"Nahr al-bared." Peculiar name. As it is written in transliteration it means "river of the cold." I doubt if that is right. It is probably "an-nahr al-bared," meaning "the cold river." Local geography reference?
So, what is this all about? I mean the brutally inept attacks of the LAF on this camp, whatever it is called.
Everything in Lebanon is so traditionally murky and obscure that it is difficult to say with great certainty what sort of "play" this is. Nevertheless, at popular request I will offer a theory.
I think that this is is truly a matter of "unintended consequences" from the NSC/OVP point of view. Cheney, Abrams et al have been encouraging the Saudis to spend money on various "projects" near and dear to their hears involving opposition to both the AQ apparat and to the drive for increased power of the Hizbullah/Iran combination in Lebanon. Money has been spent to support Iraqi nationalist insurgent groups, traditional Sunni tribes (Shia tribes, also maybe?) and on Sunni zealots in Lebanon who have been patronized by the "Future" people as a potential counterweight to HA.
In accordance with the principles of "Chaos Theory" as elucidated in "Jurassic Park," it proved impossible to fully control the outcome in a system as complex as the multiplicity of faction and conspiracies that is Lebanese public life. In other words, some of the "dinosaurs" escaped and started acting like dinosaurs instead of convenient "tools" in the game against the "opposition."
What precipitated the crisis? It could be anything and whatever it is, it is probably unimportant. Maybe the Saudis decided that in the end they did not like the theology of these characters at Tripoli? Maybe the Saudis told Hariri to cut off the money to these people?
In any event we now have the spectacle of the LAF demonstrating its fumbling timidity while killing off a lot of civilians. At the same time HA in the south is holding in check the possible action of friends of the "Nahr al-Bared" crew while the LAF tries to deal with them.
I ask you is that not irony? The Abrams crew should face up to the "sad" fact that they are "out of their depth" in the Middle East. They never seem to understand that an analogy for Lebaon would be Renaissance Italy, not the American Revolution. pl