Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Hizbullah and the Lebanese flag
To many, this constitutes a robbery of national symbols. The flag is being prostituted to serve essentially unpatriotic goals.
Yet the irony of the situation should not escape us. Hizbullah, criticized for being an Iranian militia acting against national interests, is in humiliating self-defense mode. The party has never been a fan of the Lebanese republic's national symbols. Its ultimate goal being an Islamic Shia state ruled by clerics, it has, in the past, refused to even wrap the coffins of its martyrs in a Lebanese flag.
During the last years of the Israeli occupation, when more Lebanese became sympathetic to their fight against the occupation in the south and the Bekaa, their yellow flag with the gun and God's name in the center often reminded Lebanese that Hizbullah's fight was selfishly and exclusively theirs. Even when Future Television and Tele Liban would refer to the resistance as a "national resistance", Hizbullah's al-Manar never did, and more frequently than not, it became difficult to accept that resistance into the national fold when it constantly renounced national symbols.
Lebanese support for the resistance was, at times of alleged great national unity, nothing more than spite directed at arrogant Israel. It was never a unanimous call for arms, and it certainly never equated Lebanese honor with those arms (as Hizbullah's secretary general, Hassan Nasrallah, did yesterday).
In fact, Hizbullah was always alone in its choice to fight. Whether this was fortunate or unfortunate is beside the point. The majority of the Lebanese after the civil war—and this includes the Shia-- were tired of violence, period. Hizbullah's short-lived fortune came after Israel stupidly bombed Lebanese infrastructure, creating enough spite to temporarily legitimize the resistance's shaky national raison d'etre. And if it weren't for Syria, one could argue, Lebanon would have resurrected the armistice treaty with Israel a long time ago.
Today Hizbullah has been adding a hypocritical dimension to its political identity. The sea of Lebanese flags that confronted alleged American interference was a desperate attempt to portray the increasingly isolated party as a national party with legitimate rights. Yet I'm afraid Hizbullah has already lost the fight for Lebanese hearts and minds. Hariri's assassination ended all illusions regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Arab regime's sincerity and competence in waging such a struggle. No amount of cedars painted on noses will convince people that Lebanon should return being Syria's card against Israel, let alone join Iran's folly. One could even predict that Hizbullah's demise will be at the hands of that fake Lebanese nationalism it flaunts, which is eating away at the party's yellow Islamist project.
Hizbullah's affront today lies in hypocritical calls for no foreign interference in domestic affairs, while pledging allegiance to Iran and Syria, and praising terrorists in Iraq, who massacre Shias on a daily basis.
Many bloggers and commentators have rightly pointed out Hizbullah's shameful disregard for Syria's murders in Lebanon. Nasrallah yesterday even challenged the March 14 parties to present him with evidence of Syrian complicity in the murder of Hariri and other anti-Syrian figures. Nasrallah is not known for being stupid, but he chooses to play dumb at the expense of the country he claims to want to protect from foreigners. His shameful defense of Syria is not unlike Ahmadinejad's pathetic denial of the Holocaust. But why go that far. Next time you hear Hizbullah doubting Syria's role in terrorizing Lebanon, point to a poster of one their martyrs and ask: what is your proof that Israel killed him?
I just want to remind your readers that many of us had expected this to happen as a result of the misguided efforts that invited HA to participate in the cabinet in the first place. Let me emphasize again, that it made no sense, to drive Syrian officials and troops out of the country and then turn around and replace them by their strongest agents. The solution to this tragedy is rather simple: The Lebanese Government is duty bound to protect the sovereignty and independence of the country. That goal cannot be accomplished by a government many members of which do not share this basic principle. HA did the PM and his other allies a favour when they refused to attend cabinet meetings. The government should NOT compromise or even enter into discussions with HA but should politely ask them to join the ranks of the opposition. I submit that the weaker is the government response to the HA challenge then the stronger does HA become.
This might be the last opportunity that we have to at least lay the groundwork for a secular, democratic and secular republic. If we allow HA to snatch away this opportunity then I am afraid that it would be decades , if ever again, that another such opportunity will offer itself. Make no mistake about it the current Lebanese challenge is the most crucial that we have ever faced. This is no ordinary crisis,
it is an existential one.
It's the same type of failed appropriation as the Syrian regime's attempt at cloning the March 14 movement in Syria. You can't combine that with a totalitarian agenda!
Who on March 14 was pledging allegiance to America!? The only thing present on March 14 was Lebanon. The only thing absent here is Lebanon! Waving Lebanese flags doesn't substitute for that.
No to America yes to Ahmadenajede and Bachar.
I could still understand Bachar but what does Ahmadnejede has to do with Zaher Khatib?
Another shady character and close friend to our beloved Emile.
These protests Hezbollah is staging are only further dividing the country.
As I've noted many times in the past, I never supported the muarada. I supported the Syrian departure and the Karami collapse, but I never supported Michel Daher, Ghazi Aridi, et al trying to maneuver around the Hariri assassination for their personal political gain. I went to the street on March 14 to make sure Syria was gone for good. What made me worried was March 8.
Hezbollah does not realize that the rest of Lebanon (and I'm not talking about sects here, but political parties and people on the street - including those of us from Hezbollah controlled regions) is allying against them and their allies.
There is no sympathy left...
(Obviously, I write this in high dudgeon, but in all seriousness, if they don't back down, the consequences for Lebanon are grave).
I do however have a very important question that I think should be asked of the Hezb NOW, not later. It is important in its own right and could make a very strong political point, if hammered by papers and pols in Lebanon.
Should Israel attack Iran's nukes, will you, Hezbollah, fire at Israel? Yes or no.
Unfortunately I suspect that your expected answer; an affirmative one; is the correct one. Why else were they created, financed and nurtured? Lebanon is a place of convenience for them. They were created to fight Israel and obey the Iranian clergys' interpretation of the Qoran.
It is for the rest of society to marginalize them. They will not marginalize themselves. Would we ever do it though?
It is very difficult for them to say "yes" now. People (and the gvmnt ?) would recoil at the cost of Israeli retaliation on Leb. Plus it would label their arms "Iranian".
And if they say NO (good for us), they also need to be held to it, when and if.
I think an attack on Iran is a vey real nearby possibility. Even the Hezb threatening, ahead of time, could force Israel to attack Lebanon at the same time as Iran.
Either way who wants that in Leb, even among the Shia?
BTW, this is the kind of stuff one can use to pressure and change politics, instead of the usual " we can't take Hezbo's arms by force", so we do nothing.
can somebody ask HA to stop using the Lebanese flag? I feel insulted when I see HA people making hate speech whil waving my flag . Can't they use their yellow flag? I mean, if they feel compelled to use a flag, they can take the flag of another country like Iran, Palestine, Syria or the Vatican. Whatever. They shouldn't associate the Lebanese flag with their murderous ideology. People have died for Lebanon's independence. I don't think that foreign agents should use our country's symbol while trying bring their real masters back. I mean the Baath uses the flag of the mythological 'Arab nation'. Can't HA follow their example?
First of all the 'Maronites' owe nothing to the tyrannic government of Iran. Iran has supported the Syrian occuption in Lebanon, tried to engineer an Islamic revolution here, is sending weapons to a fanatical party called Hezbollah and is using this fifth column as an outpost for its nuclear problems.
"I think Iran is absolutely entitled to possess peaceful civilian nuclear technology"
Peaceful? What are you, a retard?
It's not about Maronites, Iran or nukes, it is about your OWN ASS.
1)If Lebanon is caught in the middle of this, it's another war with you in the middle.
2) If Iran gets nukes and decides to nuke Israel (as ex-prez Rafsanjani has openly talked about it and the current nut), do you think your sorry ass and Hezbo's ass in Lebanon will be spared nuclear radiation??
And that's if Iran doesn't miss, cuz if they do, your sorry ass will get more than radiation.
Now go back to worrying about the marorites and yelling "Death to Amrika", cuz that's the real threat to your health and future.
There's no 's' to communities. Explain me again why the Maronites should be gratefule because I kind of missed it.
You're not only arrogan, you're stupid too.
For the record, the Grand Mufti of Lebanon, Rafic al-Hariri and Fuad Saniura strongly supported the Taef agreement...
And, unlike the pro-Saudi Murabitoon and other PLO-trained/Saudi-financed Lebanese terrorists and their Druze allies, Hizbullah's militants NEVER BURNED THE LEBANESE FLAG or massacred Christian civilians for that matter, wich kind of makes a BIG difference, if you're secular that is....
PM Fuad Saniura and MP Saad Al-Hariri are Wahhabi wolfes in pseudo-modernist clothes…they wear clean-cut ties and suits but, deep inside, they’re just like the Taleban- or even worse for that matter: Hariri and Saniura were both seen several times (on Saudi Arabia’s Channel 1 TV) attending Friday prayer services at Jeddah’s Central Mosque, where the residing Hambali preacher regularly calls for the “extermination of idolatrous Shiite and Christian dogs” or “Tassfiyatt al kilâb al mushrikeen al matâweelah wal-nasârah” in Saudi parlance!
As long as they don’t renounce publicly (preferably on Saudi TV) the intolerance and perversions of Wahhabi theocratic fascism, the leaders of the Future Movement will remain under suspicion in Syria and Lebanon.
And the fact that faux sheikh Saad Al-Hariri was “generously granted” a two-hour audience with Dick Cheney in Riyadh yesterday only adds to that legitimate suspicion: it should be clear by now to the people of Lebanon and the greater Middle-East, that individuals such as Dick Cheney or Paul David Wolfowitz don’t give a damn about say fair municipal elections in Zahleh, free speech in Mossul, or civil rights in Baalbeck!
Take a look at the so-called “Patriot Act” and you’ll see for yourself that these nefarious Trotskyite plotters are actually opposed to democracy and free speech in their own country: how can you trust them to promote liberty beyond America’s shores?
Given the current composition of our Saudi-controlled puppet Parliament whose members were “elected” by way of shameless Gerrymander cooked in Riyadh’s dirty political kitchen not to mention petrodollar-based vote rigging, it is IMPERATIVE TO AVOID BY ALL MEANS having the Al-Sa’aud Saidah stooges designate our country’s next president.
If that takes General Michel Aoun’s allying himself with sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, well so be it!
Dr Victor de la Vega
Thomas More Center for Middle-East Studies
This post is not about Iran's nuclear programme. Josey mentioned it because Hizbullah is tying the fate of Lebanon to the policies of other countries. Whether or not they have the right to nuclear energy, and regarldess of their true intentions, it should not matter to us as long as we do not become pawns in their headbutting with the west. Say what you want about the civil war, it's beside the point and you'd be living in a timewarp to still be singling out the Maronites for alleged ingratitude.
Hizbullah, for your information, did participate in the civil war. They killed plenty of Shias in their war against Amal, so don't put them on a pedastal. Also, Hizbullah does not recognize the authority of Lebanese institutions, but rather that of the supreme leader of another country, which is Iran. Their continued espousal of violence does not make them a better party either, especially when most of the other militias have laid down their arms.
It's not clear what you want, anonymous. You're throwing accusations against an entire community and defending a country against the insterests of, I presume, your own?
Vic: I saw this same comment on LP's blog. Irrelevant as usual.
This doesn't make HA. They don't have a nepotic agenda like Berri or Jumblat, byt they have a political agenda and this agenda is dangerous. Nasrallah's ultimate goal is not to become wealthy and to have a big house in Paris, but to transform Lebanon into a religious state and a satellite controlled by foreigners.
I read the reports you mentioned too, and they didn't strike me as credible. The LF and PSP denied them. In the meantime, Hizbullah HAS weapons, and so do the pro-Syrian factions, not to mention some Palestinian groups who have no business carrying them.
I welcome all economic aid from Iran. Nobody will reject it. In fact, Hizbullah should use its connections to import natural gas and oil from Iran at cheap prices. But guess what, the Hizbullah minister is boycotting his job, and Iran would rather send us hate speeches than actual aid.
Oh yeah? They have been pretty discreet then, because nobody has seen any LF training camp lately. Unless of course they are in Israel.
Well we all know how high is the standard of the Islamic world concerning political freedom.
You call Iran a democracy? A country where citizens are free to elect one of the candidates chosen by Khamenei?
There's two Iran. The one Hezbollah sells to its credulous supporters and the real one (the website is in french, but there's lovely testimonies of political prisonners who experienced Iran's democratic jails, check the video section).
Please anonymous respect the word 'democracy'. People have died for this. The HA is already desacrating the Lebanese flag, at least don't defile democracy.
Or the nation that expelle their forefathers, it's a matter of perspectives.
You've covered enough cliches for one day. What the hell is your point?
-Are you joining the Hezb, if not why not?
-Even if all u said is true, the ass of 4 million Lebanese should be on the line for the sake of Iran? Because Hezbo gets money from Iran, and Shaul Mofaz great grandfather lived there?
You are all over the place, and your posts are going nowhere fast.
If it's not ovious to you yet, you are no match to any of the posters here. Well, maybe just Doc Vic, who matches your relevance.
... but w.r.t the LF training - as much as I didn't (want to) believe it before I went back to Lebanon, the answer is yes, they are training. They've called back some of the older fighters. This isn't something I read in a newspaper. However, I don't know the scale of the training.
Interestingly, in summer (around election time) two other groups had also begun looking for recruits for training - but I can't answer affirmitively about whether they did go ahead with that.
and hummbumm, yes, I believe US aid to lebanon is near the top (if not at the top) of the list. Even with regards to the landmines in the south.
Just google the sentence "Iranian jews".
I ask because I'm not Lebanese so I have no idea if this actually happened. It's hard to find books here (USA) that aren't from the most extreme Zionists or the most extreme Palestinian communists, so I have to guess about which parts are true and which are just made up.
If you are not Lebanese, shouldn't you be a little more circumspect in arguing with Lebanese over very sensitive and vital INTERNAL DOMESTIC issues.
Only in (the case of) Lebanon.
It was during the geneva conference in 84. Jumblat wanted to have a druze flag instead of a Lebanese flag. Jumblat had issue with the Lebanese flags since Aoun kicked his ass in 83. Anyway, his childish behaviour led to the conference failure (and that's what his then syrian masters wanted him to achieve at the time).
This whole thing totally discredited non warlords politicians and led to the infamous tripartite conference in 85.
That's for the sensitive issues.
The historic truth is, of course, quite different from the hash-induced pipe dreams peddled by war criminals such as Waleed Beck and their gullible March 14 friends
The ethnic cleansing of Christians started across the country as early as October 1975 at the hands of pro-Saudi Murabitoon militiamen and other PLO-trained/Saudi-financed Lebanese terrorists and their Druze allies
Maybe I should light up, please pass me whatever you are having.
All that is in the past. Jumblatt is right on Iran and Syria, and HA is a clear destabilizing factor, more so than any concern re. Saudi interference.
Not enough "pure" Lebanese? Maybe the Iraqis and Iranians should have 15 years of communal slaughter to prove how progressive they are.