Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Okay, here's the deal:

Okay, until last year, Lebanon wasn't an independent country. It was an autonomous part of Syria with it's own diplomatic corps.

Then came the "Ceder Revolution" and the Syrians were forced out. Lebanon was now for the most part a real live country. The only part that wasn't independent was the south which was controlled by Hizullah, who refused to be disarmed and was supported by both Syria and Iran.

Now before the ceder revolution, there were talks with Israel, which went nowhere because the Lebanese dipolomats were ordered by their Syrian masters not to negotiate anything.

The New Government of Lebanon, since it didn't have the power to actually fight Hizbullah, kept it's "official" war with Israel going.

Let me repeat that: Lebanon was officially at WAR with Israel on the day before the Hizbullah attack that started this whole mess

Also, the civil war that took all those years and ripped the country to shreds, had been going on for seven years before the 1982 israeli invasion.. I heard that the inciting incedent was a fight over a pinball machine in a bar. There were wider issues of course.

Most of the Israeli attacks have been in the south where the people freely elected Hizbullah to local and parlimentery offices.

Southern Lebanon is under the control of Hizbullah and the population actually wants it that way.

The people in the north and center of the country, don't. They want things to be back the way things were in 1970, when Beirut was the jewel of the Middle East, people were generally middle class and life was pretty good for all involved.

But Syria and Iran don't want that for the Lebanese.

The first step twoards real peace in the region is an exchange of ambassidors between Lebanon and Syria, but Syria refuses.

That's not Israel's fault.

by messy on Sun Jul 16th, 2006 at 09:03:28 AM EST

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