Powered by WebAds

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Inside the Mind of Hezbollah

Sunday morning's Washington Post has a lengthy article about Hezbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah, based upon an interview that WaPo reporter Robin Wright did with him in April. Most of the interview is puff, but there are some interesting tidbits in there, which make it much harder to argue that Hezbullah is not Lebanon and that Lebanon is not Hezbullah. Here are the pieces of the article that led me to that conclusion:
"We have ministers, we have members of parliament, we have municipal council members, leaders of unions and syndicates," he boasted as we sat on faux French brocade furniture at his now-bombed headquarters. "If we are maintaining our arms until now, this is due to the fact that the need for it is still there, due to the permanent or constant Israeli threats against Lebanon. Whether we keep on with the resistance or stop the resistance, we are effectively now a full-fledged political party."


Hezbollah has become an enterprise in the dahiya, often outperforming the state. It runs a major hospital as well as schools, discount pharmacies, groceries and an orphanage. It runs a garbage service and a reconstruction program for homes damaged during Israel's invasion in 1982. It supports families of the young men it sent off to their deaths. Altogether, it benefits an estimated 250,000 Lebanese and is the country's second-largest employer.


Today, Hezbollah holds 14 seats in parliament, one of the larger blocs, and in 2005 joined the government for the first time. This year, Nasrallah even made an unlikely alliance with a right-wing Christian who was once a Lebanese army general -- while still accepting what U.S. intelligence has pegged at about $100 million annually from Iran in goods, cash and arms, including an estimated 13,000 rockets and missiles.
The Lebanese are now paying the price for coddling Hezbullah. Let's hope they learn the lesson. You would have thought they would have learned their lesson from having Fatahland in their midst in the late 70's and early 80's....


Post a Comment

<< Home