Here is a selection of what I thought to be the most important sections of a very bleak outlook for Lebanon's future:
...the conflict between Israel and Hizbollah guerrillas had dealt a fatal blow to Lebanese hopes of a strong independent state, free of Iranian and Syrian influence.
[Walid Jumblatt] accused [Hizballah] of working to an Iranian and Syrian timetable when it kidnapped two Israeli soldiers on July 12, triggering a devastating Israeli retaliation.
But he said that like many Lebanese he had to support the Shia movement in its resistance against “brutal Israeli aggression”....
“After the 12 July, Lebanon is now unfortunately being entrenched solidly into the Syrian-Iranian axis,” he said. “The hopes of a stable, prosperous Lebanon where we could attract investments is over for now. It is a fatal blow for confidence.”...
Last year [Jumblatt] emerged as one of the Syrian regime’s fiercest opponents in an alliance of groups that came together following the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and led a coalition government following the elections.
At that time, [he] held out hope that a new wave of democratic activism was sweeping the Arab world.
But on Tuesday he offered a bleak and outspoken assessment of the prospects for Lebanon.
He said among Syrian-backed politicians there was already talk of forming an emergency government to replace Prime Minister Fouad Siniora’s coalition. He said he feared that an “organised mob” might be used to force the government’s resignation.
There was also little prospect that Hizbollah, having emerged as a champion in the Arab and Muslim world, would be willing now to incorporate its armed wing under the Lebanese state apparatus....
“We will be just a weak state next to a very strong militia. Our government will be like the government of Abu Mazen (Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas) next to Hamas or maybe worse like the government of [Nouri al] Maliki in Iraq.”
“All American policy in the Middle East is at stake,” he continued, “because their failure in Palestine, their failure in Iraq and now this failure in Lebanon will lead to a new Arab world where the so called radical Arabs will profit.
“This is the new Middle East. Not the new Middle East of Ms [US secretary of state Condoleezza] Rice. Darkness everywhere.”