Friday, July 27, 2007

Dar Al-Hayat: "Hizbullah's Ambush"

The Leftist line is that Israel planned the Lebanon war in advance. According to the present article (responding to this speech?) Hizbullah actually planned its cross-border raid in advance. The article is also nicely scornful of bellicose "Arab satellite channel" reporters and "truth twisting" apologists for Syria. The Western press could use more writers like this one:
Standing on the very same spot from which he covered last summer's war in Tyre, South Lebanon, a reporter for an Arab satellite channel pans his camera out to the sandy shore of the beach to reveal swimmers of all ages cooling off in the water under the summer heat. This reporter proceeded to assure his audience that these people - among others in South Lebanon and the Lebanese in general - were "prepared to sacrifice once more if such a sacrifice would lead them to another victory." He made this bold assertion without bothering to ask any of the swimmers in the water - whose numbers included many women and children - the position he had just taken in their name.

Anyone listening to the recent speeches of Hizbullah Secretary General Hasan Nasrallah knows now that the ambush of Israeli soldiers that forced the Lebanese to make the sacrifices the reporter referred to was in fact three months in the making. Thus, the same Hizbullah that had been attending the famous national dialogue and reassuring the Lebanese that the summer and tourist season of 2006 would be a peaceful one was planning an operation that would inflict pain on Lebanon as a whole and not just on two kidnapped Israeli soldiers. Throughout this planning, Hizbullah did not bother to grant others a say in the matter which would affect them - or to ask whether or not others were willing to pay the necessary price for Hizbullah's actions.

Hizbullah's reasoning bears a remarkable resemblance to the reporter's belief that he may speak freely on behalf of others without consulting them on his own plans for their future, and content himself with rallying them behind slogans of 'the road to paradise' - slogans fundamentally incompatible with the consensual democratic arrangement cemented in Lebanon's Taif Accords.

Sayyid Nasrallah went on to launch a scathing attack on Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and on his insistence throughout last summer's ceasefire negotiations on a full resolution of the issue of Hizbullah's weapons and on the state's monopolization over armed force in Lebanon. Thus, Nasrallah is condemning Siniora for implementing the duties delegated to him by the Lebanese people: the establishment and preservation of the power of the state rather than that of factions and parties. Nasrallah seems to have forgetten that it was Siniora who was relaying the conditions expressed by Israel through the United States government. This was due to Hizbullah's decision to use the Prime Minister and Speaker of Parliament as a conduit in negotiations owing to the party's own political taboos and security constraints. By that reasoning, why does Hizbullah not also accuse Speaker Nabih Berri of pushing for the creation of an enclave dominated by multinational forces in Southern Lebanon?

As for Nasrallah's defense of Syria - who stood idly by while Lebanon was pummeled with several thousand tons of explosives - on the grounds that Damascus threatened Israel with military action should it take the war to Syrian territory, his statement is more an indictment than a defense. For it indicates that Syria is concerned only with her own security and not with that of its neighbor whom it dominated for years and with whom it has signed many a defensive pact. In addition, if Damascus' threats really prevented Israel from taking the fight to Syria, why did Damascus not issue warnings against attacks elsewhere?

So it seems that twisting the truth and switching positions are part of the 'politics of ambush' embraced by Hizbullah both publicly and in secret. And anyone who buys into the idea that the national unity government demanded by Hizbullah and its allies will remove Lebanon from destructive regional axes and restore peace and stability in the country has fallen victim to the politics of perpetual ambush.
Crossposted on Soccer Dad

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