Michael Young, opinion editor for Beirut’s Daily Star, says the Obama administration has indicated it does not favor a victory for the Hezbollah-led opposition in the 2009 parliamentary elections. Should they win, Lebanon would likely lose economic support from the United States and key Arab states in the region.
Mohamad Bazzi, former Middle East correspondent for Newsday, says evidence suggests Israel’s intelligence agents as the most likely source of the bomb that killed Hezbollah terrorist chief Imad Mugniyah, but other scenarios also are feasible.
Mohamad Bazzi, former Middle East bureau chief for Newsday, says there will likely be more haggling ahead of a new deadline for Lebanon’s political parties to agree on a compromise candidate to become the country’s next president.
Mona Yacoubian, a former intelligence analyst for the State Department, says the special UN tribunal to investigate the assassination in 2005 of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri is linked to the politics of Lebanon and Syria, with the Syrians trying to sow enough chaos to prevent the tribunal from ever getting underway.
Michael Young, an expect commentator on Lebanese affairs, says he has little doubt the recent assassination of Christian leader Pierre Gemayel and other killings in Lebanon were carried out by Syria and its Lebanese allies.
Joshua Landis, an expert on Syria and Lebanon, says the drawn-out Iraq conflict has fed an image of declining U.S. influence in Lebanon, which has led Hezbollah to try to weaken, if not overthrow, the government of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora.