By Noah Pollak
What did the crisis in
We have heard for many years from an array of journalists, scholars, and pundits that Hamas and Hezbollah are complicated social movements that employ violence in the service of their political goals, and that they are therefore susceptible to diplomatic engagement. Such tropes about Hamas have become standard — that there should be a Fatah-Hamas unity government, that Israel should diplomatically engage Hamas, that Hamas’s victory in the Palestinian elections make the group a legitimate political player, etc. — and likewise, similar claims are made about Hezbollah’s role in Lebanon: that it is a legitimate representative of the Shia, that it can be negotiated with, that, like Hamas, the magic elixir of political integration will dissuade Hezbollah from its traditional behavior, which is to terrorize and dominate any system in which it participates.
The Hezbollah rampage in
The one thing Hezbollah has lost is the credibility of its claims to being a Lebanese “resistance” movement. Hezbollah has always countered concerns about its military buildup with the promise that it would never turn its weapons inward. The mask has fallen, and now it will never be restored. But it really doesn’t matter, and in some ways this fact might actually free Hezbollah’s hand — the group no longer need maintain any kind of charade at all that it has
How is this situation going to play out in the coming days and weeks? That depends on a number of things, first among them being the question of how far Hezbollah wants to push its assault. The Druze, Christians, and Sunnis can field their own militias, and if open warfare comes to
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