May 22, 2008


History in the making for Hezbollah (Sami Moubayed, 5/23/08, Asia Times)

Nasrallah finally got what he had been asking for, mainly a greater say for the opposition in the Lebanese government, and the ability to veto any resolution that runs against the interests of Hezbollah.
True, no early parliamentary elections are going to happen (as Hezbollah had requested) to oust the parliamentary majority of Saad al-Hariri, but the entire issue of Hezbollah and its arms was glossed over at the Doha meeting.

A fighter who often said that he seeks martyrdom in his war with Israel, Nasrallah, like Churchill, would certainly prefer that it be postponed. He needs time to enjoy the fruits of victory taken by Hezbollah in Qatar. He might be idolized by millions of Arabs, seen as a war hero and a charismatic, honest and inspiring leader. He might be hated beyond imagination by his opponents, seen as a terrorist and an Iranian stooge. But setting emotions aside - they don't really count in politics - the man has in every sense of the word proven his intention, and succeeded, in writing history; his way.

When Israel withdrew from South Lebanon in 2000, his opponents argued Nasrallah was finished. The young leader had legitimized himself for nearly 10 years as a freedom fighter, someone who was needed to combat the Israeli occupation. Now that Lebanon was free, theoretically, what was the use for Nasrallah or the arms of Hezbollah? He could not continue to hold arms, fight the Israelis, and appeal to his constituency now that the Israelis had left Lebanon.

Egocentrism makes people view Hezbollah only as it relates to Israel, whereas Hezbollah cares only about Shi'ite South Lebanon.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 22, 2008 7:54 AM

Actually, the Hezzies only care about what their masters in Damascus and Tehran dictate they should care about.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at May 22, 2008 8:07 AM

Tell that to the family members of the Marines killed in '83.

Posted by: BJW at May 22, 2008 9:57 AM

For people who only care about Shi'ite South Lebanon, they sure do spend a lot of energy attacking areas to the south and north.

Posted by: PapayaSF at May 22, 2008 2:07 PM

The occupying Americans left, no?

Posted by: oj at May 22, 2008 2:45 PM


Posted by: oj at May 22, 2008 3:08 PM

How is firing missiles etc. in Israel "defending"? Israel wasn't invading them, though they did after taking a lot of missile fire.

Posted by: PapayaSF at May 22, 2008 4:13 PM

Make that "into Israel."

Posted by: PapayaSF at May 22, 2008 4:21 PM

Don't forget that the UN has had people (I can't bring myself to say 'troops') in between Hezbollah and the Israelis for years. Not that they do anything, but the Hezbos are in violation of international law when they act across that buffer.

Also, if Hezbollah cares only about South Lebanon, why are they in South America?

Posted by: jim hamlen at May 22, 2008 6:03 PM

Oh, no, International Law!?! Will the World Police arrest them?

Posted by: oj at May 22, 2008 7:48 PM

Did before the missile fire too. They do whenever they feel like it. They're a military power.

Posted by: oj at May 22, 2008 7:50 PM

Ah, back to the Hezbollah exceptionalism riff, eh?

Posted by: ratbert at May 22, 2008 11:06 PM

It is your argument that they are exceptional--for some reason uniquely unqualified for self-determination, bound by "laws" we ignore, etc. Mine is that they are just like every other nation.

Posted by: oj at May 23, 2008 6:08 AM

Guess again. They can surely govern their territory (the Shi'a south). You seem to think that includes all of Lebanon - we do not. You seem to think they are entitled to use terror as a weapon (anywhere in the world) - we do not.

Political groups that live by terror almost never morph into normalized parties or states. The Jacobins, the Bolsheviks, the Nazis, the ChiComs, the Khmer Rouge, etc. remained pretty much what they were at the beginning, no matter how much they achieved. As has Hamas. And Hezbollah.

And 'every other nation' does not take orders from terror masters in other capitals. Even the more successful rebellions or movements (the ANC, for example) were homegrown, with political aspirations related to national goals. They weren't pieces in a chess game, enflamed by religious bigotry, controlled by foreigners intent on destroying a US ally and/or killing Americans wherever they can.

And isn't it part of American exceptionalism that murderous ideologies get stomped (into normalcy)? Here, you let down your guard.

Posted by: ratbert at May 23, 2008 7:57 AM

Quite wrong. If they cared about all of Lebanon they'd have kept going last week. They only want Hezbollahstan.

America and Israel had little trouble morphing from terror to statehood. Shi'ism, is just the third basis for such.

No. Our favored murderous ideology gets imposed: Spain, Chile, El Salvador, The Phillippines, etc. Witches need burning. In the case of the WoT we've aided the Shi'a at the expense of the Sunni.

Posted by: oj at May 23, 2008 11:14 AM

Comparing the Minutemen to Hezbollah is something the Michael Moores of the world do, not guys who know better.

Hezbollah tried to go into Druze and Christian territory last week, and were rebuffed with probably 100 casualties. They retreated immediately. Damascus and Tehran know their limits.

It is quite a twist for you to call Franco, Pinochet, and Marcos 'murderous'. Yes, they killed some of their enemies. But not nearly as many as their enemies would have killed.

And yes, the Sunni are now the witches. But that doesn't mean all Shi'a are angels.

Posted by: ratbert at May 23, 2008 1:47 PM

The unfairness of the comparison is to our discredit. The Brits deserved better than we gave.

Yup, Hezbollah got another whipping. A couple more like these and where do you think they'll be?

Yes, we're generally less murderous, though cleansing the Indians, Dresden, Hamburg, Hanoi, etc. were fairly impressive. Body counts don't matter, just who we're rooting for.

Why would they be? The only thing that matters is whether you're with the witches or their opponents.

Posted by: oj at May 23, 2008 5:11 PM

We 'cleansed' Hanoi? Who knew?

Posted by: ratbert at May 23, 2008 7:00 PM

Exactly, no one cares how many people we killed in the Hanoi bombings. We're us. They're other.

Posted by: oj at May 23, 2008 8:31 PM