Hezzie Coup d'Etat: Michael Young

I ran across this on the WaPo blog.
It's very disconcerting to me because I agree with it.
If this is what the future really might hold for Lebanon, then I'm one sad puppy.
Regression never disgusted me more.

Hezbollah's Coup d'Etat

Beirut, Lebanon - There is real danger today that Hezbollah will inherit Lebanon after the war. If it does, an uncontainable civil war will probably ensue.

Militarily, Israel has not scored a decisive victory that would compel the militia to disarm. Hezbollah will use this "triumph" to defeat its adversaries inside Lebanon who want it to surrender its weapons.

At the same time, the Israelis have devastated the Shiite community. They have broken down any Lebanese consensus around the party and have neutralized Hezbollah's military deterrence capability (there to serve Iran) since the party cannot possibly put its coreligionists through another catastrophe similar to the one faced today. These setbacks, in turn, will encourage the party to go on the offensive domestically to refocus the anger of its supporters away from its own responsibility for the disaster and toward its domestic foes.

What will this mean for the Middle East? It will be a severe setback for a rare liberal outpost in the region and may carry Lebanon into a new civil war since no one will longer accept Hezbollah's hegemony. It will heighten Sunni-Shiite tension in the country and the region. It will be another nail in the coffin of the Bush administration's ambition to create a democratic Arab world. It could transform Lebanon into a new version of Gaza, proving that Israel is remarkably adept at ensuring that its worst foes inherit power on its borders. And it will mean the death of a country that, for all its faults, nonetheless tried to recreate a formula for peaceful coexistence between its religious communities in 1990 when that Lebanese civil war ended.