Det som skjer i det lille landet innerst i Middelhavet er av stor betydning. Hvis Hizbollah lykkes å styrte regjeringen kan det bli starten på noe man idag bare kan ane, og frykte. Da har Teheran og Damaskus bestemt seg for å spille så høyt og dristig at resultatet er helt uforutsigbart.

Anthony Shadid fra Washington Post er i byen og der uttaler fornuftge, kloke mennesker like dramatisk:

«The battle has already begun,» said Mona Fayad, a Shiite professor of psychology whose criticism of Hezbollah in an article published this summer in the Lebanese newspaper al-Nahar made her a cause celebre here. «They’ve opened the gates of hell. This is how I’ve felt the past few days.»

«It’s like a snowball, and it’s now so hard to stop,» she said. Her voice was slow and weary. «Even if they stop it now before anything else happens, we’re still going to have a lot of trouble. And if they don’t?»

She left the question unanswered.

I artikkelen tar Fayad for seg hva det vil si å være shia i Libanon:

The words of Fayad’s article, published before this summer’s war ended, were blunt, even polemical. In language that was straightforward and at times simplistic, the psychologist questioned the very tenets of Hezbollah’s ideology: notions of sacrifice, resistance and honor.

«What does it mean to be a Shiite?» she asked.

«To be a Shiite means that you do not question the meaning of victory,» she wrote. «To be a Shiite means that you do not question the meaning of resistance and pride.» She went on: «To be a Shiite is to accept that your country be destroyed before your very eyes — unsurprised eyes, that is — and that it comes tumbling down on your head, and that your family be displaced and dispersed and become refugees and that you accept standing up to the enemy without a word of complaint.»

«You see,» she wrote, «we are a nation of heroes that knows nothing but sacrifice.»

Over hele Midtøsten sitter det folk og er redde for deres liv hvis de ekstreme kreftene vinner frem.

Dressed in a sports jacket and wearing wire-rimmed glasses, Fayad, 55, sat at her home on an overcast day. She was bleak: She already sees the shadows of a civil war, as Hezbollah mobilizes its Shiite constituency and the government stages almost daily shows of solidarity among Sunni Muslims and others. She feels her life is in danger. And she wants to leave Lebanon.

«It is unacceptable I pass my life from war to war, for the sake of others,» she said. «What kind of craziness is this?»

In a way, the protests today are a microcosm of the currents swirling through the Shiite community, promoted by Hezbollah with its intuitive feel for the sentiments of its rank and file. They are the equivalent of a new kind of politics in Lebanon, drawing on the street, roiled by populist demands: a protest over government corruption, a denunciation of the United States and Israel, a celebration of the war this summer, tinted with a sense of betrayal at the hands of other Lebanese, and a call for change, however ill-defined it might be.

Lebanon’s Shiites Grapple With New Feeling of Power
Despite Gains, Sense of Vulnerability Persists