The roots of the Hizbullah-Aoun alliance
I asked one of Michael Young’s bosses – Eli Khoury – recently if he has been to the Southern Suburbs in the last few years, since he was describing the area as a bastion of Islamo-fascist, Iranian-fascist sentiment.
He had not – some seven years ago, he suggested, he had been….
It made me think about the isolation I garnered over the years from Young – how does he KNOW this – below – to be true (although surely he senses it)?
“Despite five years of political collaboration between Michel Aoun and Hezbollah, the partnership has not percolated down in any significant way to influence social relations. The supporters of Aoun and Hezbollah still live in separate worlds. The party has benefited from Christian, particularly Maronite, fears when it comes to the Sunni community, but this has not translated into a long-term embrace of Shia aspirations, let alone a willingness to pay a heavy national price for Hezbollah’s pursuit of an armed struggle.
– Young of course ignores the primary split in the Chrisitian community which has been prevalent for more than 100 years, well documented in Patrick Seale’s book on Riad as-Solh and elsewhere – roughly, with one half looking decidedly, often chauvinistically west and the other wanting to maintain their feet in the east. So, i would argue, the alliance is INDEED founded on a deep, decided division – intellectual and otherwise.
Young and others have of course long charged the alliance between Hizbullah and the FPM was temporary, weak and ONLY a product of Aoun’s meglomania….
After that alliance has withstood five years of war, civil violence, economic dislocation and the normal machinations of lebanese politics, one really needs to think: Are these facile pronouncements of Young, oft repeated over the years, the real deal, or just hopeful gauche caviar?