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A leaky agenda

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange may have scooped a rare interview with Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah recently (it was sometime in late February in fact) but he did Lebanon few favors. He focused on Nasrallah’s stances on Syria for the main part, ignoring the party’s awkward domination of Lebanese politics, its illegal weapons and its links to the murder of a former Lebanese prime minister.
 
Assange was, as ever, blinded by his default agenda of going after those evil Americans and ended up painting a warped picture of Nasrallah as a modest and reasonable revolutionary, one who is unfairly vilified. Western liberals and America haters might applaud, but the interview will not have fooled those Lebanese whose aspirations to build a genuine sovereign and democratic nation have been suffocated by the party’s refusal to fully join the national consensus.
 
Naturally, it did not suit Assange to quiz Nasrallah on the fact that four Hezbollah members have been indicted by an international court for their involvement in the 2005 killing of former PM Rafik Hariri. Nor did he ask Nasrallah about the legitimacy of his party’s impressive arsenal, one that Hezbollah continues build in preparation for a final showdown with Israel few Lebanese want but one in which they would have little say should it come to pass. At the end of the day, Assange is all big picture. He and Nasrallah both enjoy sticking it to the US, so who cares about the uncomfortable details?
 
Assange referred to Nasrallah as a “leader in war” but forgot to remind viewers that Nasrallah is not a public official and certainly has no constitutional right to a say in Lebanese foreign affairs. There was no mention of the 2006 war with Israel, a conflict that Hezbollah started unilaterally and that cost Lebanon over 1,000 dead.
 
Most of the discussion surrounded Hezbollah’s more hagiographic achievements, its martial heroics in its battle with Israel in the Jewish State’s self-imposed security zone in South Lebanon in the 1980s and 90s. There were certainly no problematic questions about the party’s activities on the streets of West Beirut and elsewhere in the country at the end of the first week of May 2008, when, in its bid to topple a government with which it had finally lost patience, the weapons it said it was loathe to use on civilians were used to kill innocents.
 
Of the Resistance itself, we were treated to a description of local farmhands turned guerilla fighters to defend all that they held dear, bamboozling the Israelis with their humorous local jargon. It might not have been the French freedom fighters taking on the occupying Nazis, but then again that is the sort of narrative Nasrallah wants Western liberals to buy into.
 
Another sleight of hand was Nasrallah’s heartfelt claim that his party never got involved in the grubbiness of local politics until 2005, and only then to protect the integrity of the Resistance. What he failed to mention was that until then his party’s activities were underwritten by a Syrian presence in Lebanon that had lasted one year shy of three decades. Still, clearly there are occupiers, and then there are occupiers.
 
And what of his views on Syria? Nasrallah, the reasonable chap that he is, demanded that both sides enter into dialogue, reminding us that President Bashar al-Assad has pledged “radical reform,” the inference being that the regime is ready to talk but it’s those dangerous rebels who just want to prolong the bloodshed.
 
For the Assange-ites, it was an answer that fitted neatly into a worldview of Nasrallah being a humble man from a poor, multi-confessional suburb of Beirut. It was a place, he said, where he first identified the injustice meted out to the Palestinians. What a guy!
 
For the record, Hezbollah is a militant theocracy with a supreme leader. It has bulldozed its way to the top of Lebanon’s political system by showing a complete disdain for the democratic process and total reliance on the very real threat to deliver violence to whoever stands in its way. It has created a compelling narrative for its rank and file, one built around purity, heroism, martyrdom, resistance and dignity, but the reality is that its military wing is an adjunct of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and a pawn in Tehran’s regional standoff with Israel.

  • ali daoud

    @@jabal, ya jabal, it`s so easy my friend, if my words do bother you that much and if my words do remind you of bad sad memories, then don`t read me at all, let alone the fact that you don`t miss a chance to reply to me!!!!! 2nd, stop contradicting yourself, i wonder how one may support the Palestinian Resistance and at the same time he or she never stop attacking those rare people and states that supported the same Palestinian Resistance!! and i wonder, how a supposed Lebanese may support the palestinian Resistance at time he or she is an enemy of the Lebanese Resistance where he or she belongs in the first place!! 3rd, you are the one who is taking the discussion to the personal level without any proof in your hand since the beginning, i talk facts about who sides with israel and who sides with israel`s enemies, facts that need nobody to prove, however, you reply to me accusing me of being a Syrian, you have no more to say.

    April 25, 2012

  • jabalamel

    Majd the brainwashed Syrian, how did you decide that I do not support the Palestinian resistance against Israel and that I actually care about what happens to any Arab regime? As usual you assume and make you know what out of yourself for all to see. You claimed something that is completely false, like the Hezbollah pioneers thing,then you get pissed when you are called on it.Instead of manning up and admitting your mistake you take the cowards way out and charge with the unsupported accusations that betrays a weak character. It is not my fault if you always feel the need to cover your sizable ignorance with old empty slogans. I've read them all before scribbled on walls around where the Syrian army was stationed in Lebanon and they always struck me how foolish and hollow they were, I get the same feeling reading your scribbles.

    April 24, 2012

  • ali daoud

    @@jabal, fellow, wether HA joined the Resistance early or lately it changes nothing in the fact that all your filthy arab allies never resisted israel the way Hizbullah did, they never dared to resist israel the way HA did. about your arab israeli struggle, yes, it predates the iranian israeli struggle, but where is that atab israeli struggle now? who among your arabs are concerned about the arab israeli struggle? truth is your arabs are busy making friends with the israelis, doing israel favors, fighting the resistance for the eyes of israel, fighting iran for the eyes of israel, moreover, who among your filthy arabs ever supported the palestinian resistance? i am not asking those arabs to support the Lebanese resistance, thanks God and Iran and syria we don`t need other arabs support, but why don`t they support the Palestinian sunni resistance ya jabal?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 24, 2012

  • ali daoud

    @@Mike, Hizbullah fulfilled its national duty when it took israeli soldeirs as prisonners in order to make an exchange, look pal, when you have a sick weak incompetent disabled state as ours, someone has to take the lead and do all necessary to preserve our people and our land. the cause of the war is israel`s intention to do a war, that`s obvious even to the blind, and those who blame Hizbullah will always blame Hizbullah no matter, we don`t care.

    April 24, 2012

  • jabalamel

    Majd the Syrian, once again you showcase your lack of knowledge about Lebanese history, you also misunderstand the meaning of the word pioneers. Hizbullah as well as Nasrallah are the johnny come lately of the Lebanese Resistance against our enemy Israel, that is a fact even Hizbullah and Nasrallah can't deny. As you say the Arab/Israeli struggle predates any Iranian/Israeli struggle but Hizballah was invented after the Iranian revolution by Khomeini and leaders of the Pasdaran to be the vanguards of the Islamic revolution in Lebanon, that's according to Hizbullah and Nasrallah themselves. Nasarallah started the 2006 war to free a handful of prisoners but caused the death 2000 innocent Lebanese and the loss of the Lebanese part of the town of Ghajar. He should've expected the filthy Israeli enemy's response after what they did in Gaza two weeks previous following the Shalit kidnapping. Worse Nasarallah also lied to his Lebanese counterpart by promising us a calm summer.

    April 21, 2012

  • mike

    Majd, re your last line. "It shouldn't be a reason for war" but it was and people died and whether the response was disproportionate, it was triggered by Hezbollah's actions. The party is a menace. It offers nothing to the Lebanese but conflict, death and destruction. We are tired of this phoney struggle and the phoney ideology of Bashar and his goons. I notice you sometimes sign off with a Vive Bashar...i suggest you seek counseling at the soonest opportunity.

    April 21, 2012

  • Sami

    Majd, do you realy care about arab land?? is that why you support the occupation by Iran of the arab island of Abou Mousa?

    April 21, 2012

  • ali daoud

    Hizbullah as well as Sayyed Nasrallah are the pioneers of the Lebanese Resistance against our enemy israel. to claim that Hizbullah is a "pawn of the Iranian revolutionar guard in Iran`s stand off against israel" is nothing but supreme naivety and denial. The Arab israeli struggle predates any Iranian/israeli struggle and israel`s occupation os Arab land since 1948 is the major cause of any iranian israeli struggle. it is clear that the author of the article is a hater of HA and Nasrallah obviously for no reason, the author meant to deny Nasrallah any positive image, he denied Nasrallah is a humble man, he denied he is a poor man, he denied he is a supporter of the palestinian cause since his teenage years, he even denied that HA defended Lebanon in 2006 when he claimed that HA started the war with israel, here the author forgets that kidnapping two israeli soldiers to exchange them with Lebanese detainees from tens of years shouldn`t be a reason for war.what a weak biased article!!!!

    April 20, 2012

  • Sami

    By rewarding wikileaks man Julian Assange with his first interview on his new job, hasan nasrallah is endorsing WIKILEAKS which has revealed that all of hizballah allies are American and Israeli agents! strangely enough, Assange did not ask nasrallah about any of that! That is what is missing from this interview and that is what should raise eyebrows and raise big questions!

    April 20, 2012

  • Phil؟

    Good observation. Good article. The last paragraph really nailed it. May we know who the author is?

    April 20, 2012

  • Rula

    @Karim how exactly do you reach that conclusion?

    April 20, 2012

  • Jad

    Well said sami. If I had one penny for every time Hassan told a lie.

    April 20, 2012

  • The Truth

    @sami: Huzb Allah has no principles, they are a hypocritical organization and a tool of the Faqih state. They are an Islamic organization that participates in drug sales, kidnapping and many crimes. Huzb Allah was against wikileaks when it embarrassed them or their allies, now they love Assange when it suits them. Huzb Allah never use weapons against fellow Lebanese, except during the war (to form an Islamic state) or on May 2008 (to occupy the capital) or in 2005 (to assassinate a former prime minister) or to shoot down an army helicopter and the examples are endless. Can't wait for the next divine victory when Lebanon isn't bombed back 20 years, but 50. I'm sure that will serve the Lebanese people very well and contribute to liberating the sacred land that is Shebaa (which no one gives a damn about except as an excuse to stay armed).

    April 20, 2012

  • R

    i couldn't agree more with you Karim. This is actually just filled with unsupported and heavenly opinionated rhetoric. There isn't even any sense of analytical skill. I mean what is that supposed to mean "It might not have been the French freedom fighters taking on the occupying Nazis, but then again that is the sort of narrative Nasrallah wants Western liberals to buy into." ?? Its a silly analogy, I don't even want to dwell on this...political pieces and commentaries are just a mixture of some postmodern romanticist (well and even unfortunately) 'self-orientalist'...on the content, it seems that the writer both 1.considers hizballah (and his supporters of course) non-lebanese and/or 2.lebanon is this unencumbered nation plagued by this 1 criminal entity...give me a break

    April 20, 2012

  • Karim

    This entire article reeks of a local Saudi/Wahabi loving puppet who will do anything to criticize those who dont share their vision of a Wahabism-dominated Lebanon. Go cry me a river.

    April 19, 2012

  • Sami

    What happened to the conspiracy theory that Hizballah says WIKILEAKS is? So Hizbo is rewarding the man behind the conspiracy with his first interview on his new job? this is same as rewarding the Israeli agent Fayez Karam with a light sentence!

    April 19, 2012