Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Read at Your Own Risk
Another Robert Fisk Article on Lebanon
"They've done it again. The Arabs have, once more, followed democracy and voted for the wrong man.
Just as the Palestinians voted for Hamas when they were supposed to vote for the Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas, so the Christian Maronites of Lebanon appear to have voted for a man opposed to the majority government of Fouad Siniora in Beirut. Camille Khoury - with a strong vote from the Armenian Tashnak party - won by 418 votes the seat that belonged to Pierre Gemayel, murdered last November by gunmen supposedly working for the Syrian security services.
While the Maronite vote had increased against Gemayel's showing in 2005 elections, the result was a stunning blow to the American-backed government - how devastating that phrase "American-backed" has now become in the Middle East - in Lebanon and allowed Hizbollah's ally, ex-General Michel Aoun to claim that "they cannot beat me". Mr Aoun is a candidate in presidential elections later this year......
Khoury's score in the Metn hills above Beirut - and a 418 conquest out of 79,000 votes is hardly a crushing political victory - yet again emphasises the divisions among the Christians of Lebanon who have traditionally fought each other - rather than their more obvious enemies - throughout Lebanese history. The Crusaders fought each other in Tyre when Saladin was at the gates of the city; in 1990, Mr Aoun's own Lebanese army fought the Christian Phalangist militia while still trying to defend themselves from the Syrians. They lost both battles......"