Najib B. Hourani
Dr. Hourani is an assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology and the Global Urban Studies Program at Michigan State University. The author would like to thank Mohammed Ayoob, Waleed Hazbun, Everita Silina and anonymous reviewers for their constructive criticism of earlier drafts of this article.
On August 9, 2012, the Information Branch of Lebanon's Internal Security Forces (al-Maloumat) arrested former parliamentarian and cabinet minister Michel Samaha. According to newspaper reports, officers burst into the minister's family home in the early morning hours, dragged him from his bed, and spirited him away to ISF headquarters in Beirut. Under interrogation, he allegedly admitted to involvement in a conspiracy to engage in acts of terrorism on behalf of an embattled Syrian regime determined to maintain its grip on its tiny western neighbor.1 Two months later, the head of the Maloumat, Wissam al-Hassan, was assassinated by a car bomb in East Beirut.
Responsibility for this killing, like so many political assassinations throughout Lebanon's history, will never be fully clear. Former Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri and his allies in the opposition, known as the March 14th Movement, hold the Syrian regime responsible for the assassination of al-Hassan, whom they considered one of their own. Bashar al-Assad, they claim, killed al-Hassan to warn March 14th leaders that violence awaits those who might work too closely with Washington and Riyadh to undermine Syria, its alliance with Iran or its "special relationship" with Lebanon.2 Others, including al-Hassan's direct superior, Ashraf Rifi, could not rule out the possibility that al-Hassan's dismantling of Israeli intelligence networks in Beirut throughout 2007 and 2008 made him a target of Tel Aviv.3
For Hillary Clinton — as for her predecessor Condoleezza Rice — al-Hassan represented a Lebanese state attempting to consolidate its power in the face of threatening subnational and external forces. Her interpretation echoes that of the Bush administration, and, indeed, of the foreign policy and media establishment, for which internal Lebanese politics are driven by conflict between a "legitimate" Lebanese leadership and parties "that act as proxies and agents for outside forces," by which they mean Hezbollah and Syria.4 Indeed, during a recent meeting with Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati, ostensibly to discuss the danger of a spillover of the Syrian war into Lebanon, Clinton redirected the discussion. As the State Department spokesman put it, "Our view that there is risk in the south, a very acute risk in the south, and in fact more than a risk — an actuality of Hezbollah using its areas as a platform for destabilizing Syria and also creating real challenges in other parts of the world, as well."5
This is the Rice-Clinton consensus: contemporary Lebanese politics is driven by a conflict between legitimate political actors respectful of Lebanese state autonomy and those that, as Rice put it, operate as a "state-within-a-state" on behalf of outside forces.6 To be sure, the party maintains a state-like presence in Lebanon. In addition to its military capabilities, honed since its birth in the context of a civil war and foreign occupation, Hezbollah provides a range of social services to its constituents and administers highly professional welfare and economic-development programs. Yet to conceive of this network of people and institutions as operating on one side of a stark dichotomy — such as that between the legitimate and illegitimate, the state and the non- or sub-state — hides far more than it reveals about the political terrain that is Lebanon and, indeed, much of the postcolonial world. U.S. policy, based upon this stark dichotomy, not only misses important possibilities for political opening in its dealings with countries such as Lebanon and forces such as Hezbollah, but also runs the risk of exacerbating tensions and suffering unintended consequences as well.
In what follows, I will show that Hezbollah is not a unique entity in Lebanon's political history, a history marked by a perpetual blurring of imagined boundaries between the state and its outside. The party has, to date, successfully pursued a path to power not unlike that followed by other political forces in this tiny Mediterranean country. Moreover, in mastering this game, Hezbollah has pushed beyond well-established Lebanese rules of the game to simultaneously develop — and develop itself through — a modern Lebanese Shiite social movement from which it is largely inseparable. For this reason, I will show, the destruction of Hezbollah is unlikely to produce a unified state, much less a democratic polity, as Condoleezza Rice once claimed. Worse still, sustained political assault on the party risks being read as an assault on the sect on behalf of other sectarian leaderships and could exacerbate instability and create the conditions for a return to war.
STATES WITHIN THE STATE
Hezbollah does not dispute that it has taken on roles normally performed by state administrations. Indeed, for the party, its cadres and supporters, the performance of such roles and the professionalism with which it does so is a point of particular pride. The party, through affiliated institutions, charities and entrepreneurs, does effectively play a number of roles traditionally associated with the state. It makes widely available effective welfare services, education and economic opportunities through a number of affiliated companies and NGOs. It further assists its clientele in securing positions within government ministries and departments and helps a vast number of Shiite citizens gain access to and navigate Lebanon's byzantine and often corrupt government bureaucracy. In the southern suburbs of Beirut and other predominantly Shiite areas, the party provides electricity and water, security services and even unofficial traffic police who keep Beirut's heavy traffic moving. By virtue of these activities and the ideology behind them, Hezbollah has become one of the primary institutional expressions of a progressive Shiite social movement that has successfully absorbed local rivals such as the leftist parties and the wartime Amal militia.7
In Hezbollah's view, the Lebanese state — as a set of institutions that may regulate or serve society from a position above and outside it or even defend Lebanese territory and citizens from hostile powers — does not exist today, if it ever did. It is, they argue, precisely the abdication by the state of responsibility for Lebanese citizens as citizens, the long-marginalized Shiite communities in particular, that makes Hezbollah indispensable for Shiites' well-being and even for their security. This is especially urgent, they argue, not only due to continued hostilities with Israel, but to Lebanon's post-civil-war neoliberalization, which has further weakened, dismantled or privatized state institutions and left the poor to the mercy of the market and governmental corruption.8
Hezbollah operates along lines established by the very rivals that today accuse it of usurping legitimate state powers. Indeed, this pattern, in which political movements develop and become anchored in non-state and parastatal institutions that provide economic, social and security services and even military capabilities, is not new to Lebanon, nor is the embedding of such networks and institutions within the state apparatus. The transnational strategies central to such projects are not novel either; the support of outside patrons has always been crucial to the successful ascent to politicoeconomic power.9 In short, the Lebanese political terrain is itself constituted by such hybrid sovereignties.10 The Kataeb state-within-a-state, though not the first in Lebanon's history, is paradigmatic of this mode of postcolonial politics.11
Among the most successful examples of the development of such a network of people and institutions working on both sides of the imagined state/non-state divide prior to Hezbollah was that of the Christian-Nationalist Kataeb Party and the associated Lebanese Forces militia during the Lebanese civil war (1975-90). Based in East Beirut and the northern mountains, these militias and their backers among the financial-mercantile elite had, by the late 1970s, created their own parastatal institutions within territory under their control — to collect garbage, provide social services including health care and specialized drug treatment, regulate market prices, collect tolls and taxes, and ration subsidized food and fuel. They even maintained a research and economic-planning department and institutional structures to handle foreign political and economic relations.
Other militias followed the Kataeb's lead in the 1980s.12 In 1984, the Jumblatt family's Progressive Socialist Party militia created its "Administration of the Mountain" in largely Druze areas to provide similar governmental and social services.13 In West Beirut and the South, the Shiite Amal militia controlled the "Movement of the Dispossessed" and the semi-governmental Council of the South, both of which provided social-welfare functions and oversaw health care and economic matters within areas under their control.14 The partial incorporation of these institutions into the Lebanese state apparatus enabled the consolidation of their power and that of associated politicoeconomic elites.
The case of the Kataeb is, again, paradigmatic. Installed in power by the United States and Israel following the latter's 1982 siege of Beirut, Phalange leader Amin Gemayel sought to solidify his power and that of the party over a sharply divided Lebanon.15 With U.S. and French backing, the Kataeb set about capturing existing state institutions and channeling economic aid to political allies, while military assistance was directed to the militia and loyal portions of the Lebanese Army.
Equally important to this strategy was the direct incorporation of Kataeb institutions into the state bureaucracy, either through cooperation with parliamentary allies or presidential decree. The most significant of these new institutions would allow the Kataeb to control the interface between polity and economy, on the one hand, and between the Lebanese and the global political economies, on the other. Capturing these domains enabled the Kataeb to generate and direct political and economic rents. For example, the Phalangist economic research and planning administration, known as the Council on Foreign Economic Relations, was incorporated in its entirety as the Board of Foreign Economic Relations (BOFER).
This new state institution, headed by a Kataeb banker and Gemayel confidant, and staffed by Phalangists, reported directly to the office of the president. BOFER functioned as a "super ministry" that linked to and managed the line ministries and their operations. It enjoyed wide discretion in matters of tourism and industrial development, finance and foreign trade. It was even empowered to negotiate and conclude trade and other economic agreements with foreign governments and to conclude public-private joint-venture agreements with local, regional and global companies.16 In short, the incorporation of Phalangist institutions into the national state enabled the party machinery to create and direct governmental and international resources to its own network of elite families, loyalists, political and social-service institutions, and private corporations working within and alongside the state.
The Phalangization project, which erased the boundaries between the state and the outside, began to falter with the political and economic crises of 1984. More crippling to Gemayel was a Reagan administration "splendidly ignorant" of such local dynamics and their regional extensions.17 Indeed, U.S. pressure on Gemayel to conclude a peace and free-trade treaty with Israel, despite opposition from other militias and their regional supporters, progressively weakened him. Reagan's withdrawal of economic and military support from Gemayel when he could not deliver the so-called May 17th Agreement was fatal, and in 1985 he was forced to form a "national-unity government."18
While the formation of this government required the rollback of some of Gemayel's agenda — for example, he was forced to dismantle BOFER in 198519 — it did not put an end to the pattern of institutionalization of militia mini-states or the incorporation of such institutions into the Lebanese state. Quite the opposite; it opened the process further to other militia leaders and their politicoeconomic institutions and networks. For example, Amal leader Nabih Berri became the head of a new Ministry of the South and Reconstruction, staffed by Amal loyalists. In addition, Hussein Husseini, a longtime high-ranking Amal official, became speaker of parliament. Other militia leaders, such as former president Camille Chamoun and Walid Jumblatt, joined the cabinet, as did the president's father, Kataeb founder Pierre Gemayel.20 From these positions, militia leaderships and their administrations were able to direct government funds into their own institutions, militia coffers and pockets, and those of associated businessmen, while also providing a modicum of support to their communities and their often underpaid fighters.
It should be stressed that these networks of people and institutions working within, alongside and through militia and state apparatuses were economic as well as political in nature. While much has been written on the predatory and illegal nature of militia activity, racketeering, smuggling and other dubious "informal" activities, the penetration and domination of the "legitimate" economy were central to the strategy. More specifically, the capture of Lebanese banks and financial institutions was paramount; the same was true for the state and non-state institutions that oversaw their operations, the Central Bank and the Banks Association, respectively. With this domination of the commanding heights of the Lebanese political economy, the militias and related financiers could launder monies derived from arms and drug trades but, equally important, engage in speculation on real estate, precious metals and, especially after the 1981 financial deregulation in the United States and Europe, foreign-currency markets.
The Kataeb's financial network, made possible by the control of the presidency, the Central Bank and the Banks Association, dwarfed those of its rivals, however. It centered on Lebanon's single largest financial institution, the semi-governmental Intra-Investment Company, and a number of local banks and their subsidiaries in Europe, the United States, the Cayman Islands and elsewhere. By the end of Gemayel's term in office in 1988, this global network controlled some 25 percent of all banking activity in Lebanon.21
The Hariri Network
It is a testament to the tight coupling of the Lebanese militia economy and the dynamics of financial globalization that, with the 1988-89 global financial crisis, the Kataeb banks and those of a number of rival militia networks collapsed in Lebanon, Europe and the United States. The complexities of this collapse are detailed elsewhere.22 What is important to note here is the fact that the collapse of these networks did not enable the consolidation of the Lebanese state any more than did the events of 1984. Rather, the crisis of 1988-89 enabled the rise of a new politicoeconomic network, that of the Saudi-backed Lebanese billionaire banker and construction magnate, Rafiq Hariri.
Having returned to Lebanon as the envoy of the Saudi royal family, Hariri spent much of the 1980s building his own constellation of companies, charities and other social and educational institutions, much as the militia had done and often in cooperation with them. His Hariri Foundation developed an impressive social-services network and provided financial assistance, health care and even scholarships and student loans to families from across the sectarian spectrum. His Oger-Liban contracting company, a subsidiary of the family-owned Saudi-Oger, built schools, hospitals and roads.
In addition to these philanthropic and social-service efforts, through which he developed a widespread clientele, Hariri and associated businessmen came to control a number of Lebanese financial institutions under the umbrella of the family-owned Mediterranean Group. These companies, centered on Hariri's Mediterranean Bank, invested in militia-related business ventures in Lebanon and abroad, bought up tremendous amounts of real estate and began planning for the privatization of Beirut's postconflict reconstruction. It was this Saudi-supported political, financial and patronage network that enabled Hariri, in cooperation with members of the prewar financial oligarchy, to capture control of the Central Bank and the Banks Association after Gemayel's exile and to capture, with U.S., French and Saudi backing, the prime ministry in 1992.
Continued reliance upon the Hariri Foundation and associated institutions and, more important, the incorporation of this network of allies and institutions into the state apparatus ensured Hariri's dominance of Lebanese politics until his assasination in 2005. Hariri's networks, just as Gemayel's had in the 1980s, colonized existing state institutions or created new ones to facilitate politicoeconomic control. Hariri appointed his personal portfolio manager to the presidency of the Central Bank. Hariri's former lawyer became the minister of justice. The head of the Mediterranean Group became the finance minister, who then developed a shadow administration of loyal "consultants" within the ministry to direct economic policy and implement institutional reform.23 The head of Hariri's multinational construction company, Oger, became president of the enormously powerful Council for Development and Reconstruction (CDR), which, like BOFER before it, acted as a super-ministry empowered to oversee the line ministries, plan and tender reconstruction projects, and conclude "public-private partnerships" with politically connected businessmen.
As Gemayel's Kataeb had done earlier, the Hariri network also developed new administrative units responsible directly to the prime minister's office to circumscribe ministries controlled by rival leaders and their politicoeconomic machines. For example, they created and staffed the Central Fund for the Displaced in order to control reconstruction aid budgeted for the Ministry of the Displaced, which was itself under the control of Druze leader Walid Jumblatt and staffed by members of his wartime Administration of the Mountain. The Investment Development Authority, created to circumvent state administration and regulations and so facilitate investment, like the CDR, answered directly to the prime minister's office and channeled foreign direct investment to preferred projects and related investors.24
Clearly, Hezbollah's development of its own institutions and related networks is not unique within the Lebanese political economy. Rather, it is but a continuation of earlier patterns, as the example of the wartime Gemayel network indicates. Moreover, although Hezbollah was born in the middle of the 1980s in the context of civil war, this pattern cannot simply be attributed to the breakdown of the state. In fact, the consolidation of such networks, their integration into the state, and their efforts to control the Lebanese economy predated the civil war. As the case of the Hariri family's state within a state demonstrates, this pattern deepened in the era of neoliberal postconflict reconstruction.
Success in the creation of hybrid sovereignties in Lebanon, as elsewhere in the post-colonial world, however, is closely linked to the ability of such networks to make themselves useful to larger regional or global politicoeconomic projects. As already noted, when the Kataeb administration of Amin Gemayel seemed able to help Israel and the United States pursue their interests within Lebanon and the region, Washington provided political, economic and military support that, in turn, assisted the Kataeb consolidation of power. When it became clear that Gemayel couldn't deliver the May 17th Agreement, Israel and the United States withdrew support, setting the stage for the rollback of the Phalangist project and its final collapse in 1988-89. As will become clear in what follows, both Hezbollah's and Hariri's fortunes are similarly connected to transnational projects, each in its own way, and therefore subject to external pressures today.
It was precisely this interplay among local, regional and global forces, and the dynamics between them, that ended the Lebanese civil war and set the stage for the balance of forces that marks Lebanese politics now. As noted above, the end of the Gemayel presidency just as the 1988-89 global financial crisis began brought down not only the Kataeb financial network, but those of rival militia mini-states as well. Starved of finance, one-time allies within both East and West Beirut turned on each other in pursuit of resources, and the companies, ports, checkpoints and protection rackets that generated them. While Israel and Syria were content to allow these wars of attrition to continue, the United States was not.
In exchange for Syrian support for the 1990 war on Iraq, George H.W. Bush prevailed upon Israel to sacrifice its dream of a pliant Christian-ruled Lebanon and to green-light Syria's use of air power over East Beirut. Following a brief, but bloody, air and ground assault against the Lebanese Forces and Lebanese Army, both of which had been severely weakened by fratricide in East Beirut, Damascus was finally in control of all of Lebanon save the 10 percent that remained under Israeli occupation — and so in a state of continual war — in the south of the country.
Two years later, with Iraq tamed, U.S. attention returned to Lebanon and its place in the post-Cold War Middle East. With the political and economic support of France and, more important, Saudi Arabia, the United States helped secure Rafiq Hariri's election to the prime ministry, consolidating a division of Lebanese affairs inseparable from regional rivalries. While Syria would maintain effective control of Lebanon's foreign policy, security services and military capabilities, including that of the resistance in the south, Rafiq Hariri's politicoeconomic network, his allies in the Lebanese financial-mercantile oligarchy and his benefactors in Riyadh dominated economic matters, especially those related to finance, insurance and real estate, and to the planning and execution of postwar reconstruction.25
This postwar division of power and purview in Lebanon, extremely sensitive to regional dynamics, was always fraught with instability. Clearly, the efforts of the Hariri-Saudi-U.S. alliance to give birth to a neoliberal Lebanon in which Beirut would once again become the "Paris of the Middle East" — a regional competitor with Tel Aviv in a new U.S.-brokered regional order — were not compatible with the ongoing civil war in the south.26 Indeed, the goal of Israel's 1993 and 1996 assaults on Lebanese villages and infrastructure (Operations Accountability and Grapes of Wrath, respectively) and its numerous other incursions into Lebanese territory, was precisely to force Beirut to rein in the Hezbollah-led resistance or risk having its reconstruction and economic recovery wiped out. Yet, the continued occupation and the acute resentment each assault produced among Lebanese of all walks of life, in fact strengthened Hezbollah politically throughout the 1990s, to say nothing of spurring it to improve its weaponry and capabilities. By the time Israel withdrew in 2000, it was impossible for successive Hariri governments to challenge the party or its Syrian backers.27
In sum, Hezbollah's creation of a hybrid sovereignty represents a path to power that parallels those taken by its political rivals that today charge it with undermining the "legitimate" Lebanese state. Hezbollah, itself one of the primary institutional expressions of a progressive Shiite social movement, over time subsumed local rivals for Shiite allegiance, such as the leftist parties and the Amal militia. To the extent that its military resistance in the south has benefited Syria, specifically in its bid to negotiate the return of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights; and Iran, in its effort to secure a regional balance with U.S.-backed regimes in the region, both have supported the party with the money, weapons and training that enabled victory over local rivals and eventually Israel's near-complete withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000.
Simultaneously, the Hariri family, through the control of state institutions, the Hariri Foundation, the Mustaqbal Movement and the largest financial and media groups in the country, quickly displaced rival Sunni families such as the Salams in Beirut and the Karamis of Tripoli in the wake of the civil war. The United States and France, pleased to have a Saudi surrogate with a neoliberal orientation in office, rendered assistance to the "Lebanese state," as Hariri expanded the control of his network and allies within, alongside and through its institutions.
The relative weight of military and economic power in the strategies of Hezbollah and the Hariri network reflect context-specific trajectories that can be traced to the civil war and the division of power and purview that brought it to an end. Accordingly, Hezbollah, still engaged in the last theater of the civil war throughout the 1990s, functioned foremost as a resistance organization. The network of institutions through which the Hariri family came to dominate Lebanon during that decade were primarily economic in nature. The incompatibility between Hariri's neoliberal project and the ongoing conflict in the south had, since the end of the civil war, always been apparent. The events of September 11, 2001, the subsequent U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and its pursuit of a "Global War on Terror," however, exacerbated regional tensions as never before. The local expression of this regional polarization pitted the U.S.- and Saudi-backed Prime Minister Hariri and his allies against a Syrian- and Iranian-supported alliance including Hezbollah and, more important, the Syrian-backed president, Emile Lahoud.
While relations between Hariri and Lahoud, a former general and Syrian client, were far from congenial, the conflict between them moved from acrimonious gridlock to outright confrontation in August 2004. Syria, threatened by the U.S. agenda of regional regime change, sought to shore up its position in Beirut, and so forced passage of a constitutional amendment to permit Lahoud's reappointment for an unprecedented third term. Although Prime Minister Hariri and his allies strongly opposed the reappointment of Lahoud, they had little choice but to comply with Syrian wishes. Immediately thereafter, with Saudi support, Hariri resigned his position to pursue a possible electoral mandate in the coming elections.28
The Bush administration, however, had its own objectives in mind. In the run-up to the 2004 U.S. elections, George W. Bush viewed the conflict between Hariri and Lahoud as an opportunity to demonstrate his regional commitments. Over and against Hariri's wishes, the administration secured the passage of UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1559, an indelicate broadside that matched Syria's own heavy-handed approach to Lebanese politics. With little consideration for the Lebanese or regional balance, the resolution demanded, first, an end to Syrian influence in Beirut; second, the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon; and third, the disarmament of all non-Lebanese (read Palestinian) and Lebanese (read Hezbollah) militias.
As had been the case when Reagan pushed Gemayel to sign onto the May 17th Agreement, the U.S. administration's perception of its interests once again worked against those of its most important Lebanese ally. While Hariri might have agreed with the first two clauses of UNSCR 1559, he recognized the impossibility of their enforcement at that particular juncture. More important, he opposed the final clause regarding the disarmament of Hezbollah. Recognizing the centrality of the party and its social, cultural and political institutions within Lebanon's Shiite communities and the likelihood of confrontation, Hariri had always maintained that Hezbollah's arms and resistance activities could not be dealt with except through internal Lebanese dialogue. He was also keenly aware that the linkage of Hezbollah's disarmament with Syrian withdrawal, in the context of continued U.S. war on Iraq and tensions with Iran, would, at best, drive Hezbollah, Syria and Iran closer together and bolster their claim to be at the forefront of regional resistance to an Israeli-U.S.-inspired regional order. At worst, it would induce a cornered Syria to take dramatic measures to secure its control over Lebanon.29
Damascus, already threatened by Bush-administration designs and dismayed by Hariri's resistance to the reappointment of Lahoud, viewed the Lebanese prime minister as a collaborator in the passage of UNSCR 1559. But the danger Resolution 1559 represented was graver than even Hariri had predicted. It first manifested itself with the attempted assassination of Marwan Hamade, a government minister and ally of Walid Jumblatt who was critical of Syrian control of Lebanese affairs. Though he survived the attack, a series of assassinations of Syria's Lebanese opponents over the following two years would claim a number of politicians and journalists allied with Hariri and once willing to work with Washington.30 On February 14, 2005, a truck laden with the explosive equivalent of 2,500 kilograms of TNT slammed into Rafiq Hariri's armored motorcade, killing him along with 22 others.
The assassination was, for many Lebanese, a tragedy. Indeed, both political allies and adversaries recognized Hariri as a capable politician with a sense for the kinds of compromise Lebanon's consociational democracy requires. Moreover, through his Hariri Foundation, his vast corporate holdings and ability to ensure patronage positions in key government ministries and departments, the late prime minister had developed a wide following and was without question the paramount representative of Lebanon's Sunnis. It was this popular support that generated the demonstrations after Hariri's funeral, calling for Syrian withdrawal.
Despite the outpouring of public mourning and anger and the unprecedented media coverage anti-Syrian demonstrations received in the West, the divisions in Lebanese politics only deepened. On March 8, just prior to the Syrian withdrawal, the parties allied with Damascus called nearly one million people to a demonstration in the Beirut city center to "thank Syria" for its positive role in Lebanon and reaffirm the special relationship between the two countries. The alliance of parties that participated — Shiite Hezbollah and Amal, the Parti Populaire Syrien, the Christian Marada party and the largest single Christian party, the Tayyar Movement of former General Michel Aoun — has since that day been known as the March 8th Movement.
Playing skillfully to audiences in Europe and the United States, the late prime minister's allies responded with an even larger event one week later. Backed by expertise donated by Beirut's largest advertising firms, slightly more than a million flag-waving supporters of Hariri's Future Movement, the Lebanese Forces and the Kataeb, among others, had the final say in the duel of the demonstrations. And so the March 14th Movement was born.31
The Bush administration claimed the ouster of Syria — the so-called Cedar Revolution — as a victory for Washington and for democratic freedom throughout the region. The reality was quite different. Although Syrian troops had withdrawn from Lebanon, its security apparatus remained as powerful and deeply intertwined with Lebanon's as ever. Political polarization, manifested in the rivalry between the evenly matched March 14th and March 8th alliances and their foreign backers, had reached unprecedented levels. The price that the United States paid for forcing UNSCR 1559 was, in reality, extremely high. As Walid Jumblatt rightly pointed out, in forcing U.S. and Israeli preferences over and against those of U.S. allies in Beirut, Washington set the stage for the death not only of one of Lebanon's most competent statesmen, but of the most powerful U.S. partner in Beirut.32
The costs to Lebanon, of course, were much higher and rose throughout 2006 and 2007 as the assassination campaign against March 14th figures continued unabated. The Bush administration, however, pressed forward, seemingly confident that the Cedar Revolution had weakened Hezbollah. Believing the party to be low-hanging fruit in the "war on terror," U.S. and Israeli planners envisioned a military solution assured by the deployment of overwhelming force. Hezbollah, in executing an operation to capture Israeli soldiers it sought to trade for Lebanese captives in Israel, provided the pretext for a long-planned war against the party and its civilian infrastructure.33
If Hezbollah — as its secretary-general, Hassan Nasrallah, admitted — miscalculated the Israeli response to the operation, so too did Washington and Tel Aviv underestimate the price they would pay for 2006 war.34 Once again, U.S. and Israeli involvement in Lebanon produced the opposite of what was intended. The Lebanese, especially those living in the Shiite villages of the south and the southern suburbs of Beirut, suffered 33 days of increasingly ferocious aerial bombardment and ground assault by the Israeli army and air force. As entire villages and urban quarters were reduced to rubble and the number of civilian casualties rose, the March 14th-led government could only plead with its benefactors in the United States and Europe for relief. The Bush and Blair administrations, however, thwarted any and all movement toward a ceasefire, hoping that Israel would "finish the job" of eradicating Hezbollah as a politico-military force.
Despite the onslaught, however, Hezbollah's defenses remained firm, and its offensive capabilities remained intact as well. Thousands of primarily katyusha rockets emptied northern Israel of its population and prevented their return until after the war's end. As Hirst argues, the party's ability to survive, and indeed, bloody Israel's nose elevated the status of Hezbollah throughout Lebanon and the Arab world. As the popularity of the party surged, its claim to the mantle of resistance against Israel and a duplicitous United States, once flagging, was fully restored. At the same time, the credibility of U.S. allies in March 14th was strained to the limit.35
MILITARIZATION OF MARCH 14TH
It is in the context of ever-increasing polarization and competition between the March 8th and March 14th alliances and their foreign backers, and the failure of the military option to break the stalemate, that the arrest of Samaha and the subsequent assassination of Wissam al-Hassan must be understood. For the response to the assassination of Hariri and the subsequent July War by March 14th and its foreign backers was not to press for the consolidation of the state, but to further undermine it in the pursuit of their own interests. They did so in three ways, only one of which will be dealt with here. First, the March 14th government invited the United Nations to investigate the assassination of Hariri and implored it to create a special tribunal to prosecute suspects. In resorting to Chapter VII of the UN Charter for that prosecution, March 14th hamstrung the Lebanese government and greatly increased U.S. leverage within the Lebanese political system.36
Second, in the wake of the 2006 war, rather than actively pursuing reconstruction in the heavily damaged Shiite parts of the country, including the densely populated southern suburbs of Beirut, the Siniora government seemed to actively delay progress. This confirmed Hezbollah's claim that it alone could and would undertake the defense of Lebanon's Shia and actively engage in reconstruction of Beirut and the south. Moreover, the fact that it also cared for and compensated people of other sects whose homes were destroyed, confirmed for many non-Shiite Lebanese the degree to which March 14th leaders operated on behalf of narrowly interested clientelist networks rather than a national good. In most cases, the party provided the displaced — owners and tenants alike — cash compensation within a number of days following the cessation of hostilities. Indeed, it was a Hezbollah parastatal, Jihad al-Bina, that planned, tendered and otherwise carried out much of the reconstruction effort, in many cases drawing upon international aid delivered around, rather than through, March 14th-controlled state institutions.37
The third effort is most important here: the increasing militarization of the March 14th coalition and simultaneous capture of state intelligence capability. Following the death of Hariri and the 2006 war, March 14th sought to increase its military capacity through the creation of its own militia. Disguised as private security companies, the offices of which proliferated throughout primarily Sunni areas of Beirut, the Hariri-funded militia was rumored to have grown into the thousands by 2008. Although the militia was easily defeated in a 12-hour battle with Hezbollah, Amal and Parti Populaire Syrienne militiamen in May of that year, efforts to recruit, train and arm March 14th militias seem to be accelerating at present, especially in those regions of north Lebanon most closely tied into the Syrian conflict.38
A more sustained effort, however, has been made by the March 14th movement since 2005 to create and control its own paramilitary security service within the state security apparatus. Viewing Army Intelligence and the General Security Service as preserves of rival politicoeconomic networks and leaderships and linked to Syrian Intelligence, the Hariri family and the Mustaqbal Movement, now under the leadership of Rafiq's son, Saad, sought an intelligence apparatus that would be loyal to and serve their own interests. The Information Bureau (al-Maloumat) of the Internal Security Forces fit the bill. With U.S. training, equipment and funding — to the tune of $60 million by 200839 — outside the oversight of the cabinet, Saad Hariri and his allies built the Maloumat up from a small backwater office in the Internal Security Force to the best-funded and equipped intelligence operation in the country. Although the transformation of the Maloumat into a powerful state institution was never formally sanctioned through any legal means — an act of parliament or cabinet decree would have been necessary — this Hariri institution rapidly became the preferred location for U.S. aid meant to bolster the intelligence capacity of "the Lebanese state." By 2012, Maloumat boasted the largest budget of any of Lebanon's security services.40 Appointed to lead this effort in 2005 was none other than Colonel Wissam al-Hassan, the former chief of security for the late prime minister, Rafiq Hariri.41
Some, especially those close to March 14th, the Hariri family and U.S. foreign-policy circles, present Wissam al-Hassan as a Lebanese patriot who sacrificed his life for his country and the restoration of legitimate power to the state. But many serious analysts recognize that al-Hassan played an important role not only for the Hariri family and its network of allies, corporations and institutions, but for U.S. and Saudi intelligence in Lebanon, as well.42 For those less charitably inclined, it was these latter roles that defined al-Hassan as primarily partisan. They allege it was he who, on behalf of March 14th, provided dubious evidence to the UN investigators that four rival security officials worked with Syria to assassinate Hariri. The four were arrested and held for four years prior to their release for lack of evidence. Shortly thereafter, it was al-Maloumat that provided new evidence, this time alleging Hezbollah's culpability in the assassination, that led to the handing down of indictments against four party members by the UN Special Tribunal for Lebanon.43 More recently, on behalf of March 14th and Saudi Arabia, it was al-Hassan who allegedly facilitated the flow of arms and money to Syrian rebels, helping to transform the Syrian spring into a transnational civil war.44
Wissam al-Hassan was not simply a spymaster who by virtue of his position had contacts with a number of intelligence agencies and was a natural interlocutor for the U.S. government within an imagined "legitimate" Lebanese state. Rather, he was a powerful node in the Hariri family's network of people, companies and parastatal institutions that worked within, through and alongside other state institutions — or in the case of al-Maloumat, were created to do so — in pursuit of politicoeconomic power.
In creating al-Maloumat in 2005 and appointing al-Hassan, a longtime Hariri family employee, Saad continued the practices of the late patriarch. These practices serve to blur the boundaries between state and non-state institutions and actors, defy common understandings of the state as a set of institutions that regulate society from a position outside and above it, and maintain a monopoly on the legitimate means of force. Indeed, within the network of clients, charitable institutions, financial, real-estate and security companies, government offices and al-Maloumat, the imagined line that separates the legitimate and the illegitimate, the state and its outside, is impossible to locate. Indeed, like President Amin Gemayel before him, Rafiq Hariri pursued a path to power that depended precisely upon the blurring of this line. It was dependent precisely upon the creation of, to utilize the terminology of Rice and Clinton, his own "state-within-a-state."
The Rice-Clinton consensus that Lebanese politics is driven by conflict between a legitimate state animated by the rule of law and an illegitimate substate actor, Hezbollah, doesn't simply misrepresent Lebanese politics. It hides the fact that in Lebanon, as in much of the postcolonial world, ascendance to power involves precisely the creation of such hybrid sovereignties and their linkage to international patrons, the most powerful of which remain the Western colonial powers. It hides not only the fact that Hariri and March 14th and Hezbollah are essentially pursuing similar paths to power; it also conceals the fact that the United States, despite its claims to support "the Lebanese State," is in effect supporting a single faction or alliance within Lebanon's fragmented body politic, and so setting the stage for perpetual instability.
The consequences of this support for one state within a state over others are dire, as recent events in Lebanon have made clear. This is especially so, given the historical marginalization of Lebanon's Shiite communities. This marginalization only began to be overcome with the rise of the Lebanese left and of Amal in the 1960s and 1970s. With the Lebanese wars of 1975-90, Hezbollah and the Lebanese Shiite modernist movement of which it is a dominant expression eclipsed these earlier mobilizations. The ideology and practices of the party and its institutions are part of this movement. This connects it far more deeply to Shiite families throughout Lebanon than the more traditional clientelism practiced by March 14th connects that party to the communities they claim to represent. Consequently, the gains that Hezbollah and the movement of which it is a part have achieved will not be given up easily. Any attack on the party will no doubt be perceived as an attack on the community at large.
Compounding these dangers is the fact that the Lebanese standoff is increasingly colored by the dynamics of the Arab uprisings. Following the success of the initial wave in Tunisia and Egypt, the transformation of the Libyan uprising into a bloody and internationalized civil war marked a new dangerous phase. Indeed, entrenched regional and global interests have increasingly animated powerful countervailing currents.45 As the uprisings erupted in Syria, to say nothing of Bahrain and the U.S.-backed monarchies, the royal families have increasingly sought to preserve their political power through a well-funded regional politics of sectarianism. In this world of rhetorical hyperbole, Syrian Alawites are conflated with Shiites, and Shiites are conflated with "Persians." Together they constitute, according to Jordan's embattled King Abdallah, a threatening "Shia crescent" that seeks to overturn the region's Sunni-dominated pro-U.S. regimes.46
The Hariri family and March 14th leaderships, too, have sought to exploit sectarian fears in their efforts to return to power, and herein lies the greatest danger to Lebanon today. While Hezbollah has, thus far, managed to maintain the discipline required to avoid being drawn into the Syrian civil war or a confrontation with March 14th or its increasingly emboldened Sunni militants, there are several forces within both Lebanon and Syria that would welcome a wider sectarian conflict. Further, there is no guarantee that Hariri or his more opportunistic and less powerful allies, such the Lebanese Forces' leadership, have sufficient skill or control over their own rhetoric or that of their increasingly militarized partisans to engage in such risky brinksmanship. To the degree that Washington insists that this set of networks — states within the state — represents the legitimate state and is therefore deserving of financial, political and military support at the expense of other similar networks, it risks further emboldening these forces, to the detriment of all of Lebanon.
More dangerous still is the very real possibility that these forces would, in turn, make every effort to pull the United States itself into such a conflict. Indeed, there are precedents for this scenario. In 1958, an embattled Lebanese president, Camille Chamoun, presented resistance to his own politicoeconomic project as an existential threat to Lebanon and Western interests, and so drew U.S. Marines to Lebanese shores on his behalf. So too, in 1982, did the Kataeb and its Israeli allies draw the United States into the Lebanese civil war, and so set the stage for the bombing of the Marine barracks that took the lives of 283 young Americans and compromised U.S. credibility and influence within Lebanon for nearly a decade.
Avoidance of such negative outcomes requires a clear-headed appraisal of the hybrid sovereignties that constitute Lebanon's politicoeconomic terrain and a nuanced appreciation for how these sovereignties overlap with regional dynamics. In the face of such complexity, the stark dichotomy that underpins the Rice-Clinton consensus is far too blunt an analytical instrument through which to understand and negotiate the challenges ahead.
1 See Al-Akhbar English, http://english.al-akhbar.com/node/10903; and Anna Maria Luca, "Confusion after Samaha's Arrest," NOWLebanon, August 10, 2012, http://www.nowlebanon.com/NewsArchiveDetails.aspx?ID=426664.
2 See "Blast in Lebanon Kills Top Security Official," Al-Jazeera.com, October 20, 2012, http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2012/10/20121019154940460986.h…. See also Randa Takieddine, "In Memory of Wissam al-Hassan," Al-Arabiya.net, October 25, 2012, http://www.english.alarabiya.net/views/2012/10/25/245855.html.
3 Rifi outlined possibilities in order of probability, saying, "First and foremost, the assassination could be a response to the arrest of Michel Samaha. Secondly, it is possible there is a third party trying to foment sedition and deprive the country of its security. Thirdly, the assassination could be a response to the fact that Hassan was able to uncover all Israeli spy networks. Finally, the assassination could be a response to the fact that Hassan was able to detect any terrorist network." Quoted in Jafaar al-Atar, "Reasons behind Hassan's Assassination," al-Safir, October 20, 2012. Available in English as "Secrecy, Confusion Surround Assassination of al-Hassan," al-Monitor.com, http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/politics/2012/10/reasons-behind-hassans…. For a crisper explication of the complexity of al-Hassan's role and assassination, see Elias Muhanna, "The Many Faces of Wissam al Hassan," New York Times, October 22, 2012, http://www.latitude.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/22/the-many-faces-of-wiss….
4 For Rice's view, see "Statement by Secretary Condoleezza Rice," U.S. Department of State, May 9, 2008, http://www.2001-2009.state.gov/secretary/rm/2008/05/104553.htm. For Clinton's reiteration, see "Clinton: Lebanese People Deserve Govt That Reflects Their Aspirations Not Acts As Proxy For Outside Forces," Naharnet Newsdesk, October 24, 2012, http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/58162. For the views representative of the neoconservative foreign policy establishment, see Hussain Abdul-Hussain, "Hezbollah: The State within a State," Current Trends in Islamist Ideology 8, (May 21, 2009), which was disseminated to Lebanese audiences in the Pro-March 14th online newspaper NowLebanon, http://www.nowlebanon.com/NewsArchiveDetails.aspx?ID=94634. For a more nuanced view, see Mohammed Bazzi, "Hezbollah & Iran: Lebanon's Power Couple," Council on Foreign Relations, October 14, 2010, http://www.cfr.org/iran/hezbollah-iran-lebanons-power-couple/p23163. For a representative interpretation from the mainstream print media, see Anne Barnard, "Beirut Blast Kills at Least 8, including Top Security Official," New York Times, October 19, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/20/world/middleeast/bomb-blast-in-beirut….
5 Presumably the spokesman meant that Clinton viewed Hezbollah as destabilizing South Lebanon, as it is unlikely that the party would attempt to destabilize its primary regional benefactor. See "Background Briefing on Secretary Clinton's Bilateral Meetings with Lebanese Prime Minister Miqati and UN Secretary General's Special Representative for Syria Brahimi," September 25, 2012, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2012/09/198187.htm.
6 "Statement by Secretary Condoleezza Rice."
7 See Lara Deeb, An Enchanted Modern: Gender and Public Piety in Shi'i Lebanon (Princeton University Press, 2006); and Augustus Richard Norton, Amal and the Shi'a: Struggle for the Soul of Lebanon (University of Texas Press, 1987), and his Hezbollah: A Short History (Princeton University Press, 2009).
8 Mona Harb and Reinoud Leenders, "Know Thy Enemy: Hizbullah, Terrorism and the Politics of Perception," Third World Quarterly 26, no. 1 (2005): 173-197. The empowerment of subnational politicoeconomic networks and institutions in the context of ongoing neoliberalization is not limited to Lebanon, of course. Monk and Levine, for example, have argued that the neoliberalization of the Israeli political economy has empowered and emboldened subnational political forces, in particular those that coalesce around the right-wing settler movement, to the extent that today it effectively paralyzes and overwhelms the state in important areas of both domestic and foreign policy. See Daniel Bertrand Monk and Daniel Levine, "There's No There There: The Retreat of the Israeli State and U.S. Peace Policy," Foreign Policy: The Middle East Channel, May 3, 2010, http://www.mideast.foreignpolicy.com/node/228241. Ann Marie Baylouny examines the rise of family and kinship associations in Jordan and the increasingly important political, economic and social welfare roles they play in neoliberal Jordan. See her "Creating Kin: New Family Associations as Welfare Providers in Liberalizing Jordan," International Journal of Middle East Studies 38 (2006): 349-68. In line with the argument presented here, she has also shown the degree to which the boundaries between national institutions and their imagined social outside are increasingly blurred. See her "Militarizing Welfare: Neoliberalism and Jordanian Policy," Middle East Journal 62, no. 2 (Spring 2008): 277-303. Mark Levine addresses similar complexities of state-society relations in countries with both war-weakened states and societies. See his "Chaos, Globalization and the Public Sphere: Political Struggle in Iraq and Palestine," in Middle East Journal 60, no. 3 (Summer 2006): 467-92.
9 William Harris, Faces of Lebanon: Sects, Wars, and Global Extensions (Markus Wiener Publishers, 1996). For an analysis of an earlier instance, that of the Salam family of Beirut, see Michael Johnson, Class and Client in Beirut: The Sunni Muslim Community and the Lebanese State, 1840-1985 (Ithaca Press, 1986).
10 For a discussion of hybrid sovereignty at the urban scale, see Sara Fregonese, "Beyond the 'Weak State': Hybrid Sovereignties in Beirut," Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, vol. 30: 655-74. For its use in the context of international relations and security studies, see Waleed Hazbun, "Security from the Outside (of the West): Towards a 'Beirut School' of Security Studies," Paper presented at "Ethical Engagement with Globalization, Citizenship and Multiculturalism: Multidisciplinary Perspectives," Texas A&M University at Qatar, February, 2013.
11 Al-Kata'eb al-Lubnaniyya, otherwise known as the Phalanges Libanaises, was a right-wing paramilitary party founded on the model of Mussolini's fascist organization in 1936. Though secular Lebanese ultranationalists, its primary constituency was Lebanese Maronites and other Christians. Due to its sophisticated organizational structure, the party was able to rapidly muster men, materiel and finance with the outbreak of the Lebanese civil wars in 1975. The party would be eclipsed by the Lebanese Forces militia in the mid-1980s, beginning a decline that has only recently been reversed through its association with the March 14th movement.
12 Judith Harik, The Public and Social Services of the Lebanese Militias (Centre for Lebanese Studies, 1994).
13 On the PSP see Al-Nahar, October 2, 1984, 2, and October 3, 1984, 2. On the efforts of Sunni Leader Sa'ib Salam to organize a West Beirut administration rooted in the Makassed Foundation, a charitable and social service organization long under his family's control, see Al-Nahar, October 2, 1984, 5.
14 Augustus Richard Norton, Amal and the Shi'a, 89.
15 Amin's brother Bashir was elected president by a rump parliament in 2002 under the watchful eye of his Israeli benefactors. Assasinated shortly thereafter, a second election was similarly directed to elect Amin to the presidency in his stead. See Robert Fisk, Pity the Nation: The Abduction of Lebanon (Thunder's Mouth Press/Nation Books, 2002).
16 Middle East Economic Digest, April 22, 1983, 27, and May 20, 1983, 34.
17 Elizabeth Picard, Lebanon, a Shattered Country: Myths and Realities of the Wars in Lebanon (Holmes & Meier Publishers, 1996), 125.
18 Middle East Economic Digest, March 4, 1983, 30-31; and Economist Intelligence Unit Quarterly Report for Lebanon and Syria, Third Quarter 1984, 9.
19 Al-Nahar, March 23, 1985, 1-2, and May 11, 1985, 7.
20 Harris, Faces of Lebanon, 190-91.
21 Najib Hourani, "Transnational Pathways and Politico-Economic Power: Globalisation and the Lebanese Civil War," Geopolitics 15, no. 2 (2010): 290-311.
22 Ibid. See also Najib Hourani, "Reconstructing Beirut: War by Other Means," (forthcoming) in The Postconflict Environment, Daniel Bertrand Monk and Jacob Mundy, eds. (University of Michigan Press).
23 Peter Waldman, "Stepping Forward: Lebanese Premier Uses Own Resources to Spur Rebuilding of Beirut — Hariri's Unorthodox Means Seem to Work, But Ties to Saudis Stir Suspicion," Wall Street Journal, March 29, 1994.
24 Reinould Leenders, "Nobody Having Too Much to Answer For: Laissez-Faire, Networks and Postwar Reconstruction in Lebanon," in Networks of Privilege in the Middle East: The Politics of Economic Reform Revisited, Steve Hydemann, ed. (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004).
25 Hourani, "Reconstructing Beirut."
26 For an overview of the politics of the "New Middle East," see Waleed Hazbun, Beaches, Ruins, Resorts: The Politics of Tourism in the Arab World (University of Minnesota Press, 2008).
27 See International Crisis Group, "Hizbollah: Rebel Without a Cause?" Middle East Briefing, July 30, 2003; and Reinoud Leenders, "How the Rebel Regained His Cause: Hezbollah and the Sixth Arab-Israeli War," MIT Electronic Journal of Middle East Studies 6 (2006): 38-57.
28 David Hirst, Beware of Small States: Lebanon, Battleground of the Middle East (Nation Books, 2010), 301-2.
30 Syria has repeatedly denied any involvement in these assassinations.
31 Hirst, Beware of Small States, 307-10.
32 Jim Muir, "Lebanon Tense As Fingers Point over Hariri Killing," BBC News, November 25, 2010, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-11837816.
33 Seymour M. Hersh, "Watching Lebanon: Washington's Interests in Israel's War," New Yorker, August 21, 2006. Stephen Zunes, in contrast, argues that it was Washington's war, fought by Israel on its behalf. See his "How Washington Goaded Israel," Foreign Policy in Focus 1 (August 21, 2006): 2.
34 For a comprehensive account, see Hirst, Beware of Small States, 328-74.
35 Leenders, "How the Rebel Regained his Cause," and Hirst, Beware of Small States, 375-97.
36 Melia Amal Bouhabib, "Power and Perception: The Special Tribunal for Lebanon," Berkeley Journal of Middle East and Islamic Law 3, no. 1 (2010): 173-205.
37 March 14th leaders deny this narrative and assert the need to rigorously follow state laws and regulations as justification for the slow response. This rang quite hollow to many of those displaced and otherwise suffering from the war for three main reasons. First, Lebanon's notoriously slow bureaucracy and byzantine legal system would, as March 14th liberalizers have historically claimed, have slowed the recovery considerably. Secondly, the March 14th government wanted to channel aid through a newly created institution, the "Higher Relief Council," to the Fund for the Displaced. Both institutions report directly to the Office of the Prime Minister. Moreover, March 14th went so far as to attempt to prevent other institutional arrangements that would have rendered reconstruction speedier and more efficient. See Jim Quilty and Lysandra Ohrstrom, "The Second Time As Farce: Stories from Another Lebanese Reconstruction," Middle East Report, no. 243 (Summer 2007).
38 Radwan Mortada, "The Man behind Hariri's Secret Army," Al-Akhbar English, October 25, 2012, http://www.english.al-akhbar.com/content/amid-hammoud-leading-future-ar….
39 Borzou Daragahi and Raed Rafei, "Private Force No Match for Hezbollah," Los Angeles Times, May 12, 2008, http://www.articles.latimes.com/print/2008/may/12/world/fg-security12.
40 Mirella Hodeib, "Death a blow to the Information Branch," Daily Star, November 5, 2012, http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Politics/2012/Nov-05/193877-death-a-bl….
41 For more on Wissam al-Hassan and the growth of al-Maaloumat, see As'ad Abu-Khalil, "The Michel Samaha Affair," Al-Akhbar English, August 13, 2012, http://www.english.al-akhbar.com/node/11067; and Elias Muhanna, "The Many Faces of Wissam al-Hassan," New York Times, The Latitude Blog, October 27, 2012, http://www.latitude.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/22/the-many-faces-of-wiss….
42 Bilal Y. Saab, "The Death of Lebanon's Intelligence Tzar," Foreign Policy, The Middle East Channel, October 22, 2012, http://www.mideast.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/10/22/the_death_of_leba….
43 Muhanna,"The Many Faces." On the false witness controversy, see Bouhabib, "Power and Perception."
44 Ibid. See also Abu-Khalil, "The Michel Samaha Affair," and Hodeib, "Death a Blow to the Information Branch." For more on the UN investigation and its politicization, see Bouhabib, "Power and Perception."
45 Mohammed Ayoob, "Assessing the Arab Spring in Its Second Year," Foreign Policy, The Middle East Channel, April 6, 2012, http://www.mideast.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/04/06/assessing_the_ara….
46 For an analysis of the regional and global dynamics surrounding the Arab "Spring," see Mohammed Ayoob, "The Arab Spring: Its Geostrategic Significance," Middle East Policy 19, no. 3 (Fall 2012): 84-97.