Friday, May 16, 2008

In the eyes of Hizbullah

Hanady Salman reflects on six fateful days in the streets of Beirut
Al-Ahram Weekly

".....For Hizbullah, the facts do not matter anymore. It did not matter how many times the secretary- general of Hizbullah, Hassan Nasrallah, asserted he did not want an Islamic republic in Lebanon. It did not matter how many times he explained that his party's sole aim was to have a fair share in the decision-making of the country. He repeated his patience had an end vis-a-vis the government's decisions that were alienating both the party and its followers. It did not matter how many times he assured his sole raison d'être is fighting Israel, that he cannot endlessly refrain from taking action, that the government was abusing the party's self-restraint.

Finally, they pushed him into the corner......

Here you have a party that, in the summer of 2006, defeated Israel. Yet, it did not abuse that victory to push aside its partners in the nation. For three years, the party has been trying not to act irrationally internally, despite what the other side does: tightening their grip on power, isolating Hizbullah politically, socially and economically, and ignoring its protests.

And how was that possible? Support from the outside. Unbelievable but true.

So true that even after the past four or five days, we are still stuck in the same stalemate.

What now?

Hizbullah would answer: now someone has to convince Saudi Arabia that they should stop trying to replace the lost Sunni influence in Iraq by strengthening Sunni influence in Lebanon. Lebanon will vanish the minute it loses its diversity.

And someone has to convince the US that it cannot keep supporting a group of Lebanese politicians that cannot deliver the way US-backed Iraqi politicians did when the US invaded Iraq. Does the US really want another Iraq?

Today, it has become even clearer to Hizbullah that winning in a war with Israel is a piece of cake compared to avoiding the traps of the streets of Beirut. "

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