By Dahr Jamail
"When you are in Syria or, I suspect, in most Arab states today and utter the words "terrorist organization", it doesn't even occur to people that Hezbollah might be the topic of conversation. They take it for granted that you're referring either to Israel or the United States.
When this war finally ends, the societal, economic and environmental destruction will undoubtedly be staggering - it already is - as well as long-lasting; but it will pale in comparison to the psychological damage that has already been done. Rather than sowing the seeds of a future peace, it's painfully clear to an observer that the seeds of everlasting bloodshed, resentment and resistance are now sprouting amid the ruins.
Arab leaders continue to earn the scorn of their populations for not putting their all into stopping the Israeli campaign against Lebanon. Meanwhile, Hezbollah appears committed to doing so until the very end - and, based on what I saw in my days in Lebanon, that "end" of mutual destruction seems all that is left on the minds of those involved.
The Israelis, overvaluing the technology of war and, in particular, of air power (as so many have done before them), began their campaign against Lebanon by using perfectly real bombs and missiles to achieve largely psychological ends - the humiliation of Hezbollah in the eyes of the Lebanese population. As it turns out, they have indeed changed the psychology of Lebanon - and possibly of the region. Just not in ways they ever imagined. As Tarad Hamade, the Lebanese minister of labor and official representative of Hezbollah, told me in Beirut recently, "We might not be as powerful as the Israeli army, but we will fight until we die." "