by Ghassan Kadi for The Saker Blog
“Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see” (John Lennon). Some who want to believe that Hezbollah is faultless, obviously live by this fantasy paradigm, and will disagree and attack anyone who says the contrary; irrespective of facts.
My previous article on virtually the same subject was faced by a rather fierce backlash in the commentary, http://thesaker.is/hezbollahs-unchartered-frontier-turning-boggy/ but is this not enough reason for me to stop reporting the truth on the ground, and for this reason, among others, I feel I must continue exposing the truth of what is going on in Lebanon.
One comment “demanded” that I present a personal history, and in response, I shall provide two; one for Sami Koleib and a personal one.
Sami Koleib is not exactly the official Voltaire behind Hezbollah, but I cannot think of another writer who is closer to that station. Throughout the last couple of decades; and specifically during the hot era of the “War on Syria”, he has been an ardent supporter of Hezbollah and a very prolific writer on Al-Mayadin, Al-Akhbar, Twitter and other media.
By the way, Al-Mayadin is a splinter Arab news media network that broke away from Al-Jazeera when the mother organization turned into an anti-Syrian propaganda machine. Headed by former Al-Jazeera journalist Ghassan Bin Jiddo, the young Al-Mayadin became the voice of the Axis of Resistance. And even though it has recently received criticism for being too pro-Iranian, Al-Mayadin has maintained its position vis-à-vis the Arab Axis of Resistance.
In a recent article published on the 18th of November under that title of “Saad Hariri the Master of the Game…of Suicide”, http://180post.com/archives/tag/العقوبات-الأميركية
Koleib is making many subtle remarks that hint and indicate that Hezbollah is in hot water. Western couch activists whose vision is blinkered by acute myopia and soiled by suffering from a strong bout of conjunctivitis should stop to listen and put up or shut up.
I have never met Mr. Koleib in person, but I have been one of his fans. I admired his work so much that I translated some of it into English to pass on his amazing input to English-speaking readers.
Some of the above translations were circulated and republished on different blogs.
And ever since the “War on Syria” took form, and as I was relentlessly defending Hezbollah and bringing information about it to Western readers, what stands out is a blog article titled “Know Thine Hezbollah”, an article I wrote back in 2013. https://intibahwakeup.blogspot.com/2013/09/know-thine-hezbollah.html. My focal point in this was not only on what Hezbollah was engaged in, but also on what the Axis of Resistance media wrote about it; and the work of Koleib was an indispensable and integral part of.
But to put things into the right and proper perspective, Soros-type colour revolutions like those in Syria are one thing and genuine revolutions are something else.
There was neither a revolution nor a civil war in Syria. The Western media plus its cohorts concocted it and their henchmen executed it. The same can be said about Ukraine and perhaps some other places. But the situation in Lebanon is quite different, and those who do not know this, simply do not understand Lebanon.
Everything in Lebanon calls for a revolution. There are many more than a hundred reasons to protest about. The economy is in total ruin. Basic services like water, electricity and garbage collection are almost non-existent. Unemployment and state debt are sky rocketing. Corruption is in every sector. But yet, the country is sitting on huge untapped oil/gas resources, it is very rich in fresh water, human resources, and literally millions of well-to-do expats who are potential huge investors. This is not to mention Lebanon’s amazing natural beauty, rich history and huge potential for tourism.
Lebanese people who have enjoyed a fairly high standard of living akin to that of developed countries for decades, despite a ravaging civil war that lasted from 1975 till 1989, are now wondering why is it that they have to live in abject poverty. They are blaming their political leaders, and rightfully so.
Corruption has always been an issue in Lebanon, but in the 1960’s and 70’s, things got done, albeit not up to the required standards. Now, the trail of corruption is no longer hidden. Contractors get paid, they pay their bribes to officials, but the work does not get done at all. The corruption has reached breaking point.
Those living outside Lebanon and looking at its politics look at it with a monochromatic vision of black and white. Depending on their political inclinations and which side they favour, they only see two opposing dipoles; the 8th of March coalition (ie Hezbollah and supporters) and the 14th of March coalition (ie Hariri and supporters). And even though the latter has morphed hugely since its inception and lost many of its founding members, there remain the remnants of an anti-Hezbollah coalition in Lebanon. Surely, one would expect that the recent turn of events is giving them momentum.
Undoubtedly, the West is capitalizing on this group to make the street anger more untenable for Hezbollah, but the issues fueling the anger are not the work of the enemies of Lebanon. The revolution is genuine. It’s causes are legitimate. It is real. This is why it is so easy for nefarious agents to tap right into it. And as this is already happening, and as the local and legitimate revolution is quickly turning Lebanon once again into an arena for international score settling, it is in Hezbollah’s interest to resolve the conflict as quickly as possible and as domestically as feasible.
Surely, after their abysmal defeat in Syria at the hands of the Syrian Army aided by Russia, Syria’s friends; including Hezbollah, the enemies of the Axis of Resistance would be looking at all ways possible to hit back, and there seems to be no better soft underbelly than the existing and legitimate anger in the streets of Lebanon.
What makes this anger most promising for these enemies is the fact that it is endorsed even by certain sectors within the Shiite household, ie Hezbollah’s heartland.
This should not be hard to understand. Actually, rarely do adversaries receive such a gift on a silver platter; their own enemy surrounded by local enemies and in-house dissent.
It is rather sad and unfortunate to see the Saudis, the Gulfies and the West gloating about the recent uprising in Lebanon. But the turn of events and the street anger has turned them into apparent winners.
I cannot speak of what is going on in Iran. I have no idea about what is happening there. If I were to believe the mainstream media, I would conclude that the days of the status quo are numbered. But we have witnessed this scenario before and we know that what is reported does not necessarily reflect the truth. From the outside looking in, we do not know the percentage of Iranians who are actually and genuinely opposed to their government. But what I do know for certain is that there is an overwhelming majority of Lebanese who are anti-government and who see it as an extension of Hezbollah and blame Hezbollah for turning a blind eye to corruption and being complicit to it. Right or wrong in their views, this is what their perception is.
Nasrallah has been accused of hubris by his opponents for many years, but now, some of his ardent allies, including the pillar himself, the Voltaire, Mr. Koleib, are hinting that he is looking confused, caught off guard and cornered (see Koleib’s article above).
If anything, my previous articles are those of a person who is not only deeply concerned about the future of Hezbollah, but doing so with a heavy bleeding heart to see that all the achievements, all the blood spilt, all the sacrifices, may all go to waste because of a short-sighted political miscalculation.
According to Koleib, “During the first few days of the uprising, Nasrallah announced his list of “no’s”, the most prominent of which was a “no” to forcefully topple the regime, “no” to force the government into resignation, and “no” to blocking roads”. In a subtle way, Koleib is indicating that even though President Aoun is still standing, the other redlines have all been crossed. The Hariri Government resigned, and roads are getting blocked on daily basis and Nasrallah has been thus far unable to do anything about it.
The black and white, tunnel-visioned crowd, who don’t know much about Hezbollah other than reading about its military achievements, have no idea at all that Nasrallah has never ever been challenged before, never backed down before, never made any concessions to his opponents, never seemed confused and uncertain about which way to go.
According to the same above-mentioned Koleib article, he sees that Hariri may be named to form the new cabinet, but he is currently playing the most dangerous game in his political life. Koleib is asking the question, “…will Hariri be permitted to play the role of a hero in which he regains all the international and regional Gulf-based support and thereby establishing a substantial local support base that will enable him to dictate his terms and return Hezbollah to the position of defense rather than attack?”
He later adds:” We are currently facing the following equation: Either that Hariri wins the bargain and manages to push all others to give concessions that will specifically make Hezbollah weaker, or that Hezbollah and its allies will move from the position of offence after being in the defensive, or that the crisis will continue..(for as long as God wishes)”.
So once again, especially for those whose vision is blurred by bias and lack of knowledge, the uprising in Lebanon is not about a choice between resisting Israel or to kowtow to its terms. It is not about loyalty to that Axis of Resistance. It is about people wanting justice and the restoration of their rights and dignity. And, they see that whoever stands in their way is unjust (to say the least). By turning a blind eye to criminal corruption, by being perceived as complicit, by challenging the uprising, it is most unfortunate, most unwise, that Hezbollah has put itself, in the eyes of the overwhelming Lebanese populace, as belonging to a particular basket; the infamous basket of the oppressors. Hezbollah must do everything possible within its power, and this is not the military prowess that we are talking about herein, but its power of good will and wise demeanour, to present in the most affirmative and convincing manner that it does not belong to this basket. This must include an admission of past mistakes and an undertaking never to repeat them again. The angry protestors will not settle for anything less if they accept to settle at all on such terms. Their voice is so strong it can no longer be ignored or sidelined.
It pains me to see the enemies of Hezbollah gleeful about seeing it wedged in this position, but Hezbollah cannot get out of this rut by being in denial. Hezbollah’s history is that of a liberator; not an oppressor; and it must restore its image. Its rightful place is in the basket of liberators.