Posts Tagged ‘failed states’

Meaning of Hezbollah offensive in Lebanon

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

On May 9, Hezbollah fighters were wandering around Lebanon. The meaning and implications of these events were not clear at the time. No one, least of all Hezbollah, had a clear idea.

Now it is clear what happened.

The Lebanese state is a failed state. It lacks the will and capability to fight the various armed groups in Lebanon, or to impose its will on them. Hezbollah tested the government. The government was an empty bag. It tested the major Sunni party, with the same result. It tested the major Druze parties, which likewise collapsed, but the Druze did not collapse, instead inflicting a nasty defeat on Hezbollah. After running into trouble with the Druze, it declined to firmly test the Christians. The government has shown itself powerless, and the political parties that focused on elections, parliament, and participation in the government have similarly shown themselves to be powerless.