The Mideastwire Blog

Excerpts from the Arab and Iranian Media & Analysis of US Policy in the Region

Shiite-Christian synergy didnt happen in 1980s…. because of Berri and Gemayel?

Michael Young’s two main blindspots have always been twofold: discounting the tremendous violence which “liberal” projects can wreck in the mideast and on humans (with moral and strategic blowback that could be minimized by alternative approaches) and always discounting or omitting the impact of Israel when it comes to Lebanon (his book on the cedar revolution has virtually no reference to Israel!)

Here he explains why a shiite-christian synergy similar to the Aoun-hizbullah one never gained steamed in the 1980s…. notice he leaves out what is generally accepted as the big old wedge issue which came up – the manner in which the Israeli invasion and the then occupation was executed. Instead, that story is left out, with Amine Gemayel having only chose the wrong path… and berri having of course chosen the wrong path:

“…A few naïve souls once interpreted the Aounist-Hezbollah alliance as a historic reconciliation between Maronites and Shiites. Aoun represented a fundamentally new type of Christian leader, they gushed, someone who had embraced the reality of the Shiite revival. Such considerations failed to take into account that Maronites began flirting with the Shiites as far back as the early 1980s, when they sensed that the community was as hostile to the Palestinian military presence as they were. During Israel’s invasion of 1982, many Shiites openly welcomed the removal of Palestinians from the south, while a number of Amal-controlled Shiite neighborhoods in the southern suburbs of Beirut opposed the presence of Palestinian combatants.

This did not go far, partly because President Amin Gemayel never opened a serious channel to the Shiites, partly because Nabih Berri, then the community’s champion, fell under Syria’s sway. But Aoun was no maverick in looking to Hezbollah, not any more than Samir Geagea was in allying himself with the Sunni leader Saad Hariri or with the Druze leader Walid Jumblatt. Amid the shifting tectonic plates that is Lebanese politics, cross-sectarian alliances are frequent…”


Written by nickbiddlenoe

March 22, 2012 at 3:45 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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