Friday, 22 August 2014

Gloria Libani Data Est

If you are of the IS persuasion, then Israel is occupied Islamic territory inhabited by oppressed Muslims and by their occupying oppressors.

Like Kashmir, or Xinjiang, or the Caucasus, or Southern Thailand, among other places. And like Palestine during the Crusades, or again during the British Mandate.

But Lebanon is a whole other story.

As the Levant without any desert hinterland or any twentieth-century returnees from the ends of the earth, Lebanon is the standing contradiction of everything that anyone of the IS persuasion believes either is, or ought to be, the case.

The Muslims there are neither occupied nor oppressed. Not by any stretch of the imagination. Half the Parliament is reserved for them, and the Prime Minister has to be a Sunni.

In return, the Christians get the other half of the Parliament, and the President has to be a Maronite. Oh, the shame! Except that they do not see it like that. Not at all.

A Sunni is of course Prime Minister in the present government, the main players in which are the staunchly Shi'ite Amal and Hezbollah, and General Aoun's Free Patriotic Movement.

Across the aisle is the opposition, but previously governing, March 14 Alliance. (It still has some Cabinet seats; Lebanon is "endlessly fascinating".)

That Alliance includes both the Independence Movement, which is the local franchise of neoconservatism, and the Islamic Group, which is in fact the Muslim Brotherhood.

You can look at that in either or both of two ways.

That Lebanon is the standing contradiction of neoconservatism as much as she is of the IS persuasion.

And that Lebanon is the most integrated example of the true relationship between neocons and Islamists.

At least until you consider the extent to which the former have facilitated the latter in Iraq, then in Syria, and now also in Iraq again.

Within the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas has been beheading Israeli agents. Doesn't them make them, like, you know, IS?

Only if our dear friend in Saudi Arabia is, too. She beheads people all the time, for all sorts of things. And she really does fund IS.

Whereas the Muslim Brothers of the Lebanese Islamic Group may very well end up, if they are not already, fighting IS shoulder to shoulder with Amal, Hezbollah and the Free Patriotic Movement.

Or at the very least with the Free Shi'ite Movement, the Lebanese Forces and the Phalanges, those being among their colleagues in the March 14 Alliance.

And at the very least with Hamas, which could be expected to enter the fray, probably along with the Egyptian Mothership, in very short order.

In which case, the Independence Movement alongside them all in the field would become the first neoconservatives ever to fight the IS persuasion, itself the neocons' creation, with anything more than a word processor or a television microphone, and from anywhere more than a New York magazine's office, a Washington think tank's suite, or an Ivy League faculty lounge.


  1. All of the first two sentences are true except that there's no going back now.

    Xinjiang is a true catastrophe; Peter a Hitchens has rarely been so moved as when he visited Kashgar and reported on the Chinese Communist Party's destruction of a truly ancient civilisation with mass demolitions and mass immigration.

    The article was heart rending.


    1. I have a feeling that I covered that one at the time. It really isn't anything to do with the topic.

      The Hui Muslims, who are more numerous than the Uyghur, are wholly loyal to the Chinese State. Not necessarily to the Government, like anyone else. But to the State.

      Anyway, though, on topic, please.