Many Likud officials were celebrating UNSC 1559 as the means to weaken and crush Hezbollah. Cut off the Syrian hand of support and corner it internally with the burden of proving their loyalty to Lebanon. The assassination of Rafiq Hariri provided the opportunity to push the all out attack on Hezbollah. So with all the world powers and half the Lebanese people ganging up on HA, they surely had to beat the crap out of it. Right?
Here's what actually went down. Instead of cutting off the Syrian support, the Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon removed the Syrian handcuffs off HA. The Lebanese opposition's obsession with punishing the "pro-syrian" parties pushed all these groups to seek protection with HA. Then came the collapse of the opposition coallition due to many reasons (previously discussed) which emboldened HA even further, and allowed them to strike a deal with one of the main opposition parties. Regionally, the growing pressure on the Syrian regime pushed them in turn to seek Iran's protection. Syria remains loyal to the Iranian regional stratgy, and Iran protects the Assad regime.
Let's recap, before 1559 Syria controlled Lebanon and HA. After 1559, HA built an alliance that controls Lebanon (see all the National dialogue decisions for proof), AND they highly influence Syrian decision making through their Iranian ally. So it's safe to say 1559 didn't quite reach its goal.
While I'm really really glad the Likudists aren't celebrating today the death of Hezbollah today, I worry that as a secular Arab, I'm stuck in a Catch 22 situation.
The point I'm trying to reach through all this is that the Western powers just don't get it. It's one failed policy after another. Every step they take in the Middle East in name of Democracy and political progress seems to strengthen the fundemental Islamist movements. Whether it's Hezbollah, Hamas, Muslim Brotherhood, or any of the local Islamic variations, they are feeding off the West's obliviousness of Middle East culture.
If the powers want to see the Middle East "evolve", just let it be. Stop interfereing. It might take a while but it will at least head in the right direction. If they want to really help, build schools, build hospitals, but stay out of politics (AUB is good, AlHurra not so good). Don't support one dictatorship against another. Don't turn a blind eye to a friendly tyrant while scolding the one opposed to you. All these hypocritical practices are just providing ammunition to the fanatical fundementalists.
Now, since I don't see an end to this, here we continue to try stopping crazy fundementalists and their "Democracy-Spreading" Western Allies.
It won't be easy.