Posted by: sean | May 11, 2008

The centre cannot hold

Yesterday, I spent a good part of the day in Hamra, where SSNP thugs were still armed and around. They broke up a group of unarmed neighborhood residents (most of whom were with Future) by shooting in the air and shouting. The night before a 16-year-old boy had been killed while delivering a narguileh for the shop he worked for. When they finally had a hard time getting the group of the boy’s friends, family and neighbors to go inside despite plenty of shooting, they left. Shortly afterward, the Army finally showed up. The SSNP gunmen were going around Hamra without any challenge from the Army.

Today, things seem to be much better in West Beirut (although I haven’t been there today), but fighting has spread all over the country, with Hezbollah apparently shelling a Druze village and opposition Druze forces fighting the PSP in Aley. Clashes are also going on in in Shweifat.

Add this to the fighting in Tripoli, and the death toll is nearly 40 now. In the words of Yeats:

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

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