“Lancing the Boil: Hizbullah’s Future in Lebanon”/ by Qifa Nabki

Hizbullah Secretary-General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah delivered an important speech on Wednesday, July 16 2008, following the exchange of Lebanese prisoners and the remains of Hizbullah fighters for the bodies of the two Israeli soldiers abducted in 2006. The speech possessed all of the signature Nasrallah ingredients: defiance, magisterial oratory, and, of course, historiography, which is one of the most important elements of his rhetoric. Nasrallah sought to situate Hizbullah within a long line of "resistance" movements and ideologies, even doctrines seemingly antithetical to Hizbullah's identity. He stated:

"Brothers and sisters, from this position, with this crowd of martyrs throughout 30 years, we evoke all the sacrifices of the Lebanese, Palestinian, and Arab Resistance men – Islamists, nationalists, Arabists, and pan-Arab irrespective of any ideological trend they are affiliated with. We are proud of and appreciate all the resistance factions and parties and all the resistance men and martyrs, who joined the arenas of resistance, jihad, and struggle before us. We benefit from their experience, seek inspiration from their sacrifices, and recognize their status in the past, present, and future of the Resistance. In this context too, through what I have said, I would like to stress that the genuine and well-established identity of our region and nation is the identity of resistance, the will of resistance, the culture of resistance, and the rejection of humiliation and occupation, regardless of occupiers, dictators, and tyrants.

Based on this, throughout decades, you can see that the flag did not fall, the Resistance flag does not fall, but it moves from the hand of one group to another, from one faction to another, from one party to another, and from one heading to another."

While the occasion was devoted primarily to the celebration of the prisoners' return, Nasrallah took the opportunity to address some issues that made this a potentially historic speech. (1) He brought up the issue of the so-called "national defense" strategy, and insisted that it be brought to the table, dismissing the idea that Hizbullah is afraid of tackling such a sensitive subject. (2) He declared that the Hizb is prepared to discuss all issues relating to national interests and national unity. This should be read as referring not only to the issue of the resistance's weapons, but to the future of political reform in the country, which will be the necessary quid pro quo for Hizbullah's "normalization". In other words, we are witnessing the transformation of Hizbullah into one of the most powerful forces for political reform in Lebanon (and potentially beyond) since independence. Nasrallah is reinventing the vocabularies of both resistance and nationalism, with potentially far-reaching consequences. 

There's an old joke about "accepted wisdom" in the field of economics. Two Nobel Prize winning economists are walking down the street when one of them spots a hundred dollar bill lying in the gutter. He says to his friend: "Is that a hundred dollar bill lying in the gutter?" His friend scoffs as they walk by it, and he says dismissively: "Of course not. If it were, someone would have picked it up already."

Similarly, many will be inclined to dismiss Nasrallah's rhetoric as empty talk. The smart money, in my view, is to take the man at his word, which, as he has already demonstrated on several occasions, is to be trusted. Beyond Nasrallah's personal guarantees, however, there is unescapable logic of demography, population pressures, and economic disparities which can only be ignored for so long before they become a liability for the Shi`a community's own leadership, the mighty Hizbullah not excluded. The end game will have to be political reform, if Lebanon is to survive.

Here is the relevant excerpt from his speech, translated to English for non-Arabic readers (by NOW Lebanon):

"I declare anew – in view of what I raised for discussion – that all our concern is to liberate the rest of our land. We in Hezbollah are open to every discussion on a strategy to liberate the Shebaa Farms, the Kfar Shouba hills, and the part of Al-Ghajar that is still under occupation. Our concern, brothers and sisters, all our concern is to defend our country, land, waters, the sovereignty of our country, and our people and their dignity and security. We in Hezbollah are open to every discussion on a strategy for national defense. We insist on this discussion.

Some people imagine we do not like this discussion or we are evading it. No, now we insist on it. We do not want it to be postponed. How does the saying go: "Let us burst this boil." Let us see this defense strategy which we have been talking about for some years. Let us get somewhere. That is because the threats and dangers to Lebanon have not ended.

We go to this dialogue and discussion in a positive and serious spirit. Our aim is to protect our country. We insist on this discussion, and we insist that everyone participates in protecting this country, and that the State bears the primary responsibility for protecting and defending this country. And thus we end the story of who is monopolizing defense and who is monopolizing resistance, as though it is a feast over which the people are competing. Usually people escape from the fighting, even the believers. Almighty God says: "Fighting is ordained for you, though you dislike it."

It is human nature to prefer to turn to politics, economic activity, cultural activity, and commercial activity, but people do not want to hear about fighting, staying up all night, captivity, wounds, sacrifices, hunger, staying in the valleys and plains. What is this thing which we are monopolizing and for which we are envied? Are we envied because our youth are in prisons, and that we are getting them back? Or are we envied because hundreds of our young have lost the flower of their youth to defend this homeland, and we get back their dead bodies?

No, I say to you today as we celebrate the freedom of the prisoners: We will ask everyone to contribute to protecting and defending this country, and whoever abandons this duty is the traitor. That is a national responsibility which all of us should seek to fulfill. At the same time, and within the context of the national unity government, I would like to affirm that we are ready to cooperate in handling all – and please underline the word "all" twice – files without exception or reservations in a way that will serve the national interest and enhance national unity and Lebanon's strength and impregnability, and enable Lebanon to overcome its crises."

The entire speech is available from YouTube. The excerpt begins at 37:00

 

Comments (24)


1. Joshua said:

Dear Qifa N.

Many thanks for this essay and the translations. How do we know that Hizbullah is ready for dialogue about resistance? Most other Lebanese want the Shiites to disarm and abandon their militia without being given added political power.

By taking only a token cabinet position for itself, wasn’t Hizbullah indicating that it is content to remain “the resistance” and not to be drawn into sordid and mundane search for office?

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July 20th, 2008, 2:36 pm

 

2. Qifa Nabki said:

Dear Joshua,

I added a paragraph above before seeing your comment.

My feeling is that Hizbullah is reading the writing on the wall. They wouldn’t have gotten so far without being very astute political strategists. Syria is talking about peace with Israel. Iran is exploring detente with the Americans. Bush is giving commitments on troop withdrawls in Iraq, which may signal that there has been some kind of agreement with the Iranians. And Hizbullah is a couple of achievements short of completing their stated objectives. So they’re starting to prepare their constituents for a shift in the organization’s identity, with new language, new vocabularies of what “Resistance” means and how it relates to nationalism, etc.

As for how other Lebanese feel, it is true that this will be an obstacle, but we’re already seeing changes of opinion among the young, especially the FPMers. The case for political reform has never been made by those who will be most positively affected by it, and by those with the credentials to push it through. So I think there is potential for change.

Finally, you’re right about Hizbullah’s token cabinet position, but remember that this is a transitional government. Nasrallah is fond of symbolism. The next election will be the first one that is not manipulated by another power (Syria or the United States). I think Hizbullah would like to use that election to detonate the political reality that has existed since Ta’if. When the dust settles, and the current opposition has a commanding majority, they will be able to set the agenda as insiders, not interlopers.

But I could be completely wrong. It’s important to remember that the organization is not a monolith. And, of course, they are still learning what it means to be a political party, rather than a resistance. So things will take time.

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July 20th, 2008, 3:38 pm

 

3. jo6pac said:

Thanks Gentlemen now if we (US) just don’t meddle in this progress may be there’s a chance of a future for Lebanon with out war.
jo6pac

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July 20th, 2008, 3:48 pm

 

4. Alex said:

Qifa,

I agree about Nasrallah’s symbolic small role in today’s (transitional) Lebanese government. But I don’t think he is REACTING to the signs of dialog between Syria/Israel and Iran/United States

I think everything is linked … Nasrallah HELPED Syria and Israel talk (on an equal basis) … if he did not win the 2006 war, Israel might still be feeling too strong to talk peace.

Similarly, Nasrallah and Assad helped Iran to talk to the Americans … They all want to talk, not fight forever. But they want to talk as respected citizens of the Middle East, not as defeated thugs as this administration tried to portray them initially.

I think Nasrallah’s emphasis on his role as liberator of Lebanese occupied territories is very positive … when Mughnyieh was assassinated Nasrallah’s speech at the time worried many Lebanes (nad non Lebanese) when Nasrallah talked about fighting Israel until it vanishes… it is a relief to hear him this week limiting his role to liberating the remaining LEBANESE occupied territories.

So, this is a sign that things are moving forward between Syria and Israel … If Syria and Israel reach a final agreement, there will be a simultaneous agreement to return Lebanon’s remaining occupied lands.

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July 20th, 2008, 3:57 pm

 

5. Qifa Nabki said:

Alex

I share your relief about limiting the role of the resistance to Lebanese territories. In full disclosure I should say that Sayyed Hasan also said earlier in the speech that the resistance will continue as long as their is a struggle in Palestine. Similarly, Naim Qassem said recently that Shebaa is not a pretext for Hizbullah’s weapons because the weapons will remain even if Shebaa is liberated.

It’s tricky to know how to navigate these statements, but if I had to make a bet, I’d guess that as long as things are progressing between Syria and Israel, the Hizb will begin turning more attention to politics.

But I don’t entirely agree with your reading that it is all necessarily connected. This assumes that everyone you mention (the Syrians, the Iranians, and Hizbullah) are all on the same page. I’m not sure that they all “want to talk as respected citizens of the Middle East…” and that’s it. Some people genuinely want to keep fighting, not because they like fighting, but because they don’t believe that there is any other way to achieve their goals. Now, maybe Hizbullah isn’t just REACTING, but ultimately different groups have different projects, which may or may not intersect for a given period and then diverge again. This is what we see when we look at history.

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July 20th, 2008, 5:38 pm

 

6. Off the Wall said:

Q.N.

Can anyone interpret Nasrallah’s call for everyone to participate in defending the country as a call to instate military conscription? and could this be on any political platform in Lebanon?

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July 20th, 2008, 5:50 pm

 

7. Innocent_Criminal said:

Alex,

I don’t believe the current Israeli government (nor the one coming after Olmert’s departure) is genuinely thinking about peace with Syria (at least not one Syria would accept). I think it’s the process of talking that Israel is interested in because Syria doesn’t really have much to offer at the moment. There are however signs to support Syria’s genuine aspirations for a peace treaty. One of which I believe is the threatening comments coming from Iran in case Syria tries to reign in Hizbullah after a peace deal.

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July 20th, 2008, 6:12 pm

 

8. Qifa Nabki said:

Off The Wall,

Could be. The problem is that the draft was helping to bankrupt the country. Maybe if Iran continues its generous funding, we could re-direct it into the Lebanese Army’s coffers instead. 😉

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July 20th, 2008, 6:27 pm

 

9. Off the Wall said:

Qifa.
Thanks for the answer. A conscript army anywhere can bankrupt the state. I wasn’t advocating, but i think Nasrallah’s asking “what do they envy us for”, sounded like a challenge to other groups to take more active role in defending the country. Of course, this in addition to your observation of him reminding everyone with HA role in liberating Lebanon, and his astute recognition of other resistance movements.

I think that of all Arab leaders now-aday, Nasrallah and Bashar, or perhaps his advisors, have demonstrated their unquestionable ability to read the situation on the ground accurately, and to act, or react to it with very calculated measures. A while ago, you said that they seem to have a “calendar”, I think they have more than that. The merciless time may prove me wrong like it did so many others, but for now current event show that the two are not only reacting to realities, they are shaping these realities to the advantages of their constituents, whomever they are.

On the other hand, leaders like Mubarak are becoming more irrelevant by the day. I am not sure whether KSA would ever be irrelevant, and in fact that may be a disadvantage to everyone as it may force them to take irrational actions “such as visiting France to dissuade Sarkozy from embracing Syria’s return to the stage. It seems to me that their surrogates are losing ground on a daily basis. I believe that they have failed to read reality, and more importantly, they have failed to create a reality that would be suitable for them.

However, one can not discount the Wahabi movement that easy. Recent events in Yemen show that they are gaining ground. The establishment of morality police and the Taliban like rhetoric coming out of Yemen are both depressing and scary. The scarier thing is the comments on articles in “Alquds Al-Arabi” regarding these events. I would love to hear Zenobia’s view on these recent developments as well as everyones. Where are we heading? and can what is happening in Yemen happen in other places?

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July 20th, 2008, 7:03 pm

 

10. Alex said:

Qifa and IC

You are both right. This is real life, Hizbollah’s strategies are not digital signals that switch on and off with ease.

I am however convinced that Hizbollah WILL move with Syria despite some disappointment from some of it’s members who prefer to continue resisting the zionists.

Nasrallah has shown so far that he is not going to do anything to fundamentally undermine Syria’s initiatives. We have been there before (when Syria twice negotiated peace with Israel with Rabin and Barak) and Nasrallah did not oppose the process nor did he act as a spoiler.

As for Israel’s seriousness this time … The Syrians are indeed taking Israel seriously this time … As in a 50/50 probability of success … It is by no means a sure thing.

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July 20th, 2008, 7:08 pm

 

11. Seeking the Truth said:

The end game will have to be political reform, if Lebanon is to survive.

Would this also apply to Syria in any measure?

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July 20th, 2008, 7:19 pm

 

12. Off the Wall said:

IC and ALEX

In January 2006, and a year before he died in 2007, the late Israeli Sociologist Baruch Kimmerling wrote the following article in Haaretz. It is worth reading as it applies to today’s issues

Surprised again?
By Baruch Kimmerling

If there is one failure in Israel’s history for which Golda Meir will not be forgotten, or forgiven, it is not the 1973 war, but the miscalculation that led to the war.

On February 4, 1971, Egypt’s president Anwar Sadat expressed his willingness to reach a comprehensive peace agreement with Israel in return for a complete withdrawal from Sinai. Golda rejected the offer scornfully, and Sadat, in response, said Egypt was willing to sacrifice a million soldiers to liberate its land. This statement was perceived as proof of the “real” intentions of the Egyptian president, as opposed to his offer of land for peace.

The change in Israel’s stance came with the rise to power of Menachem Begin, in 1977, and stemmed from two main reasons: Begin was aware he lacked legitimacy among Israel’s elites and the international community, because he was regarded as a nationalist.
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Furthermore, his strategic-political views caused him to see, rightly from his point of view, the Palestinians, and not the Arab states, as the main enemy of the Jews.

So, when the Mossad learned that Sadat was willing to renew his 1971 initiative, Begin dispatched his foreign minister, Moshe Dayan, to Morocco for a meeting with the Egyptian deputy prime minister, Hassan Tuhami. The two met in September 1977 and agreed on the general framework of a peace agreement between Israel and Egypt, an agreement that paved the way for Sadat’s visit to Jerusalem and the peace agreement that followed.

That peace agreement, with all its problems, was the most significant victory for Zionism since the establishment of the state in 1948, and opened the way whose end has still not been reached to the acceptance of Israel as a legitimate political entity in the region, on the basis of the 1949 borders, not those determined by the UN Partition Plan. This agreement also set the formula for future agreements between Israel and the Arabs: land for peace.

While it is true that Ehud Barak, and even Benjamin Netanyahu, tried to further peace with Syria, Hafez Assad, the xenophobe, got cold feet as the talks moved toward the concluding stage. However, a great deal has changed, both in terms of Syria’s geopolitics and in the condition of the ruling party, which relies on the Alawite minority. The end of Syria’s hold over Lebanon not only undermined its prestige and its ability to maneuver politically vis-a-vis Israel but also the economic strength of the ruling sect, which relies on Lebanon’s being a center of international drug trade.

The collapse of Iraq strengthened Iran, whose fundamentalist worldview is contrary to the secular inclination of the Syrian regime. Iran is becoming increasingly more powerful as a result of America’s colossal strategic failure, which once more proved its utter lack of understanding of the essence of relations in the region. Proof of this is tagging Syria as part of the “axis of evil,” instead of making the effort to encourage a Syrian-Israeli reconciliation as a counter to the rise of Islamic extremism.

Syria today lacks a real military option against Israel, but it can cause serious damage with its missile arsenal. To date, Syria has regarded this arsenal as serving a deterrent function, but could use the missiles out of desperation to break a status quo that has become unbearable, in a similar fashion to what Sadat did in 1973.

Bashar Assad knows that the only way he can stabilize his regime and take Syria forward is by an agreement with Israel, along the lines of the Egyptian model. Anyone who read the interview to Der Spiegel of August 29, 2005, in which Assad described Syrian society as “secular,” could get a sense of his anxiety over Syria’s possible deterioration into an Algerian-style civil war.

A peace accord with Syria will completely alter Israel’s standing in the region and the world and will also influence the progress of reaching a solution with the Palestinians.

The way to get to that point is not through propagandist rhetoric, like the invitation Shimon Peres extended to Assad to visit Jerusalem. Someone like Peres knows full well that such a visit must be arranged in advance through talks like Dayan and Tuhami had, and that the invitation must come from the prime minister. Otherwise, we may find ourselves surprised once more

NOTE from OWT
Please let me know if posting such a long article is “spamming”

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July 20th, 2008, 7:23 pm

 

13. Qifa Nabki said:

Joshua,

What Alex is saying is essentially the reason that I’m relatively optimistic about what Hizbullah wants in Lebanon, on the 5-10 year horizon.

If I were Sayyed Hasan, I would want to have my ducks in a row on the political front long before I begin dismantling any weapon systems or turning them over to the Army. In other words, I would want to play my cards for the maximum political capital possible. What does this mean? It means that a Shi`i villager from outside Nabatiyeh should be allowed to believe that his son or daughter can grow up to be a president or prime minister or the head of the army, etc. It means that there should not be quotas for political participation based on sect. And it means that the resident of Bint Jbeil should have the same access to government services as the resident of Hamra, etc.

This is what Hizbullah has the ability to achieve, if they play their cards right, and if this is in fact what they want.

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July 20th, 2008, 7:24 pm

 

14. Off the Wall said:

Q.N

Your latest comment is excellent. But if that is true (i.e. demolishing the sectarian quota system), it represents a major and rather dramatic and radical change in the status quo. Is that possible? and if So, is the 5-10 years time frame enough?. It will require more than new electoral law. It would arouse the established political clans and their leaderships into major upheaval. Don’t take me wrong, i believe, to the core of my being in the morality of the argument you presented. I am only asking because I would love to see what you are saying happens today before tomorrow.

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July 20th, 2008, 7:33 pm

 

15. Qifa Nabki said:

Off the Wall

Walla, it is not that off the wall. 🙂

A few years ago, nobody in their wildest dreams would have imagined that a Shi`i paramilitary organization could have the capacity to withstand a month-long attempt to crush it by the IDF, using heavy air bombardment, mechanized batallions, infantry, and commandoes.

Nobody would have imagined that this organization would quickly become the most powerful political group in Lebanon, not merely because of their swords, but because of their pens as well. As I think I said recently, the strength of their arsenal is measured by the metrics of caliber millimetres as well as newspaper column inches. Hizbullah is channeling the energies of their constituents in highly efficient and productive ways.

Similarly, nobody would have imagined that Michel Aoun would ink a memorandum of understanding with this organization, and that tens of thousands of Maronite Christians who once thought that all the Shi`a were nawar are now beginning to wake and realize that they are the same people, same culture, same aspirations, etc.

Five to ten years is not enough time to get there, but it is enough time to generate the requisite momentum. The established clans are already in upheaval; they will find ways to survive, as they always do, and some people will refuse to embrace the new order. But the 1/3 of Lebanese who don’t identify with their sect and the 1/3 of Lebanese who are second-class citizens will — hopefully — be willing to step up and make demands of their leadership.

It’s too bad Rafiq al-Hariri isn’t around anymore, as he would have had the vision and the muscle to help see these changes through. Then again, who knows…

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July 20th, 2008, 7:48 pm

 

16. Off the Wall said:

QN
You are right, it does not seem that Off the Wall 🙂
Thanks for the thoughtful, and rather hopeful answer

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July 20th, 2008, 7:53 pm

 

17. Innocent_Criminal said:

Alex,

I never said HA wouldnt side with Syria. I actually agree with you on that. If and when push comes to shove HA will HAVE to side with Syria over its alliance with Iran. Iran might be the financial & military backer but at the end of the day such backing can only come through Syria. And while Iran will continue to be the spiritual guide for HA for sometime to come the latter owes its current form of existance to Syria not Iran.

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July 20th, 2008, 8:04 pm

 

18. norman said:

ADVERTISEMENT

——————————————————————————–

Print

Copyright (c) 2008 The Daily Star

Monday, July 21, 2008
Lebanon can reap the rewards of Moallem’s diplomatic prowess

By The Daily Star

Editorial

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem’s visit to Beirut today will represent an opportunity for Lebanese politicians to cultivate a friendship with a man who could prove to be an indispensable ally to their country. Moallem comes to Lebanon with a proven track record of overcoming monumental challenges: As foreign minister he has most recently overseen Damascus’ return from isolation at a time when it seemed as though Syria would never be able to regain its place in the international fold. Just as Syria has benefited from Moallem’s efforts, Lebanon can be reap the rewards of Moallem’s diplomatic prowess if Lebanese politicians use Monday’s visit to begin building an alliance with the Syrian minister.

Of course no one can expect that Moallem’s visit will immediately erase all of the tensions that have emerged in the relationship between Lebanon and Syria over the past three years. And as Syria’s chief diplomat, Moallem’s primary task during his visit will be to work for the benefit of Damascus – not Beirut – while starting the process of restoring his country’s ties with Lebanon. But it is precisely for this reason that the Lebanese can find considerable room for maneuver in their dealings with the diplomat: Lebanon and Syria share so many of the same interests. The challenge to resolving many of the outstanding issues with Syria is to convince the Syrians that it is in the shared interests of both countries to do so. If Moallem knows that it will benefit his country to champion an issue of importance to the Lebanese, he will no doubt carry the ball faster and further than the Lebanese could ever hope to on their own.

Achieving such a mutually beneficial partnership will also require that the Lebanese behave as Syria’s equals, not as the subservient lackeys that they were during Damascus’ era of tutelage in Lebanon. In fact, the mere appearance of returning to Lebanon’s old ways might encourage Syria to do the same – and that is no way to form a mutually beneficial alliance. Likewise, it would be counterproductive for Lebanese politicians to adopt the hostile stance that has characterized their approach toward Damascus since 2005. Now is the time to break with the past and begin forging an alliance of equals on the basis of mutual interests.

Copyright (c) 2008 The Daily Star

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July 20th, 2008, 8:41 pm

 

19. why-discuss said:

I am glad to see that there are much less Hezbollah bashers around. The ‘putsch’ that trigerred Doha agreement seems not to have left the tracks that were predicted to stain Hezbollah for a long time. Or maybe all the hatred and humiliations sufferred by the ex-majority is hidden and would emerge at the first faux-pas. While a large part of the christians are coming to terms with the Shia ( with Aoun formal agreement), are we going to see the same with the sunnis , or their visceral suspicion of the Shia will prevail?
It seems to me that the sunnis must feel extremely weakened. The leading sunni country, Saudi Arabia, is stuck in an obsession about Syria and Iran that is becoming embarrassing, it is promoting rigid wahhabism in Yemen ( Taliban like), it is trying to deal with its inhouse breeding of Al Qaeda terrorism, trying to distance itself from the failed Bush administration, watching the popularity of Shia leaders growing.. Too much to handle. They seem in dissaray.
After the failure of sunni arab leaders in solving the Israel-arab-palestinian problem, maybe it is time to give a chance to Shia-Christian-Alawite leaders to come up with a settlement.
I think this era is pointing at the horizon.

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July 21st, 2008, 8:42 am

 

20. Off the Wall said:

Why Discuss

I have a feeling that the disarray you have mentioned can be partially attributed to the emergence of public polls in the Arab world. One of the most recent and unprecedented polls have pointed to two undisputed leaders in the regions, Nasrallah and Assad. Nasrallah because everyone trusts that he means what he says, or as one of my Lebanese friends used to say, he is “Qaed Mukhles). Assad for his ability to stand his ground, until now, without cow towing to every american demand. Had Khatami been the president of Iran, i believe that he would have occupied a prominent position on the list as well.

I am glad that you also are paying attention to what is happening in Yemen. The wahabis never learn. They are as eager to start the war of civilization as their intellectual twins in the neocon movement. As the US is beginning to reject the neocons, the islamic world should outright reject whabism and its various branches. This is not easy for both movements enjoy tremendous financial support. The former in the form of think tanks with unlimited resources, and the latter in the form of unlimited Saudi resources in the form of Dawa charities.

KSA must be thanked for the financial support it has been giving Palestinians in the west bank and Gaza, no one disputes that such has been very helpful for the besieged Palestinians. But the problem is that their charity comes with proselytizing for their extreme branch of religion. It is sad to see the energy of the populace, lacking civil liberty themselves,be channeled into political movement with a single aim and that is to further restrict the civil liberties of their sisters, daughters, and mothers. Shame, Shame. This is a sad state o affairs. If the leaders in the Arab world have any real popular support, they would be able to stand in the face of these radical movements. Unfortunately, lacking public mandates, they must try to appease the vocal fundamentalists.

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July 21st, 2008, 3:10 pm

 

21. Jordan said:

There seems to be a lot of patting ourselves on the back going here. 🙂

QN, Off The Wall,

Are either of you at all suspect of Nassrallah’s ability to execute all these changes in the short term. You both seem extremely pleased with what you think HA is looking to accomplish in the next 5-10 years, but can they do it?

QN, you wrote this “The smart money, in my view, is to take the man at his word, which, as he has already demonstrated on several occasions, is to be trusted.”

I don’t know if I agree with you. You are using his stellar military track record and are extrapolating political success — not sure it works that way.

Its like betting that Michael Jordan would have been a successful baseball player after retiring from an amazing basketball career.
It is, of course, a whole different ball game.

I’m not convinced that Nassrallah will be as effective in the political arena, as you both think he will be.

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July 24th, 2008, 9:25 pm

 

22. Qifa Nabki said:

Jordan,

You’re right. I’m trying to be optimistic, but maybe it’s just wishful thinking. We’ll have to wait and see what the elections bring.

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July 25th, 2008, 1:10 am

 

23. anora said:

i believe the next war between israel and hizbullah would be the last one.
israel can’t afford itself being in war more then one week.
the destruction to lebanon would be devastating, formidable and with not proportion.
it is pitty though, but that is what reality

ISRAEL

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August 10th, 2008, 5:51 pm

 

24. norman said:

Anora,

The question is , Can Israel win the war if Hezbollah does not accept cease fire , How long Israel can fight and endure the destruction of the Israeli cities and the migration of it’s people to the West running from continuous bombardment , I think that Israel will lose a long war , Israel can start a war but to end it Hezbollah will have to agree .

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August 10th, 2008, 8:01 pm

 

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