Monday, 10 December 2012

The Cedar Wood For The Trees

Thank God for Terry Waite.

One side of the political divide in Lebanon is always termed "pro-Syrian" or "Syrian-backed", and referred to as "Hezbollah and its allies" without the slightest examination of who, what or why those allies might be. Still less any examination, or even presentation, of the fact that neither the President nor the Prime Minister can be a member of Hezbollah, since the former has to be a Maronite Catholic while the latter has to be a Sunni Muslim.

But the other side is never termed "pro-Saudi", or "Saudi-backed", or "Salafi". Yet it is the real confessional monolith, although by no means representative of all Lebanese Sunnis. And it is the real threat to us, as Salafi militants are. Its potential takeover of that strategically vital strip which is Lebanon is an utterly terrifying prospect.

Yet we pretend that the confessional monolith threatening us is the other side, the side already in power, the side at least politically and no doubt materially supported by pluralist and anti-Salafi Syria, the side made up of "Hezbollah and its allies".

Funny, that.

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