Karim Makdisi

In the wake of the Doha truce

With the army deployed throughout key areas, Lebanese citizens once again resumed their everyday activities under the more familiar conditions of a devastated environment, massive traffic jams, unregulated construction and urban planning, electricity and water shortages, state-sponsored theft or abuse of public lands and resources, rising poverty, inflation and unemployment, and one of the worst budget deficits per capita in the world. The illusion of normalcy has returned for the time being but the real question is: for how long? Karim Makdisi comments from Beirut. 

How the War Will End

There does not appear to be any end in sight to this latest Israeli attack. The Lebanese have reluctantly accepted that the international community - that increasingly cynical euphemism for the Great Powers - have abandoned them, though France, China and Russia at least have made reassuring gestures. George Bush and Condoleezza Rice have backed Israel’s right to ‘self-defence’ and blamed Hizbullah’s very existence for the current violence. Meanwhile, Tony Blair - in an ironic reversal of the Blair Doctrine, which calls for intervention for humanitarian reasons - has called for more UN peacekeepers to be deployed in southern Lebanon ‘to protect Israel’.