Friday, March 18, 2005

Hizbullah: The Next Contentious Issue On Our Agenda

I heard on the news today that the Opposition has renewed its efforts at reaching out to Berri and Sayyid Nasrallah, despite Sayyid Nasrallah's apparent disagreement on many issues that the Opposition espouses. I ask myself why? Well, because I believe that, and it has grown stronger with the first steps that the Syrian forces have taken towards withdrawal, do not want war. I'm serious and I can sense it despite the hundreds of miles that separate me from beloved Lebanon.) The Opposition's tireless attempt at dialoguing with Hizbullah has made me steer away from a dark thought I've been housing inside me for the past two days, especially pursuant to Sayyid Nasrallah's interview with Al-Manar, that we might be heading towards the abyss.

This whole Lebanese political arena, makes your hopes spike in extreme directions: one day optimistic, the other weary and afraid. But let me share with you my thoughts that I recorded yesterday. I didn't have time to enter them into the blog due to work.

"I listened to Patriarch Sfeir talking on a Kalam Innas interview on LBC. What he said was so full of logic--Why would Hizbullah keep arms while other parties are denied? The state should be the only entity that has the legitimate right to bear arms. Hizbullah is respected, is not a militia or a terrorist organization, but of course if the state is to assume sovereignty, there's no need for a military wing to Hizbullah. They'll become a political party, which they are, and continue providing indispensible social and economic support to their constituencies. He also added that Lebanon is not able to fight for the liberation of Palestine. If Lebanon is liberated, then there is no need for an armed resistance outside of the realm of the state (for God's sake, King Abdullah of Jordan proposed on the Arab League agenda to include a proposal to naturalize relations with Israel.)

Anything wrong with what the Patriarch said? I truely subscribe to his stands; they are logical, if logic is subscribed to in politics or political discourse. I'm afraid that it has become more and more apparent that Hizbullah's disarmament will wreak havoc in our country. The Syrian presence is not an issue anymore; they're withdrawing and will continue to do so. So it's Hizbullah, the next contentious issue on the Lebanese agenda. They will not disarm. And why would anyone want to lay down arms when they're at the peak of their power and popularity? I'm starting to be afraid...afraid that the army would be forced into an unwanted confrontation. Dialogue--they've been talking about dialogue, dialogue about what? The Opposition claims Hizbullah's disarmament issue is Lebanese. Hizbullah on the other hand does not want to give in to the Lebanese will. They're afraid of giving in, just like how the Opposition will not give in to joining Karami's government for fear that its demands would be up for a vote and negotiation. So I don't know where the dialogue will lead..."

"Nobody knows how many rebellions, besides political rebellions, ferment in the masses of life which people earth."


Mustapha said...

We, as observers should not fall in a very common trap: Every political tense situations has two faces: one, which is serious, pragmatic, deal making and rhetoric-free, which is largely behind the scenes, and one that is purely for mass consumption and full of rhetoric. The Syrians have always been famous for this duality; they speak of grand threats and throw venom at ‘collaborators’ in public, while engaging in calculated, cold negotiations with the Americans and Israelis in the background…

What we see on television and what mostly concerns you in this posting falls in the second category (political statements, threats, interviews), the logic you’re asking for in your post is largely being exercised behind the scenes, rest assured.

One has to remember that Hezbollah, the Syrians, The Iranians, The Americans and the rest of the international community are probably engaged in serious talks now, which at the end is largely a matter of power-play (the more powerful you are, the stronger your cards)

What should really concern us all is irrationality.
A Saddam-style pomp and grandeur that mixes the two faces of political maneuvering (where you really believe that you can ‘beat’ the Americans as opposed to just saying that you can beat them) can only lead to the demise of such regimes.
So far, Sayyed Hassan Nassrallah (no matter what we think of hizbollah) has proved to be rational.


Esther said...

I'm curious, are you saying you think Hizbollah is not a terrorist organization?

Kaz-Man said...

Lost in the debate over what Hezbollah is or is not is something President Bush said in passing the other day. He mentioned the organization's history which included spilling American blood. I do not recall hearing a denial on Nasrallah's part. Because the truth is, Hezbollah is a global terrorist organization funded in part by Syria as well as Iran. The independence and democracy of Lebanon ranks on its list of priorities somewhere just above peace with Israel. In other words, "When pigs fly!!"
Hezbollah must be disarmed in order for Lebanon to become free and independent. The idea of having one party's occupation of certain territories in Lebanon to fight a proxy war against Israel will not work. Think about what happened in the 1970s when another Syria backed group used Lebanese territory to launch attacks on Israel. What followed was 25 chaotic and disasterous years of war. Don't let history repeat.

Mustapha said...

guys, both of you, you're missing the point, had hizballah's issue been so black and white to the lebanese people, it wouldn't be so contentious.
a lot of lebanese, even the opposition (even the sister of the slain prime minister) take pride in some of hizbollah's achievements (namely the liberation of the south), what we take issue with is the fact that they have overstayed their welcome as an armed power

Brian H said...

The persistence of lies is very interesting. Albeit Hizbollah was making things messy for the Phalangists and Israelis in the South, they did not drive them out. The US told Israel to leave for geo-political reasons. So H. has been living on fake glory ever since. It's unhelpfulness now is quite in character.

Esther said...

Brian's got it right in my book. It was US pressure and not Hizbollah who is responsible for Israel getting out. Prior to 9/11, Hizbollah was the terrorist group responsible for killing the most American citizens.

Anonymous said...

My summary of facts:

1.Lebanon cannot be soveriegn until Hizbullah disarms.
2.Hizbullah probably won't disarm unless directed by Iran.
3.Iran will not order Hizbullah to disarm unless the mullahs are overthrown.
4.Hizbullah may decide to play nice with the rest of Lebanon if they feel that their support from Iran will shrivel up.

Conclusion: The road to liberty in Beirut runs through Tehran.

Tarek said...

It never ceases to amaze me how self indulges Americans are. I mean "HOW DARE YOU?" So what if the "old" Hizbullah spilled American blood? What is so special about your blood compare to an African, Arab or European blood? Just because you’re the most powerful country in the world does not stop your citizens or government from committing horrible acts. How often do you think about the blood of the Lebanese the Americans spilled? Or the ones you helped spill by siding with one party over the other in the Lebanese civil war? Even though you came in to Lebanon under the pretext of “Unbiased” peace keeping.

America wants to control the whole Middle East for its own political agenda and not because it wants to promote democracy. Look don’t get me wrong, I am sure any other country would have done the same if not worse, but that does not make you any less wrong. And it should not make people who disagree with your policies any less right.