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“Hezbollah Model” in Lebanon, Iraq

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    From Lebanon to Iraq and Back Leon Hadar, Antiwar.com March 5, 2005 www.antiwar.com/orig/hadar.php?articleid=5075 For Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon all
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 7, 2005
      From Lebanon to Iraq and Back
      Leon Hadar, Antiwar.com
      March 5, 2005

      For Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon all the current euphoria
      about the rising New Lebanon, marking the start of a revolutionary
      change in the Middle East, must have the feel of déjà vu all over

      After all, when Israeli troops under the order of then Defense
      Minister Sharon invaded Lebanon in 1982 as part of a strategy to
      expel the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) from that country
      and to bring to power the Christian Phalangist militias, led by
      Bashir Gemayel < http://www.lebanese-forces.org/bach/biography.htm
      >, Israeli officials and pundits were predicting that a New Order
      was about to emerge in the Middle East: an alliance between the twin
      pro-Western and democratic states of Israel and Lebanon would lead
      to the weakening of the PLO and Syria and help trigger similar
      changes in the entire Middle East.

      What had happened in Lebanon in the aftermath of the Israeli
      invasion in 1982 would be later advanced by those observers who were
      warning the Bush Administration in 2002 not to invade Iraq.

      The Israelis did defeat the Syrian and Muslim Lebanese troops and
      achieved their goal of evicting Yasser Arafat and his PLO from

      But Lebanon was not transformed into a stable democracy and an ally
      of the West and Israel. Instead, following the assassination of
      Gemayel and the Sabra and Shatila massacre, the country relapsed
      into another bloody civil war that forced the deployment of
      international peacekeeping troops, including American soldiers, and
      eventually to the return of Syrian occupying forces to impose order
      in the country.

      Indeed, the main legacy of the 1982 Israeli invasion – in addition
      to close to 20,000 casualties – was to strengthen the power of the
      Shi'ite Muslims in Lebanon while turning them into long-term enemies
      of Israel and the United States and intensifying anti-American
      sentiments, including terrorism in the region.

      Lebanon demonstrated then – as Iraq would 20 years later – the
      dilemmas faced by an outside power as it tries to ally itself with
      local national, ethnic and religious players in the Middle East.
      These "allies" succeed in drawing in the outsider and in winning its
      military support by pledging to promote its interests and values.

      In reality, the local players, whether they are the Shi'ites and
      Kurds in Iraq, or the Maronites, Druze and Shi'ites in Lebanon
      regard their partnership with a power like the United States as
      nothing more than an ad-hoc arrangement aimed at advancing their
      particularistic interests in relation to other competing players in
      the region.

      They might even be willing to quote Thomas Jefferson in exchange for
      American intervention on their side. But when an outsider like the
      US helps tip the balance in favor of its local partner or if that
      power fails to deliver the goods, the local player exposes its real
      agenda: trying to win one more fight in the neighborhood in which
      the spoils don't necessarily go to the good guys.

      But tomorrow is another day, and in the next brawl our
      current "ally" might exchange one outsider for another. Hence
      Americans shouldn't have been "Shocked! Shocked! Shocked!" to learn
      that while enjoying a huge American stipend, their former ally Ahmad
      Chalabi was also providing tips to the Iranian security services.

      And they certainly shouldn't be surprised if and when the supposedly
      pro-American and democracy loving Shi'ite groups they helped bring
      to power in Baghdad strengthen their links to the Shi'ite regime in
      Tehran and erode the rights of women and Christians in Iraq.

      Indeed, the Americans should recall how the Shi'ites in Southern
      Lebanon, suffering under the domination of the PLO welcomed the
      Israelis with flowers in 1982 only to launch a bloody insurgency
      against them a few months later.

      And it was the "pro-Israeli" and Western-oriented Maronites who
      massacred Palestinian women and children in Sabra and Shatila <
      http://www.indictsharon.net/ > and who urged that the Syrians return
      to Lebanon after the Israelis and the Americans left Beirut.

      And it is the Maronites, together with leaders of the Druze and
      Sunni communities, a coalition of tribal warlords who for years were
      the lackeys of the Assad family in Damascus and have been in control
      of a political system that reflects narrow sectarian interests, who
      have now suddenly reinvented themselves as pro-American democrats.

      Hence one of these warlords, Druze leader Walid Jumblatt <
      http://www.antiwar.com/blog/comments.php?id=P1841_0_1_30 >, the
      leader of the Progressive Socialist Party, who told an Arab
      newspaper last year: "We are all happy when US soldiers are killed
      (in Iraq) week in and week out." And again: "The killing of US
      soldiers in Iraq is legitimate and obligatory." But it seems he has
      undergone a conversion. As he explained to an American reporter
      recently: "When I saw the Iraqi people voting three weeks ago, eight
      million of them, it was the start of a new Arab world."

      What accounts for this quick conversion from a nasty anti-American
      barker into a neocon cheerleader by Jumblatt and the other members
      of the (current) anti-Syrian coalition is their interest in
      exploiting the current weakness of the regime in Damascus to
      overcome another coalition of ethnic and religious groups that is
      now in power in Beirut. Contrary to the spin propagated by
      Washington, this political infighting has nothing to do with pro-
      American sentiments and the struggle for democracy. The new
      governing coalition in Beirut would be ready to ally itself with any
      outside power – if not the American, then the French – to secure
      their interests.

      Moreover, those Americans who are hoping that Lebanon become a full-
      blown democracy should consider the following: although no reliable
      statistics are available, most experts agree that as a result of low-
      birth rates and emigration, the Maronites and the other Christian
      sects have become a dwindling minority of about 20 per cent, while
      among the Muslim majority, the Shi'ites are the rising demographic
      group. Some estimates suggest they constitute about 40 per cent of
      the Lebanese citizens. Sound like Shi'ite-dominated Iran and Iraq
      would soon be joined by a new partner. Thanks America!


      The "Hezbollah Model" in Lebanon and Iraq
      Kurt Nimmo
      March 05, 2005

      If you want to get a handle on the situation in Lebanon, read Gary
      Leupp's interview with Fadi K. Agha <
      http://www.counterpunch.org/leupp03052005.html > , the foreign
      policy advisor to president Emil Lahoud. Agha's take on the
      situation—almost completely at variance with the view presented by
      the corporate media here in the United States—is a short primer on
      Lebanese history, Hezbollah, Strausscon intentions, and Israeli

      As Israel Shahak wrote in the preface of Oded Yinon's "A Strategy
      for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties," <
      s > Israel has a burning desire to fragment "all Arab states into
      smaller units," in other words balkanize the whole of the Arab and
      Muslim Middle East. Israel's second invasion of Lebanon in 1982 was
      but one operation of a larger plan to "see not only Lebanon, but
      Syria and Jordan as well, in fragments… What they want and what they
      are planning for is not an Arab world, but a world of Arab fragments
      that is ready to succumb to Israeli hegemony," a plan shared by the
      Bush Strausscons.

      Oded Yinon writes in his report: "Lebanon's total dissolution into
      five provinces serves as a precedent for the entire Arab world
      including Egypt, Syria, Iraq and the Arabian peninsula and is
      already following that track. The dissolution of Syria and Iraq
      later on into ethnically or religiously unique areas such as in

      Israel's invasion of Lebanon essentially created Hezbollah and
      the "Hezbollah model," for lack of a better term, and this model
      will ultimately stymie the Likudite and Strausscon plan to balkanize
      the Arab and Muslim Middle East. As Agha notes, Hezbollah "lead to
      the first Israeli withdrawal from occupied Arab lands UNDER DURESS.
      This, and the fact that Hezbollah has been emblematic of a `culture
      of resistance' in the Middle East, has never been forgiven." In
      fact, the current Likudite-Strausscon machination—beginning with the
      murder of Rafiq al-Hariri and the fabricated "Cedar revolution" now
      emerging—is aimed at Hezbollah because the defeat of Israel as it
      attempted to implement the plan detailed by Oded Yinon "has never
      been forgiven." The "Hezbollah model," currently underway in Iraq—
      with important differences—has demonstrated that popular resistance
      can defeat the Likudite-Strausscon plan as outlined by Yinon.

      Agha writes:

      Tel Aviv, will not miss an opportunity to blame any calamity that
      befalls it on Syria and Hezballah. The sad part is that Israel
      produces "evidences" that are always "bought" in Washington. Listen,
      Israel remains the only world occupying force who gets away with
      murder. Constantly blaming Syria, Hezbollah … is a sorry attempt by
      Tel Aviv to shift the blame for its unsuccessful policy of "security
      first." Basically, one need not be a wizard to determine that a
      despaired people, a humiliated people a people in CONSTANT MOURNING,
      will go to any length in extracting vengeance from those who
      dislocate , humiliate and murder his brethren.

      And this is where the Likudite-Strausscon plan breaks down:
      humiliated people will always resist invasion and occupation, as
      they did in Vietnam and Algeria, to name but two of the more obvious
      examples. Arabs and Muslims are no longer so easily diverted by
      the "divide and rule" tactics used by colonial powers in the last
      century, as the ongoing struggle against occupation in Iraq
      demonstrates. Bush and Sharon want the Syrian military to leave
      Lebanon and thus usher in a return to the sectarian strife and civil
      war that worked so well in their favor in the not too distant past.
      Israel and the United States hope for a "Cedar revolution"
      government in Lebanon that will disenfranchise and demilitarize
      Hezbollah. However, this will not happen—although the Hezbollah
      political party may eventually be ejected from parliamentary
      politics—the struggle against Israeli aggression will continue and
      the resistance against American occupation of Iraq will increase and
      intensify until the United States suffers the fate the Israelis
      suffered in Lebanon in 2000—total defeat and evacuation with its
      tail tucked between its legs.



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