May 15, 2008

Hezbollah's Delusion and the Shia's Dire Straits

By Tony Badran (cross posted at Across the Bay)

Two excellent items in NOW Lebanon:

One, a superb piece by Michael Young on the repercussions of Hezbollah's mad, and failed, coup attempt on the Lebanese Shi'a. It's really a must read (and you can see echoes in Abu Kais' moving post yesterday).

Two, a sharp editorial on Hezbollah's weapons and its dead-end options within a unitary state. Again, it's worth reading in full.

Posted by Tony Badran at May 15, 2008 5:03 AM
Comments

This "failed coup" meme is making the rounds.

I'm not exactly sure why the need a "coup." They seem to pretty run the place right now, as they recently demonstrated.

Like a wife-beater to his uppity spouse, Hezbollah just has to give the rest of Lebanon the look that says, "Don't force me to hit you."

Posted by: Snippet Author Profile Page at May 15, 2008 8:36 AM

Right, I'm sure that's exactly how they feel in the Shouf, where for three days straight they bludgeoned Hezbollah and prevented them from taking over a single village. And judging from the tone in all the Lebanese media, I'm sure that's precisely the general sentiment...

In case it wasn't clear, that was sarcasm.

Posted by: Tony Badran Author Profile Page at May 15, 2008 8:43 AM

I really hope your perspective on this is validated by history.

The government's attempt to actually, like, be a government, came to a pretty quick and embarassing end, though.

Maybe it's a draw.

Posted by: Snippet Author Profile Page at May 15, 2008 11:03 AM

Right, I'm sure that's exactly how they feel in the Shouf, where for three days straight they bludgeoned Hezbollah and prevented them from taking over a single village.

You say that as though the Shouf determines how the whole thing plays out.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood Author Profile Page at May 15, 2008 11:51 AM

I think it is similar to Summer 2006 when Israel with its might power could not eliminate Hizballah.

Here Hizballah with all its fighters (huge numbers were pushed to the fighting in few hours simulatenously), training, weapons, planning and timing (surprise attack) could not defeat few fighters in Shouf!

According to Hizballah's criteria, the Druze got a divine victory! I think Nassrallah will say, if I knew that will happen, I would not have started it!

Posted by: GK Author Profile Page at May 15, 2008 2:00 PM

this from a boy in Aytat.
Mama said no name, I am 16 from Aitat
My mother said I am not allowed to give you my name. Yes I was in the battle of Aitat. I am 16 years old. Well nothing much to it really. We are a small village, you know, and not a match for Hezbollah army. They can kill us all but not before we destroy most of their army. So we hit them as they approached the center of the village. We were firing at them from the woods above and from the north side. They were trapped and became lost. Trying to find an escape route but couldn’t. We kept firing until it was over. My mother doesn’t like me to mention how many we killed. She said it is nothing to be proud of. She says it is sad because these people also have mothers, sons and wives. I just wish they did not come to our village. This way no one would have died. That is all. As I said, there isn’t much to it really. I hope this war will stop soon so I can go back to school. I want to become an engineer and work in Dubai.

Posted by: AYTATI Author Profile Page at May 15, 2008 2:27 PM

"Hezbollah proved last week that it is the strongest force in Lebanon and could have seized power if it had wanted to, Israel's military intelligence chief said in remarks published Thursday.

"Hezbollah did not intend to take control...If it had wanted to, it could have done it," Major General Amos Yadlin said in an interview with the Haaretz newspaper"

I think I will defer to the judgement of Mr. Yadlin instead of Mr. Young and Badran.

Posted by: Joe Rushty Author Profile Page at May 15, 2008 4:43 PM

To Joe Rushty,

What else do we expect a general of the Israeli army to say, especially given how pathetic his army performed against HA.

Posted by: realist000 Author Profile Page at May 15, 2008 7:13 PM

Right, I'm sure that's exactly how they feel in the Shouf, where for three days straight they bludgeoned Hezbollah and prevented them from taking over a single village. And judging from the tone in all the Lebanese media, I'm sure that's precisely the general sentiment…

In case it wasn't clear, that was sarcasm.

It may have been sarcasm but unfortunately it wasn't reality. The battle for the Chouf, between Jumlbatt's militia on one side and Hizb-e-allah and their Druze saraya on the other side ended in a humiliating defeat for Jumblatt. After skirmishing between Arslan's forces and Jumblat's militia after the death of three pro-hizb-e-allah Druze on the 9th of may , with roughly the same level of causalities.
http://www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportId=78144
Hizb-e-allah reinforcements were sent to the Chouf on Saturday, 11th of may. Latter that day Jumblatt's militia was broken and he surrendered unconditionally.
http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2008/897/re62.htm
At this moment there are only three intact Druze militias in Leb'nan,all allied with Hizb-e-allh, none of which is Jumblatt's PSP. This is reality, harsh, but true nonetheless.

Posted by: Azr@el Author Profile Page at May 16, 2008 1:01 AM

Michael Yon's piece is pretty good. Kudos to you.

Posted by: glasnost Author Profile Page at May 16, 2008 6:00 AM

"I think I will defer to the judgement of Mr. Yadlin instead of Mr. Young and Badran."

No offense, but Israel has proven time and again, over the years, that it does not always get the nuances of Lebanese politics (1982 being a prime example).

To all those saying HA could've taken control of Lebanon if it had wanted to, I submit that no single Lebanese faction (HA included) can ever control the whole of the country. If the 1975-1990 war proved anything it's that. Controlling friendly areas (read heavy Shia populations) is one thing, but invading, and what's harder: MAINTAINING CONTROL over large areas of unfriendly populations (Druze, Christian and Sunni areas) is another thing altogether.

Posted by: Bad Vilbel Author Profile Page at May 16, 2008 11:39 AM

To Azr@el

Referring to Wahab's 100+ group as a 'Druze militia' is far fetched. Even Arslan's men broke rank with HA in Chouiefat and fought along side Jumblatt's men.

Even Tripoli's Karami threatened of breaking away from the so-called opposition and HA to defend his Sunni people. I am certain this would've been the case if the fighting spread to the Christian communities as well, leaving the Iranian-controlled HA and the Syrian-controlled SSNP exposed for what they really are - attempting a blunt takeover of Lebanon by Iran and Syria.

And no, not a single Druze village fell to HA, so stop wasting your time spreading HA disinformation. HA suffered a humiliating defeat in the Chouf, to apply your sayad's words it should be considered a "divine victory" for the Druze, don't you think ;)

Posted by: realist000 Author Profile Page at May 16, 2008 12:56 PM

Another piece written too soon. Hizb'Allah is now part of the Lebanese government, has a veto in governmental affairs and has an agreement from the Sunni led government to redrawn electoral maps which will be in favour of the largest community in Lebanon, the Shi'ites.

I guess if you are a believer in the conspiracy theories that are floating around you'll believe anything.

Posted by: Marc Author Profile Page at May 21, 2008 8:59 AM
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