Is it in their nature?

I imagine you all have heard the story of the frog and the scorpion, but just in case, here's a short version:
A scorpion wants to get across a river and finds a frog sitting by the river's edge. He asks the frog to give him a ride over on the frog's back. The frog says "If I put you on my back, you'll sting me and I'll die!" The scorpion responds "If I did that, I'd drown, so it's perfectly safe to take me." The frog is convinced, and sets out across the river with the scorpion on his back. Half way across, the scorpion stings him and as he's going under (taking the scorpion to his death as well), the frog cries out "Why?!?". The scorpion's response, and final words: "It's my nature."
So, to what is this story relevant? I argue that it's highly relevant to the Middle East. In particular, is self-destruction simply in the nature of Arabs and/or Muslims? King Abdullah of Jordan gave a fascinating interview on This Week with George Stephanopolous on Sunday in which he argued that Iraq was in a civil war, but was only the 3rd biggest problem in the region, after Lebanon and Israel/Palestine, both of which he argued were bordering on civil war. In Iraq, at least until very recently, people could try to blame the violence and mayhem on the presence of Americans. And people have for decades blamed violence in Gaza and the West Bank on "occupation" by Israel and the on-again, off-again presence of Israeli troops. But Lebanon is something else entirely. There is no relevant western or Israeli presence there and no dictatorship, so it is much closer to a perfect laboratory in which to test the capacity of Arab countries to rein in their resident murderers and terrorists, and whether the will of the people is sufficient to quash the abilit of Hezbollah and their Syrian and Iranian masters to absorb Lebanon into their Shi'ite caliphate aspirations. It should be pointed out that as much as 35% of Lebanon's population is Christian, not Muslim, which is a huge difference from Iraq or the Palestinian terroritory. I can't say that I have a strong opinion as to whether that makes a good outcome more or less likely...my guess is slightly more likely, just because Lebanon has a decent history of "just getting along". At this point there is little reason to be optimistic, although all is certainly not yet lost in Lebanon. It will certainly be interesting to see if tyranny, murder, and mayhem is simply "in their nature".
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