International Calls for Unity as Lebanese Govt Falls

US Says Hezbollah 'Subverts Justice' by Leaving Govt

From Iran and the Arab League to the West, a number of nations are calling for unity in Lebanon, concerned that the apparent collapse of the Hariri-led government today would go beyond the usual rise and fall of coalition governments in parliamentary systems and could lead to fighting.

The March 8 bloc, of which Hezbollah is the dominant force, withdrew from the government today in the wake of rising tensions over the UN tribunal and possible arrests of Hezbollah members for the assassination of former PM Rafik Hariri. This leaves current PM Saad Hariri running a caretaker government hoping either to come up with a new coalition or prepare for new elections.

The US, for their part, condemned Hezbollah for withdrawing from the government, saying that it was a “transparent effort to subvert justice.” This is a particularly odd stance as the US never wanted Hezbollah in the Lebanese government to begin with.

Still, it seems that the March 8 and March 14 blocs were never particularly close to one another, and the coalition stemmed more from unity over the perceived threat of an Israeli invasion than anything else. Though such threats are likely to crop up now and again, it seems that it simply wasn’t enough to keep them together for a full term.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.