Robert Fisk On Lebanon
Yet another argument for engagement. The al-Qaeda now fighting in the refugee camps would not have come had America been smarter, according to Robert Fisk.
It is too simple to claim that this is Syria's work. Syria may have an interest is watching this destabilisation, even - through its security networks - assisting these groups with logistics. But other organisations might have found common interest; the Iraqi insurgents, for example, even the Taliban, perhaps equally small groups in the Palestinian occupied territories. That's how these things work in the Middle East, where there is no such thing as responsibility - only a commonality of interests. Perhaps the Americans might have learnt something about this if they had not two years ago insulted the Syrians for allowing fighters into Iraq - at which point, the Syrians halted all military and intelligence co-operation with the US.
It's America's fault That is, when it is not Israel's fault.
If these internecine Palestinian disputes appear tiresome, it should be remembered that many have their origins in the Lebanese civil war, when Arafat's PLO fought on the Muslim side against Christian Maronite militia.
As always, Fisk ends with a cheap threat. Struggle and you will make it worse.
If the siege of Nahr el-Bared continues, however, it may not be so easy to control the Palestinian groups in Beirut and in the south of Lebanon. And then the Lebanese army - which is all that stands between peace and anarchy here - will be even further stretched.