From the perspective of Lebanon's Christians, the situation today on the ground resembles the years circa 1975 and the eruption of violence and the war that ensued between the Christians and the Muslim-backed Palestinian refugees and militias. As is the case today, government was paralyzed, then by the boycott of Muslim (Sunni) political and sectarian blocs, and today by the boycott of Muslim (Shiite) sectarian blocs, and the only standing institution was the Lebanese Army. But it would soon collapse too and splinter into sectarian militias.
Remember that Al-Qaa, the village that saw the multiple suicide bombings over the last 48 hours, is a Christian village that suffered a massacre in 1978. Many other Christian villages suffered similar massacres by never-identified attackers suspected to be Palestinian or Syrian operatives. Yasser Arafat's PLO and assorted Palestinian terror groups had been chased out of Amman, Jordan by King Hussein, and had established their headquarters in Beirut and Lebanon. They thrived in a country where government was weakened by a Muslim community who refused to join its Christian counterpart in condemning Palestinian exactions, violence, and terrorism. In fact, the Muslims of Lebanon - all of them, Sunnis, Shiites and Druze - supported the Palestinians against the Lebanese Army, and pledged allegiance to Hafez Assad of Syria. The Muslims wanted Arab unity at the cost of Lebanese sovereignty; they believed in liberating Palestine at the cost of the integrity of Lebanon; and most of all, they wanted more power in a the power-sharing formula that had worked so well since the 1940s. It is in the DNA of Muslims not to compromise; living in a country whose president was a Christian with constitutional powers was - and still is - anathema to Lebanon's Muslims. Ever since the 1920s, they resented being part of Lebanon, and would have much preferred to remain part of Syria (See the earlier post).
Yesterday's massacre of Christians and the attack against a church in Al-Qaa is a major reset in the current stalemate. Just as in the early 1970s, if the Lebanese Army and the government are incapable of providing security against lawless militias and terror groups, then the Christian population is likely to begin building its own militias to defend itself. They did it in the 1970s against the PLO and Syria, they will do it against ISIS and Syria again.
To the liberal press of the world: Do not blame the Christians if they undertake to defend themselves. Back in the 1970s, you accused them of being "right-wing fascists who were bent on killing Palestinian refugees". What would you accuse them of today when they try to defend themselves in their country that is - again - run over by 1.5 million Syrian refugees harboring ISIS operatives?
For 5 years now, the Lebanese have welcomed the Syrian refugees with open arms. There are no hate incidents against them to speak of. The Syrian refugees work and live among the Lebanese. But if refugee centers and camps become foci for launching terror attacks against specific communities, and the refugee population and those who oversee them are unable to identify the bad apples, then what gives?
This is an alert. An early call to action. Lebanon's Christians are not like the other Christians of the Middle East. They will not keel over, run away, turn the other cheek, or huddle in refugee camps. They will fight back.
THE SYRIAN REFUGEES MUST BEGIN RETURNING TO SYRIA IMMEDIATELY. THERE ARE LARGE AREAS IN SYRIA WITHOUT CONFLICT. LET THE REFUGEES SETTLE THERE, IN THEIR OWN COUNTRY, UNTIL THEY CAN RETURN TO THEIR HOMES.