Hizballah Loses

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Andrew Exum analyzes the elections in Lebanon:

Well, let's see, what has happened since the 2005 elections? Well, there was that huge war that devastated the country and was kicked off by a dumb kidnapping, and then there was that thing in May 2008 where an armed militia and its allies took over the middle class neighborhoods of western Beirut while the rest of Lebanon and the Lebanese diaspora watched on television. Hmm... I'm going to go out on a limb here, but maybe -- just maybe -- those two events gave the Christians of Lebanon a slight pause about supporting Hizballah.

I've said it before and I'll say it again here: for Hizballah, from a domestic political perspective, I think the events of May 2008 were an even bigger miscue than the July 2006 war. At least in 2006, the other side reacted in such a way as to make people forget who started the conflict. The sight of Hizballah gunmen imposing their political will by force on the streets of Beirut in 2008, though, will continue to cost Hizballah and its allies.

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