The political language of Lebanon has been violated for many
decades. What was coined as a “civil war” from 1975 was, in fact, a
Lebanese-Palestinian battle. Syria’s occupation, as a hegemonic subjugation of
Lebanon, was sanitized into “brotherly relations” and a “historic pact.” The
1989 Taif Accord was hailed as the end to the militarization of Lebanese
society, with a call for disarming all private militias, but Hizbullah was exempted as the so-called ‘resistance’
Today the ‘resistance’ has a political stranglehold over the
Lebanese government. It exercises veto power over major decisions and enjoys the
license to initiate hostilities against Israel, without cabinet approval.
Hizbullah is liberated from constitutional controls, while Lebanon is enslaved
to this Iranian/Syrian Shiite movement which is executing a creeping coup in
the land of the cedars.
Hizbullah’s political doublespeak of ‘resistance’ requires a
language of deception and distortion.
Recently, Sheikh Nabil Kaouk, Hizbullah leader in south Lebanon, repeated the party’s disinformation
mantra regarding the conflict with Israel. He declared in Tyre that “if we [Hizbullah] were weak, Israel would not hesitate to start
another war.” But because Hizbullah is strong, he added, there is no war. An
armed Hizbullah is prepared for war with Israel,
but meanwhile it successfully deters the war that Israel, according to this twisted
sophistry, is interested in starting.
In fact, there is no inherent or objective basis for enmity,
tension, or warfare between Israel
never participated significantly in Arab-Israeli wars. Israel, which nonetheless captured territory in Lebanon,
as in 1948 and in 1982, thereafter withdrew completely. After Egypt and Jordan
signed peace treaties with Israel,
and the Palestinians agreed to negotiate peace-making, Lebanon unquestionably
should follow suit. The touted territorial issue of the Shaaba farms can be
resolved amicably by arbitration or agreement.
Israel has no need or intention of provoking armed conflict
with Lebanon, and except for the incessant bellicosity of Hizbullah and its
role in the Iranian-led ‘Shiite Crescent,’ there would be no armed conflict.
Indeed, Israel’s misconstrued wishful-thinking policy of withdrawal from south
Lebanon in May 2000 was calculated to close the ‘Lebanese file.’ But Hizbullah
has its own agenda and has incessantly pursued its long-term strategy of struggle
and warfare against Israel.
Hizbullah is not defending Lebanon but exposing her, as in the
summer of 2006, to war and destruction. Hizbullah is not deterring Israel from warfare but goading Israel
into further warfare. A weak and weakened Hizbullah, if marginalized in Lebanon
and peripheral to the Arab-Israeli impasse, would calm the region and reduce
considerably the possibility of an outbreak of violent hostilities. However, an
armed and taunting Hizbullah is a prescription for war with Israel and, by implication, for extensive
collateral devastation of Lebanon
as a whole. Hizbullah, not Israel, is
the real enemy of Lebanon.
Yet for Hizbullah, war and bellicosity is the necessary
course of action to buttress its fabricated demagoguery that Israel is a real enemy of Lebanon. This self-fulfilling
prophecy is a piece of political witchcraft and psychological warfare directed,
beyond any other audience, against the Lebanese people itself.
Hizbullah plays the ‘Israeli card’ to force its way into the
center of Lebanese national affairs. It turns its ‘resistance’ into a sacred
struggle on behalf of Lebanon,
when it is in fact the cause for Lebanon’s deteriorating capacity
for central and complete sovereign rule. Hizbullah is not, contrary to its
claims, the savior of Lebanon
in the face of a menacing Israel,
but the menace of Lebanon
Actually, Hizbullah ‘needs Israel’
as a foil for its bellicose arrogance which is its political hallmark both
within Lebanon and towards Israel.
The patriotic language, of self-praise sacrifice and persistence and martyrdom,
is used to cover the treasonous policy bludgeoning the people, the government,
and the honor of Lebanon.
Hizbullah, the enemy within, is engaged in a step-by-step coup in Beirut and throughout the country, running a parallel
government and forging a culture and discourse alien to the traditional national
ethos of Lebanon.
Hizbullah’s posture of patriotism is to be tested, not by
Orwellian claptrap of revolution and resistance, but in the only decisive thing
that counts: disarming its militia and acknowledging the army as the sole
authority over security and arms in Lebanon. Throwing sand in the eyes
of the Lebanese, with cheap rhetoric of defending Lebanon’s sovereignty from the
Israeli devil, has from the start been a hollow and condescending maneuver that
many Lebanese recognize, though fear compels them to choose their words of
protest with care, or hide their true feelings. When President Michel Sleiman and
Prime Minister Fouad Siniora were present on July 16 to celebrate the return of
murderer Samir Kuntar to Lebanon,
Hizbullah’s sweeping intimidation of the entire political class in Lebanese
politics constituted the powerful message of the moment.
As a consequence, the ostensible solidarity of the
government with Hizbullah has led some Israeli commentators to define Lebanon in
total as a terror state, thus a target for Israeli warfare when the time comes.
A country whose historical narrative expressed faith and
peace, tolerance and brotherhood, has been hijacked by a band of jihadists who
are in collusion with a fanatic regime in Iran
and a repressive regime in Damascus.
This is not the noble and inclusive Lebanon in the spirit of Fahr
al-Din II, Khalil Jibran and Patriarch Arida, of Sa’id Aql and Abu Arz. It has
become a transformed mongrelized entity, a foreign offshoot from other places.
Removing Hizbullah from the military playground would enable
to assert its national independence and walk the path of peace. No less than this
paramount political endeavor is the struggle for Lebanon’s soul at the core of the ongoing
and nerve-wracking drama. Adept at abducting and holding Israeli hostages,
Hizbullah has been with impunity holding Lebanon hostage in a crippled and
mournful condition for too long.