By Micah HalpernI've Been Thinking:
Earlier today a massive car explosion ripped though a southern Beirut neighborhood. The neighborhood is known to be Hezbollah territory and the explosion detonated near a Hezbollah military compound.
Beirut is no stranger to car bombs.
Fully understanding this particular explosion is essential in understanding the present state of the Arab Middle East. This is clearly a Sunni attack against Shiite Hezbollah. It is an obvious and tangible sign that the conflict in Syria between Shiites and Sunnis is spilling over into Lebanon.
Reports suggested that the attack was directed against a Hezbollah leader. I doubt it.
Car bombs like this one are massive. Very seldom do they successfully hit specific targets. Their purpose is widespread damage. They damage buildings, streets, institutions. They wreak fear. They are the opposite of a planned assassination.
A planned assassination would partially destroy the car and kill or maim only the people targeted in that car.
It would use a few kilos of explosives. This car bomb used over 40 kilos, which is nearly 90lbs, of explosives.
This type of attack is similar to al Qaeda attacks in Syria and in Iraq.
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