Amir Taheri has been reading what the Arab press says in Arabic about the war in Lebanon. He finds no unanimity on the subject of who won.
One Tunisian writer has compared Nasrallah with the Mexican bandit—cum—folk hero Pancho Villa who also defied the United States and managed to get away with it for some time. Pancho Villa, he tells us, achieved nothing worthwhile but managed to make Mexicans feel good about themselves for a while. [snip]
Finally, there is good news thanks to a fourth trend that can be spotted in the writings of a dozen or so Arab journalists and, more convincingly, in letters written to the editor in Arab, and in some cases, Iranian newspapers. Here, there is little sympathy for Hizbullah, which is regarded as a band of adventurers controlled by Iran. One Iraqi writer described Hizbullah as "a virus that is threatening the life of the Lebanese nation." A Saudi columnist sees the war triggered by Hizbullah as "a catastrophe" for Lebanon and Arabs in general.
A letter—to—the editor published in the Iranian daily Aftab—Yazd criticizes Teheran's support for Hizbullah as "a misguided endorsement of a group that prevents Lebanon from building a modern society."
There is no doubt that, with help from the Western media, Hizbullah has won the information battle in Europe and North America. In the Arab world, however, the Party of God is not enjoying the same free ride as it has in the West. Many Arabs appear to have decided to break with the herd mentality. And that may well be the only good news to come out of the latest war.
Jack Kemp (not the politician) 8 21 06