London–(Update with link to article on evolution of Sunni terror in Lebanon) It was only a matter of time. The war is Syria is about 20 miles from Beirut, Hezbollah, Lebanon’s Shiite Muslim militia, is heavily involved and Sunni-Shiite tensions in Lebanon have been steaming for months. So two bomb blasts in a Shiite suburb of Beirut killed around 40 people.
How could it be otherwise? Contagion is the norm, immunity rare. Arab Spring spread like wildfire and so did the counter-revolutions, everywhere except Tunisia. Iraq’s violence unleashed by the 2003 US-led invasion took root in Syria, where 200,000 people have died during almost five years of civil war. Iran with Hezbollah and Russia are battling rebels who want to overthrow Hafez al-Assad. The rebels, backed mainly by Saudi Arabia and on occasion by the inept Obama administration includes many terrorist Sunni jihad radicals, keep fighting.
It’s sadly instructive that the 1975 Lebanese civil war lasted for 15 years; the Iraqi version is in its 12th, with no end in sight. In Washington the idea is to let them fight until they drop and then settle. Unfortunately, that notion ignores the byproducts of prolonged warfare: From Syria, that has meant waves of refugees and violence spilling over to neighbors–first Turkey and now Lebanon.
And Lebanon is a particularly volatile place. Be ready for vengeful counter-bombings.
A year ago, Carnegie Endowment warned of danger to Lebanon.