The rumor I've been hearing now, to the glee of some Aounist Christians in my neighborhood, is that Prime Minister Saniora has resigned. I can't confirm this, but it really begs the question of what he would resign from. Premiership of what? There is no government. The military is sitting around doing absolutely nothing, which may be best for the lives of the soldiers but is disastrous for the life of the state. I walked down to the eastern side of the bridge that connects east and west Beirut, and it was being guarded by a couple of tanks and APCs and some soldiers. The latter were sitting around shooting the shit and listening to the radio. One was sleeping in the shadow of his APC. I've also seen it reported that Jumblatt was forced to flee his home in Clemenceau under the protection of the Army.
Despite the fact that the army is much weaker than Hezbollah and would have lost any real shooting match, I keep wondering to myself if one of the reasons the Army is staying out is because of the head of the Army, Michel Suleiman. He had been put forward as a compromise candidate for president. Now that Hezbollah is calling the shots, it will be interesting to see who they put forward as the president, or if they appoint anyone at all.
It obviously won't be Aoun, which means that he's pretty much outlived his usefulness to the opposition cum ruling party, due to the fact that he was only helpful to them so long as they were working within the system. Now that they have taken matters into their own hands, they really don't need him anymore. I don't think that Hezbollah would even try to put someone Franjieh into the presidential palace, so that pretty much only leaves Suleiman. Maybe he cut a deal with Hezbollah to stay out of the fighting in exchange for the presidency.
But even the question of who will be the president may be putting the cart before the horse. It isn't clear at all now what Hezbollah will do. Will there be a fight between the pro-Government Christian militias (Lebanese Forces and Phalangists) and Hezbollah? Will Hezbollah install a new government of its choosing based on the old system? Will they install a government composed purely of Hezbollah members? Will they call for new elections? Your guess is as good as mine.
What's sure though, is this: those who may have have been somewhat sympathetic to the underlying principles of "the Resistance" and Hezbollah's part in that movement despite (being uncomfortable with the idea of an explicitly religious party) are likely to be turned off by the last few days' events. The chorus has always been the Hezbollah would never turn its weapons inward, but it has done that now. At the end of the day, Hezbollah went outside of the rules of the game. That game may have been frustrating and often paralyzing, but at least it was nominally democratic. Now, even if they call for new elections, Hezbollah has broken the rules of the game by resorting to violence to achieve a political goal. A lot of people won't forgive or forget this, and there will be even more people who will never be able to trust the party of God to follow the rules of the (at least nominally) democratic system, because they have, for all intents and purposes, overthrown the government by force.
UPDATE: I just saw Aoun on television assuring viewers that no one would be persecuted. Maybe he didn't get the memo, but Hezbollah seized power without him or his help. He looks more like a remora sucking with all his might to be pulled along with Hezbollah, feasting on what's left of the already feeble Lebanese state.