Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Downtown Beirut

A bombing targetting American embassy personnel in Beirut is pretty bad news. One that takes place in the context of a series of Syrian-linked bombings dating back a couple years is even worse. And when it all goes down with the country's lingering presidential stalemate as the backdrop, well, then things look pretty bad.

People have been warning about the danger that the presidential standoff poses for a while now. In essence, it represents the potential failure of the Lebanese power-sharing arrangement that put an end to the decades-long Civil War. But with the exception of the assassination of the Lebanese Army's second-in-command (admittedly a pretty big exception), there hasn't been very much violence.

Hopefully that won't change, but the idea of declaring open season on American embassy personnel seems pretty brazen. Keep your eyes on who claims responsibility for this attack. If it's an Islamic extremist group like the one that tried to take over a Palestinian refugee camp this past summer, this will probably blow over. But if there's any link to a pro-Syrian group, all hell could break loose.

Posted by Judah in:  The Middle East   

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