The Corner

Say what?

Here’s the New York Times quoting a Lebanese official. It doesn’t exactly instill confidence in what the Lebanese government and army will end up doing here:

“The situation on the ground is very complex,” said Mohammed Chatah, a Lebanese official working behind the scenes on behalf of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora. A cabinet meeting, scheduled for Monday night to discuss a deployment plan, was postponed while negotiations continued with Nabih Berri, the Shiite speaker of Parliament who has been a go-between with Hezbollah.

The problem was one of political perception, Mr. Chatah said, in that any forced disarmament of Hezbollah — now regarded by many Lebanese as national heroes — would then cast them as losers.

“This is not a disarmament,” Mr. Chatah said. “No one expects that. That’s what the Lebanese Army is going to do for obvious reasons.”

“We are sorting out the issues,” he said of the discussions in which some government ministers have objected to the Hezbollah position. “There is no national crisis. There are issues that have to be sorted out.

“Any implication that Hezbollah is a renegade militia is wrong,” he said. “Most Hezbollah personnel are mainly working people who live in the area. So yes, maybe melting away. Being active, but not in a military way.’’

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