Belmont Club takes another look at the developing situation in Lebanon, and reponds to the point made by some of our readers that Hezbollah hasn’t declined in strength, given its success against Israel (Wretchard also corrects his statement that Hezbollah was around in 1975). Wretchard notes that the anti-Syria opposition has responded to Hezbollah’s threat of civil war by initiating a “non-cooperation” strategy with respect to the new Syrian-back Karami government. The next move, he contends, is Syria’s.
Wretchard continues to maintain that Syria and Hezbollah have been weakened in relative terms due to the increase in American regional strength and the destruction of Saddam’s regime. He acknowledges, however, that whether they have been weakened to the point that they dare not risk a civil war remains to be seen.
A CONTRARY VIEW: NRO features an interview with Barbara Newman, co-author of Lightening Out of Lebanon: Hezbollah Terrorists on American Soil. Newman doubts that Syria will leave Lebanon because that would signal the demise of the Bashar Assad regime. If Syria were to leave, Newman believes that Hezbollah could easily smash the Lebanese army. And, making the same point as one of our readers, Michael Sanders, she points out that the agreement ending the civil war Lebanon forced all militias except Hezbollah to disarm.
Finally, Newman warns that Hezbollah is operating in the U.S. and that “if we push them to the wall, cut off their ability to raise funds, get tough with them in Lebanon, they easily could hit us here.”
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