More Middle East Dynamics

Just another example of the subtleties of the politics in the Arab world that most of us westerners don’t really understand:

Many in the Arab world, including the regimes of Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, see Nasrallah as the new Nasser who will lead his people to certain defeat. Saudi Arabia even issued an official statement warning against “irresponsible adventurism adopted by certain elements within the state” in Lebanon.

The Saudis did not, however, mention Hezbollah by name. It would be only natural for the Saudis, who are historically at odds with Iran, and tactical allies of Saad al-Hariri, the current leader of Lebanon’s Sunni community and a member of parliament, to oppose the adventurism of Nasrallah. Too much Saudi money and investment, from the days of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik al-Hariri, is at stake in Lebanon.

The Saudis are the traditional backers of the Sunni community that is led by the Hariri family, which wants a Westernized, economy-oriented country and not a hotbed for revolutionary warfare. They cannot afford to losing their influence in Lebanon and have it replaced by that of Iran — which is exactly what happens whenever Hezbollah gets the upper hand in Lebanese politics.

Could it be, then, that the key to calming the waters in Lebanon is to push the Saudis to rein things in?


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