The Road To Democracy: Peace or Violence In Lebanon?
|Saturday, June 13,2009 03:47|
While President Obama and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have praised the success of Lebanon’s elections in creating national consensus, the Daily Star reports on the sense of national agreement among Lebanese leaders. Michel Aoun, whose March 8 coalition lost the election commented that, “[b]efore the elections, we had the support of 70 percent of Christians at a time when we had nothing in the government. Now we have 27 deputies.”
This enthusiasm is dampened slightly by pessimism resulting from data revealing that March 8 won the popular vote. Suggesting that violence is imminent, Tony Badran’s article at Forbes.com argues a political crisis is looms, since Hezbollah can easily take up arms if displeased with the concessions offered to it by the new government. Furthermore, Lebanon’s shaky peace is vulnerable to Syrian and Iranian interests. Despite the elections being hailed as a victory for the West by the New York Times and the Economist, Badran notes that Syria and Iran may attempt to influence the composition of Lebanon’s new cabinet and that they have a track record of taking Lebanon hostage as part of dialogue with the West.