Sunday, May 11, 2008

Pro-U.S. Regimes in Lebanon & Iraq Provoke Opponents

In both Iraq and Lebanon over the past two months the following has occurred:
  1. A top U.S. official visited;
  2. A few days later, the pro-U.S. regime launched a military challenge to opposition groups that were maintaining a peaceful stance and participating in politics but who disagreed with U.S. policy toward their respective countries;
  3. The opposition groups, when provoked, responded with force;
  4. Civilian deaths occurred and many more were feared, generating widespread calls for compromise;
  5. As of this weekend, compromises are in place that seem on the surface to be defeats for the pro-U.S. regimes but that also leave the opposition groups with tarnished images. Whatever the appearances, the facts are that each opposition group retains its right to keep its weapons and participate in politics.

Will either side learn to be less prone to violence?
Will the regimes become less willing to follow the advice of Washington?
Will Washington itself learn anything at all?
Are the facts I have listed even the key facts, or was my selection biased?
Is the apparent pattern of recent events in Iraq and Lebanon just coincidence?


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