There’s not much I can add. It’s a mess, and as usual, it’s a mess of Lebanon’s creating.
Hizbollah is to blame for starting this civil violence. March 14 is to blame for letting this political crisis fester for 18 months.
The Hariri militia has lost on two counts. First – it was comprehensively defeated, with incredible efficiency (as Qunfuz noted – a only handful of people died in what is being called a coup d’etat – where else in the world would a coup be nearly bloodless?). And second – Hariri’s claims that his people had no militia were comprehensively disproven.
Some other things I’ve learned: Hariri thugs use the Future TV buildings in the heart of Beirut as weapons stores.
Hariri thugs aren’t taking their defeat too well. In Tripoli, they have managed to breach their own truce, by starting a new war against SSNP and Baath supporters.
The Army has told the government to shut up – it will not dismantle Hizbollah’s telecom network. This crisis began when the rump government threatened to dismantle the network.
And soon after, Hizbollah’s biggest enemy, Walid Junblatt, conceded that the Hizbollah telecom network IS necessary for the resistance.
Siniora says the government will never attack Hizbollah – but also says Hizbollah needs to be disarmed (how can that happen if the government won’t attack – maybe Siniora wants Israel to do the job).
In Beirut, it’s clear Hizbollah don’t want to be seen as occupiers – and don’t want a Gaza situation (of being left in power when they don’t want it). As soon as they defeat Hariri’s gangs – in an area, or even a Hariri building – they hand it over to the army.
And what an interesting dynamic within the opposition. Aoun has largely kept his words and guns out of the argument – there has been no intra-Christian fighting, with east Beirut largely silent. This is all about the Shia and Sunni. Aoun has the most to gain from all of this. Keep your eye on him.