Hvis koalisjonen bak Fouad Siniora virkelig føler seg truet og trengt av Hizbollbah, kan den komme til å la Damaskus kjenne at de kan skape uro i Syria. Syria er et sunni-land, men Assad-familien er alawitter, en sekt.

Det erfarte Washington Posts David Ignatius da han var i Beirut nylig og møtte Siniora.

The hard edge of Siniora’s strategy, hidden behind his lawyerly calm, is that he is prepared to play the sectarian game, too. An ominous sign of the dangers ahead was a huge counter-rally Sunday in support of the government by angry Sunnis in the northern city of Tripoli. «They don’t have the numbers,» Siniora said of the Hezbollah-Aoun alliance. «The majority can send to the street more than what the opposition can send.»

The Sunni trump card is rarely discussed but universally understood: Syria, a crucial ally of Hezbollah, is an overwhelmingly Sunni country. If the Syrian-Iranian alliance squeezes the Sunnis in Lebanon too hard, there is likely to be a backlash inside Syria. Here’s the way Siniora delicately phrased it to me: «The Syrian position is what it is. It has to be part of the Arab world, not the Iranian overall plans in the region.»

NRK kan ikke nevne Sinioras regjering uten å si at den er USA-støttet. Er det dekkende?

And what of America, whose supposed mastery of Lebanon enrages the demonstrators outside Siniora’s office? Its diplomacy unfortunately has been as feckless here as elsewhere in the region. Despite American promises to bolster Siniora by getting a map of Israeli land mines in southern Lebanon, or exploring Lebanese claims to a disputed, Israeli-occupied territory known as Shebaa Farms, the Bush administration has done little. «America gives us letters of support,» says Siniora. «We get tons of paper, which can’t be recycled.»