Despite what well wishers President Bush and David Welch, local cheerleaders from USAID, the US "pro-Lebanon" lobbyists, and a handful of deluded March-14th-changed-everything yuppies might continue to claim, Beirut sure feels like the shit is hitting the fan, every other day. It makes you wonder what Jumblatt is thinking, having placed his lot decisively with the losing side. He must be kicking himself, stabbing himself with an old syringe. Nasrallah is now the unrivaled king of Lebanon, thanks to the failures of their silly little [insert near extinct flora or fauna, or Bush keywords "independence" or "freedom", as desired ] revolution.
While the zai'im/warlords/sheiks/entrepeneurs who run this little country still labor under the pretense of de-escalation, by regularly scheduling and postponing "reconciliation dialogues", their naughty offspring has taken matters into their own hands:
First there was Sami Gemayel, the son of that lout of a former President and the "supreme" Phalangist leader, Amin Gemayel. Last Thursday when Hezbollah constituents took to the streets to protest the comedy skit mocking Nasrallah, he and 50 of his friends, who were just about to go all out and purchase the $5000 Magnum champagne bottle at Crystal's on Monot Street, instead decided to go brawl with the angry teenagers burning tires. He told the press the next day from his hospital bed that he had been attacked by Hezbollah rioters with crowbars, while he and a handful of friends were trying to protect Monot Street, which is lined with bars and cafes and frequented by teeny boppers. In other words, he lied; and even better, his family convinced the Interior Minister to go with Sami's story, rather than what the army had reported and what was caught on CCTV camera. What really happened was that the Lebanese Army stepped in to stop the Maronite brigade from advancing towards Bashara-al-Khourry road, and little Sami was injured in clashes with the state's armed forces. He was neither protecting "our Christian neighborhoods" , nor did a savage Shia smack him upside the head with a metal crowbar. So much for that.
Then late saturday night, the sons of Druze leader Walid Jumblatt and President Emile Lahoud challenged eachother to a duel. The disagreement started over who should go first at a traffic light. Lahoud Jr. allegedly rammed the vehicle of Jumblatt Jr. in a high speed chase, and fired shots at his car. Well actually, the Republican Guards who serve as Lahoud Jr.'s bodyguards did. Very Capulet-Montaguesque, wouldn't you say? What do you think their daddies make of all this? You don't really think that they are egging them on, do you? That would be quite irresponsible, considering that both Gemayel's clashes with the army and Jumblatt and Lahoud's offspring were wielding weapons in densely populated areas, thereby endangering "regular" citizens. And certainly setting a dangerous precedent. The best part of the story of course is that they were released after being "swift[ly] interrogated" by the army. Yes, those same keen and able security forces will protect this country if Hezbollah is disarmed.
CORRECTION: Sami Gemayel was captured fighting with the army on camera by a TV crew, not on CCTV. And still Minister Fatfatliar upholds Gemayel's claim that he was injured by Hezbollah rioters. (Thanks Jamal)