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July 25, 2006
Nasrallah in heap big trouble with Lebanese
A fascinating Lebanese TV interview is reported by MEMRI featuring Hassan Nasrallah, head mafioso of the Party of God. Nasrallah managed to flee the destruction of his thirteen—story underground headquarters in Lebanon ——— only to land in heap big trouble with the Lebanese, who seem to resent having half their country destroyed.
Yes, they might hate Israel, but most Lebanese know well enough that peace with Israel would be easy as pie ——— if the Syrians and Iranians let it happen. Jordan, Egypt, and more distant countries like Morocco have had a stable peace with Israel for decades. But Lebanon never controlled Nasrallah and the Hezbollah gang, who could not care less about Lebanon's welfare.
Nasrallah's basic answer is: Who knew? We've been dumping Katyusha rockets on the Galilee for years, and kidnapping a few Israeli soldiers here and there. It's not our fault they finally took after us!
In his way of thinking the Lebanese government is responsible.
So Nasrallah was caught with his pants down by Israel's response. The IDF therefore succeeded in creating tactical surprise. (Strategic surprise was impossible: Hezbollah had six years to dig deep into the Lebanese hills, to plant mines and IEDs, plan and practice ambushes, and even put multiple rocket launchers into civilian houses).
But now the Lebanese are (accurately) blaming Nasrallah and his sponsors, Syria and Iran. If Hezbollah had not given the Israelis a casus belli, hundreds of thousands of Lebanese would be at home enjoying their summer. The economically vital tourist industry would still be going strong. Lebanon would not have suffered civilian casualties. Lebanese Maronite Christians have no love for Hezbollah, and the Sunnis have nine centuries of warfare with Shiites like Nasrallah. In the 1980s Lebanon suffered an Israeli invasion to beat back the PLO, and now they have to face another attack because of the Iran—Syria—Hezbollah axis. They are not happy.
Nasrallah gave his Lebanese audiences two defenses. On the one hand, the Lebanese government negotiated a "dialogue" with Hezbollah. He told the Siniora goverment,
Nasrallah's other defense is: I lied.
The Lebanese are not without fault. They hoped to buy off Hezbollah by including them in their governing coalition. They "dialogued" with the terrorists and basically told them that just a little terrorism against the Jews would be OK.
And then they found out that Hezbollah did whatever it wanted to do anyway.
Or as Nasrallah sees it:
And there you have the bottom line. Ninety percent of the Lebanese people might want to live in peace in their beautiful country. But Nasrallah and his ilk know what is best for them. And now Lebanon is suffering along with Israel.
James Lewis 7 25 06