A quick comment on Michael young’s An Investigation in Lebanon Has Led to Armed Clashes Reminiscent of the Civil War. (Republished here on Shaffaf)
I believe that a majority of Lebanese- and certainly a majority of Christians- would NOT agree with Michael Young’s assertion (written only hours after the events) that « the decision of the Lebanese Forces to escalate in this manner, if it is confirmed that they were behind the sniper attacks, is both dangerous and shameful. »!
Like many Lebanese, I applaud (and have written so) the Ain Remmaneh resistance to ‘one more incursion’ into Christian localities (Michael, rightly, points out precedents in 2018 and 2019)! It was time to stand up to the Iranian militia which has dominated Lebanon through assassinations and intimidation. The more so that the new « invasion » of a very sensitive Christian locality (where, symbolically, the 1975-76 Civil War started) was, I believe, both a repetition and a FINAL CHAPTER of the May 7, 2008, incursion into Beirut that led to Hezbollah’s hegemony in the country. While the May 7, 2008, incursion crushed the Sunni and Druze resistance, I believe Nasrallah wanted to put an end to any « residual » resistance spirit among Christians. He, clearly, miscalculated!
While feeling sorry for the seven victims of the clashes, I would, rather, conclude that the retaliation to Hezbollah and Amal incursion was « necessary » and more than « timely »! Certainly not « shameful »!
Consequence: the Balance of Dissuasion in Lebanon has changed.
Any new « incursion » into Christian, Sunni or Druze areas (remember Sunni tribes of Khaldé and Shwaya Druze peasants, weeks ago) could lead to a Civil War. Hezbollah has been warned! The more so that, as Michael Young rightly points out, « with a majority of Lebanese opposed to Hezbollah’s agenda, and Israel nearby waiting for an opportunity to cripple the party, it would be suicidal for Hezbollah to become engulfed in a protracted civil conflict that would grind down its military capacities, as happened to Palestinian organizations during the Lebanese civil war ». Brilliantly said!
Amal militant on the phone « it is the Army who is shooting at us »!
Finally, the common narrative of Thursday events might hide some surprises! In some videos, Shia militants are claiming that « the army is shooting (at us) »! The Army, later, acknowledged investigating the case of one soldier seen shooting at Amal or Hezbollah elements!
In all cases, the Lebanese Forces very cautious (and not « confrontational ») political positions in the last few months (and even years) do not seem to confirm the « scenario » of LF « snipers » on the roofs!
Was more than one soldier involved? Is the Army, or parts of it, fed up with Iran’s parallel army in Lebanon? As happened in the Kahhalé events in 1969, planned by the Army Deuxième Bureau in concertation with the Phalangist Party!