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Marred by violence, ravaged by terrorism: A brief history of (in)security in Lebanon

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Introduction

Marred by violence, ravaged by terrorism: A brief history of (in)security in Lebanon In its brief history as an independent and sovereign republic, Lebanon has experienced an almost never-ending barrage of political violence, terrorism and outright warfare, ranging from car-bomb assassinations and gang-style shootings, to kidnappings and hostage-taking. Recently Hezbollah, terrorist group to some and freedom fighters to others (as is often the case with most armed militias) have made headlines linking them with a slew of the latest political assassinations. While they are certainly culpable for much of the dissention that has troubled the country since its inception, they are not alone in being responsible for the aforementioned acts of terror that have plagued the country's short history. Other groups- both nationalist and sectarian in structure and ideology- as well as neighboring nation-states (Syria and Israel, to name just two) are also as much to blame. As are the various Lebanese governments - whose meek responses to countless violent incidents and lack of punishment in response to said incidents- has allowed terrorism to prosper in an already volatile region. Thus, the argument this paper hopes to present is two-fold. Firstly, it will aim to outline the guiltiness of a variety of different groups when it comes to acts of terrorism, and not just one specific group as modern conventional wisdom would seem to indicate. And secondly, the paper will attempt to explain how the root of the strife and violence that has beset the country can be traced back to its poorly drawn-up constitution, one that badly requires amendment if the country is to have a chance of escaping its violent past. ...read more.

Middle

with accordingly.13 Thus, the bulk of modern research dealing with terrorism in Lebanon it appears focuses on Hezbollah's role in it, and of the three examples the authors agree that the group's tag of terrorist only is at the very least slightly overblown. Significantly less written material however is available on both the role of other internal and foreign actors, as well as the role of the country's constitution in making political violence an unfortunate inevitability. Acquiescence to Assassinations in Post- Civil War Lebanon? (Are Knudsen) is one of a few such articles and it discusses the most common form of terrorism since its inception, political assassinations, most commonly carried out by the use of roadside or in-car bombs. The author puts the bulk of the blame (regarding the re-emergence of the tactic post-civil war) on the various governmental institutions that have left these murders un-investigated and failed to try those involved for their crimes.14 He also places some of the blame on exterior forces (most notably Syria) for their consistent meddling and in some cases, suspicious but unproven activities.15 Ultimately, the author sees no end to the 'culture of violence' that has plagued the country, without ratification of the constitution or transitional justice mechanisms. Thus, with this basis in mind, the paper will now move onto a more detailed analysis of, first of all clear acts of terror committed since the Civil War in 1975, and second of all an analysis of the country's constitution and an explanation for why it was doomed for failure from the very beginning. As has already been mentioned, the Shi'ite party Hezbollah can clearly be linked to the hijacking of the Rome-bound flight and the ...read more.

Conclusion

1 "Countries." UCDP - Uppsala universitet. http://www.ucdp.uu.se/gpdatabase/gpcountry.php?id=92 2 "Lebanon." U.S. Department of State. http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/35833.htm 3 "Countries." UCDP - Uppsala universitet. http://www.ucdp.uu.se/gpdatabase/gpcountry.php?id=92 4 Ibid 5 "Lebanon." U.S. Department of State. http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/35833.htm 6 Norton, Augustus R.. Hezbollah: a short history. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2007. P.78 7 Ibid 92. 8 Harb, Mona, and Reinoud Leenders. "Know Thy Enemy." Third World Quarterly 26, no. 1 (2005): 192. 9 Ibid, 183. 10 Wiegand, Krista Eileen. Bombs and ballots: governance by Islamist terrorist and guerrilla groups. Farnham, Surrey, England: Ashgate Pub. Co., 2010. P.97 11 Ibid, 101. 12 Ibid, 103. 13 Ibid, 121. 14 Knudsen, Are. "Acquiescence to Assasinations in Post-Civil War Lebanon?." Meditarranean Politic 15, no. 1 (2010): 8. 15 Ibid, 9. 16 Osberg, Spencer. " Did the PLO die in Lebanon? - PLO: History of a Revolution - Al Jazeera English." AJE - Al Jazeera English. http://english.aljazeera.net/programmes/plohistoryofrevolution/2009/07/200972855032594820.html 17 Osberg, Spencer. " Did the PLO die in Lebanon? - PLO: History of a Revolution - Al Jazeera English." AJE - Al Jazeera English. http://english.aljazeera.net/programmes/plohistoryofrevolution/2009/07/200972855032594820.html 18 Knudsen, Are. "Acquiescence to Assasinations in Post-Civil War Lebanon?." Meditarranean Politic 15, no. 1 (2010): 5. 19 Kassis, Maria-Rita. "Justice Or Peace?." Perspectives on Terrorism 4, no. 6 (2010): 3. 20 Kassis, Maria-Rita. "Justice Or Peace?." Perspectives on Terrorism 4, no. 6 (2010): 4. 21 Various. "The Sixth War." MIT Electronic Journal Of Middle East Studies 6 (2006): 144. 22 Kassis, Maria-Rita. "Justice Or Peace?." Perspectives on Terrorism 4, no. 6 (2010): 8. 23 Ibid, 9. 24 Deeb, Lara. "Hezallah: A Primer." MERIP, July 31, 2006. P.6 25 Ibid, 7. 26 Miller, Judith, and David Samuels. "No Way Home." Independent (London), October 22, 2009. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/no-way-home-the-tragedy-of-the-palestinian-diaspora-1806790.html 27 Ibid 28 Knudsen, Are. "Acquiescence to Assasinations in Post-Civil War Lebanon?." Meditarranean Politic 15, no. 1 (2010): 11. ...read more.

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