[FB] | Why Hezbollah, one of the few resistance movements out there?

To my brother: You might not have known me at the time but I used to support Hezbollah and thought of them as the best force in Arab politics, I actually even supported them in 2008 clashes with Hariri’s Future movement in Lebanon. In fact when they took over Beirut in those clashes in 2008 I read the (disapproving) newspaper with jubilation, for I actually supported them… In fact when I was at school during this time I remember supporting them whilst at the same time criticising Assad as a sell-out in a heated conversation with a Syrian friend in a Physics class. So I did not think they are the same and drew distinctions between them, the problem is that they didn’t…

Hezbollah’s fault, like Erdogan, like all those rare middle Eastern actors who managed to emerge from the rotten subordinate mould around them and be different (and were loved for it), is that they became arrogant, and this arrogance blinded them.

A few weeks ago during a Q&A of a pro-Palestine talk, a person raised his hand up and asked ‘how do you see Hezbollah’s role now in helping Palestine’. I smirked. They haven’t been helping them too well in Yarmouk, that place everybody loves to forget. That place where the government siege of the population is blamed on the ‘rebels taking over the camp’, immune to the irony of blaming a food blockade of a civilian population trapped in a small piece of territory on the ‘terrorists’ within. At a later time I approached this person, and told him that I was no fan of Hezbollah. But why? Because what they did and are doing in Syria. ‘Ok, you might disagree with them on Syria (as if this was simply a matter of fashion taste, or as if the issues were two completely separate mathematical realms) but look at their amazing record against Israel here and here etc. – why this harshness?’ As if I am supposed to divorce my dislike of them supporting an oppressor for their opposition to another oppressor. Why do you attack them? Is it perhaps an inherent sectarianism? (an inherent “anti-Semitism” so to speak?)

To my brother: You might not have known me at the time but I used to support Hezbollah and thought of them as the best force in Arab politics, I actually even supported them in 2008 clashes with Hariri’s Future movement in Lebanon. In fact when they took over Beirut in those clashes in 2008 I read the (disapproving) newspaper with jubilation, for I actually supported them and asked my dad why he wasn’t as enthusiastic as me (although he’s not sectarian I assume that like the majority of of our Sunni-dominated society we lived in he had more Sunni-Shia reservations, although that’s just an assumption since I didn’t ask him). In fact when I was at school during this time I remember supporting them whilst at the same time criticising Assad as a sell-out in a heated conversation with a Syrian friend in a Physics class. So I did not think they are the same and drew distinctions between them, the problem is that they didn’t.

Funnily enough, as far as being anti-Israel ‘resistance’ goes even now I still do think that they are ‘genuine’ (as in they believe in their cause against Israel and do not use it as rhetoric), even now – although it doesn’t really mean much when you oppose Israeli oppression and then support another oppressor, coincidentally one who is also oppressing and starving Palestinians like Israel. But while I do still think (to my admittedly not up-to-date knowledge) that they are still ‘resistance’ (unlike Assad, whose sovereignty routinely gets violated by Israel and who has been ‘reserving the right to respond’ for an odd 40 years – it went back in the family, or even Iran, who seem to be moving away from that direction), this state of affairs may very well not last for long, and they may very well be blunted in time. For the problem is that when you’re involved in dodgy business, you might deny it but you know it deep down in your heart that something’s not right, and this starts a process where you inevitably start to get tainted and lose your identity. Hezbollah’s purpose was not this. They blurred the lines between them and Assad, stupidly, even though they know better than anyone (due to their close proximity and knowledge of the real political shit that happens behind closed doors) that Assad was no anti-Israel hero as they had to later claim. (While they might have thanked Syria for acting as a transit from Iran in public, I am almost certain that behind closed doors they would probably have been ashamed of his record.)

So why else would they intervene on his behalf? I too thought they were beyond being sectarian, so you think I wasn’t surprised, horribly surprised when they started backing him? It was a betrayal. Loads of people could say ‘ha told you so’ and be justified in their ‘the Shia hate us and have grandoise plans to take us over and subjugate us’ (that fear that Arab governments liked to serve to their populaces so much to distract them from other issues), and for us being naive for liking them, for saying that sectarianism is a silly yet such an efficient tool to divide us and not something that is innate in our natures. This is on a tiny, low-level personal scale, so how do you think it is is actually on the ground? And this is how extremists rose in Syria, simple as.

So re accusations of sectarinaism, no, what pains me is that they lost their way completely and kill those who they should be on the same side with, and support an evil of such proportions that I even struggle to believe that they could knowingly do (i.e. the full extent of the regime’s crimes). But there’s no way that they don’t. Nothing would have made me happier than them supporting the Syrian rebellion for they could’ve truly set a new path for Sunni-Shia reconciliation, and proved the anti-Shia paranoia wrong. And although that perhaps was a big ask, that’s why it would’ve just been good (and realistic) for them to stay neutral. Hezbollah’s fault, like Erdogan, like all those rare middle Eastern actors who managed to emerge from the rotten subordinate mould around them and be different (and were loved for it), is that they became arrogant, and this arrogance blinded them.

Dissociate yourselves from these pigs, if you have any honour left..

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