As for international developments (the dice)... The Democratic electoral victory appears to have shaken things up a bit. How can you tell? Well, just read the headlines! "Berri says government is illegitimate," "Iran says the US and Israel will be defeated in Lebanon," "Hizballah rules out talks on Lebanon's political crisis," "Hope fades as Hizballah signals 'civil disobedience,'" " Syria ruled out of Iraq solution as state department looks to Iran," etc, etc...
Ahhh... how refreshing! some change for once! It appears as if the Iranians feel like they’ve got the Americans by the balls. The Democratic victory in the mid-term elections. The inevitable pressure on the Bush administration by the Republican Party to change course because the party would like to win the next round of elections and sees Middle East policy as a major obstacle. The Baker Commission and the rumored rise of the Realists at the expense of the Neocons within the administration itself - witness Rumsfeld's departure and the entrance of Robert Gates.
All of these developments apparently effect the Lebanese peasantry - yes, yes... I said peasantry. I figured citizenry is too generous a description. No, we're not citizens, we're all peasants. We're a collection of some of the most over-educated, over-confident, arrogant, spoilt, self-righteous, idiotic and oblivious peasant-groupings in the world. And we're so inept publicly and politically that we'd spend our time more valuably watching C-SPAN cover a Senate hearing on Medicare than watching our own daily news bulletins, or even discussing politics amongst ourselves.
In light of the aforementioned international developments, the "lords," as is their habit, continue to implement others' foreign policies on Lebanese soil. One grouping of them has just begun implementing the order to, as they say, raise the tempo. In the coming days, we'll see how far they are willing to go. We shall also see how the other grouping of idiots behaves now that they're the ones under pressure.
It's too bad this is happening. Lebanon's politicians have, quite literally, all the incentives in the world to follow the will of foreign patrons and absolutely no incentives to listen to their own people! How the hell do peasants act like citizens in such a miserable environment - even if they wanted to?