Damascus and the international community likely. Eager partisans of engagement could have egg on their faces.
If political “realism” is about interests, then realists must prove that a country that has ignored successive UN resolutions demanding Syrian non-interference in Lebanon could somehow be a force for stability in Iraq, to which it has funnelled hundreds of foreign fighters. Engaging Mr Assad over Iraq will mean the gradual return of Syrian hegemony over Lebanon, since neither the US nor the UK will be in a position to deny Syria in Lebanon while asking favours in Iraq.