Be Careful in What you Authorize

The Lebanese Cabinet seems to be giving the Lebanese Army carte blanche to get rid of the Islamic extremists. As someone whose government has been on the receiving end of these pronouncements, I suggest that Lebanese generals move cautiously.

Sure, the Fatah al-Islam folks are causing a problem for the Lebanese. But don’t expect that if the Lebanese army takes American ammo that they’ll do the cleanup the Americans expect. The relationship between the Palestinians in exile and “native” Lebanese is complex and frangible (to say nothing of malleable). The US helping Lebanon may bring as much excoriation as if the US was helping the Palestinian (Al Queda) forces. Or the corrupt Lebanese against the innocent Palestinians (despite Abbas’ stance).

The cancer of the “Pan Islamic Republic” has burst from the theoretical shell of the Wahhabi extremism to the blunt reality of the here and now. Pointing irrelevant fingers as Palestinian gripes about 60+ year old expulsions is as important in 2007 as the American Idol winner. A good photo opp, but functionally irrelevant.

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