By Franklin Lamb – Beirut
"...The largest of dozens of demonstrations in support of the Gaza Resistance Hamas have been organized by Hezbollah. Thousands of those in attendance at every demonstration bristle with anger along with hundreds of millions all over the World. In Lebanon, many, not only in the Palestinian camps and Hezbollah areas, but north and south ache to do something to help the trapped and dying Gazans......
The “Varsity Squad” of Hezbollah has so trained the “Junior Varsity Squad” that there is no need to intervene unless Hamas is on the verge of total elimination which given its strong showing during the past 17 days appears very unlikely. As one Hezbollah reservist noted, “If Hamas survives to fire even one rocket into Israel after Israeli forces eventually withdraw from Gaza, the World will declare Hamas the winner.” Israel discovered Hezbollah expertise last weekend when it learned that the capabilities of Hamas are much more than they anticipated including its ability to strike Beer Sheba.
Based on conversations with several Hezbollah functionaries, Shia Hezbollah appears to have increasingly deep respect for Sunni Hamas. They share an ideology and a set of strategic goals that transcend their religious difference. Both were created as an alternative to failed Arab nationalist organizations in order to effectively confront the Zionist occupation. Hezbollah has been the primary role model, trainer, and “coach” of a “new” Hamas with apparent dramatic results.
Strategically, the fact that Sunni Hamas and Shia Hezbollah cooperate well, despite differing interpretations of some of the Koran, and the Hadith (sayings of the Prophet Mohammad), leads some observers to believe that this display of Muslim unity dampens the effects of the fiery rhetoric of Egypt’s Mubarak and Jordan’s Abdullah, among others, who regularly raise the chicken-little alarm of an Iranian constructed “Shia crescent.”.
Hezbollah’s “Parental Pride” in Hamas
When Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyeh, was assassinated last February, one of the major projects he had been working on for nearly two years was to teach Hamas the lessons Hezbollah learned during the 22-year Israeli occupation of much of Lebanon as well as the 2006 Israeli aggression against Lebanon. The current conflict in Gaza may indicate how well Hamas learned from “Hajj Radwan,” Moghinyeh’s nom de guerre......
Yet Hajj Radwan is said to have helped revamp Hamas’ military command and replaced certain elements. One subject Mughinyeh is said to have stressed to Hamas during such meetings was the importance of “the communications network as a strategic weapon,” which included Hamas keeping in direct battlefield contact with other Resistance groups fighting Israel, and advising Hamas on ways of fighting Israel using a number of different tactics and bases in locations in Syria, Lebanon and Iran, according to the authoritative Beirut daily Al Akbar.
One of his communications to superiors in Hezbollah is said to have reported: “The way the bottom of the earth was transformed in (areas) around the Strip and inside cities indicates that if determination and leadership was provided to them (the Palestinians), they would achieve what hasn’t been achieved before.”
Other lessons Mughinyeh offered Hamas, based on the lessons from 2006, included that each Hamas small unit of approximately five fighters should be fully equipped and must have a clear plan to fight Israeli soldiers and to wage a long war of attrition until Israel withdraws....
As Hezbollah has leveraged its 2006 victory, Hamas will likely do the same, with the losers again being the American–Israel axis, the current PA leadership, Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. The winners, in addition to Hamas, are once more Hezbollah, Syria and Iran. Never in American history has one US administration delivered such a long and consistent string of political victories to its declared adversaries while assuring the eventual collapse of its most favored nation, and managing to turn most of the World, and its own country, against itself."