Saturday, June 08, 2013

Tuesday evening I had dinner with my Turkish associate and his family at their home, where his father joined us. The current upheaval, in their view was a result of the growing pains of a democratic state, though they concede that Erdogan has despotic tendencies and that his political backers are more than willing to use the power of the state to coerce others into a particular way of life. Their larger concern is the disintegration of Syria, which they feel bodes ill for Turkey.

If Istanbul is worried, Beirut is panicking and despondent. Those that I spoke with see Hezbollah's supporting and fighting for Assad a disaster for Lebanon. There was talk of moving money out of the country and arrangements to move their families.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lebanon has "survived" by somehow pretending it isn't all that involved and, oddly, that it's a sovereign state which just so happens to have no real control over much of its land or politics or ... and now that does seem to be crashing down. Hizbollah has come out of the closet: they work for Iran and their loyalty is to Iran and its Syrian client and all that talk about how they defend Lebanon is just that. They've revealed they are the biggest threat to Lebanon. Two ways. First, in the Arab/Muslim world, they've invoked warfare of Shia versus Sunni as their mission and they bluntly try to describe the Sunni opposition as "zionist" and non-Muslim. Second, they make noise about attacking Israel and the Lebanese know that means Hizbollah is willing to sacrifice their lives, their infrastructure, their country for its Iranian masters. - M

4:30 PM  

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