Pity the Shia

Because they are all, rather unfortunately, tarred with Hezbollah now.

The failure of Hezbollah’s latest effort to tilt the political and military balance in its favor was visible in the eyes of the mild inhabitants of the Shia village of Qomatiyeh on Tuesday, as they buried a young Hezbollah man killed by Druze fighters. According to the villagers, the young man, Suleiman Jaafar, was first wounded then executed by members of the Progressive Socialist Party. Such frightful ferocity will greet Hezbollah in every hostile location it would ever wish to control.

There is great poignancy in the fate of the people of Qomatiyeh. With Kayfoun, the village is one of two Shia enclaves in the predominantly Druze and Christian Aley district. The inhabitants, far more than their brethren in the southern suburbs or the South, must on a daily basis juggle between a past in which they coexisted with their non-Shia neighbors and a present and future in which the neighbors view them as an existential threat. That story written large may soon be the story of Lebanon’s Shia community after the mad coup attempt organized by Hezbollah last week. In the past decade and a half, Hezbollah has injected regional animosities and an antagonistic and totalistic ideology of confrontation into tens of thousands of Shia homes, quarters, towns and villages where such attitudes have no place.

Via Michael Totten.