I am writing this post to let you know about my views on Hezbollah. Especially with the latest developments in Syria.
Hezbollah is officially a partisan of Assad and don’t want to see his government fall, it stands with Assad for a simple reason according to the Party of God : to defend the resistance and Assad’s permission to transfer weapons to Hezbollah from Iran. It has openly declared war in Qusayr last year and stood with the Syrian Arab Arab army, sometimes advising them in the Battle of Qusayr. Qusayr has fallen from the hands of the opposition. And it is somehow the beginning of the counter-attack and gains of Assad over the opposition. Gains that still continue today.
I have personally always stood with Hezbollah stance towards Israel. To fight them when they attack. To respond and not to yield to the oppressor. Back in July 2006, Hezbollah have captured Israeli soldiers in a legitimate operation called ” Operation Truthful Promise ” to get back political prisoners. In this operation, Hezbollah has killed soldiers, not civilians. Yet Israel unleashed an unbalanced reprisal, bombing Lebanon for 33 days, and even applied its “Hannibal Directive”, the latter in a nutshell is the use of force against the captors so that the capture fail, even if it kills the captured soldier. This war destroyed Lebanon infrastructure and destabilize the already fragile balance of the country. I will stand with them against Israel no matter what.
I don’t allow myself to think mechanically, so when Hezbollah for the first time attacked, I was skeptical. “Is this the role of Hezbollah ? To fight one man’s war ?” Or, “What about Israel opens a front in the south ? Will it be able to defend Lebanon ?”
Hezbollah was a bit egocentric in this move. But still, they were clear in their position. Defending the resistance, and if Assad fall, the Resistance would fall and the whole region. “But how ?, maybe the next president in Syria will stand with Hezbollah ?” I asked myself.
At the time of Qusayr Battle, Jabhat al Nusra was boss, not “the Islamic State” group. The FSA lost its legitimacy to govern the next Syria by letting Nusra fighters join them. It was acting undemocratically. But Assad lost that legitimacy way faster.
It is a fact that the bombings against Lebanon civilians, mainly in Dahiyeh and Hermel, started after the Battle of Qusayr. People and Politicians blamed Hezbollah for the bombings. “It is because you joined the Battle of Syria that the terrorists operations are targeting Lebanon” Fine. Let us accept this rhetoric, but must we blame directly Hezbollah for the cowardly response of the terrorists targeting civilians ?
It is true that in the short term, Hezbollah is indirectly responsible, but we tend to forget who Hezbollah was fighting. The main forces in Qusayr were FSA and Jabhat-el Nusra. Jabhat el Nusra want, just like “the Islamic State” the establish a “pure Islamic caliph” in the Middle East. Reminder : Lebanon is part of the Middle East or Levant. Also, the FSA is no angel. It has conducted multiple attacks via Arsal and abducted innocent Lebanese pilgrims in retaliation of Hezbollah operations. Fighting for democracy while abducting people is not very democratic. In the long term, bombs across diminished and missiles hitting the Bekaa disappeared, fact that a lot forget.
I do not endorse in anyway Assad. “Syria’s Assad was the best for Syrians, etc” I hear “them” say, “Hospital and Education were free, their gas prices is very low” etc, yet no one ever mentions the terrible drought in Syria, and when I remind them of this crisis, I ofter heard, “lies, American Propaganda”. Assad must have left. Assad must leave. In the first months of the conflict, FSA and Assad could have arranged a transition. But they didn’t, FSA wanted Assad out before negotiations, and by applying this condition, a peace process never saw the day. Assad and FSA are both responsible of the deaths and massacres in Syria. Assad and FSA are both responsible with the failure of the transition in my point of view.
Hezbollah happened to find an ally in Assad, a dictator. And it even wanted a transition for Syria while safeguarding their weapons route to Lebanon. It understood very fast that the main force at the time in Syria, FSA, was not willing to do so, and decided to ferociously fight FSA and the opposition when they allied with Nusra Front. Nusra front would have installed a state of chaos if it controlled Lebanon borders. Sending bombs against the “apostates”, Shias and Christians. Just like in Iraq.
Hezbollah said multiple times that fighting alongside Assad was for the better of Lebanese. But how could it be better when bombs are happening ? Let’s say that Hezbollah had not intervened in Syria Borders/Qusayr Qalamoun. FSA would have eventually controlled the Lebanon border. A new battle might have started between FSA and Nusra. Former and latter would have stopped the Hezbollah weapons being transferred to Lebanon, and Lebanon would stay the only country that face Israel in the Area. Sadly, the army have not the means to fight an Israeli possible attack against Lebanon to finish Hezbollah. And it won’t have the weapons before the international support (Mainly EU and USA) shifts against Israel.
Hezbollah attack in Syria is not an expansionist one, I believe that it won’t occupy Syrian Lands, but Hezbollah has abandoned its policy : “Let “them” attack first so that we defend the country”. It has also closed their eyes to Assad’s way of dealing with the war, conducting massacres and bombing bakeries. Hezbollah might have not committed war crimes in their battles, but it has joined a war lord. Hezbollah is against Erdogan and the fact that he let terrorists pass into Syria, it closed their eyes, again, about the fact that Assad just had done the same with Iraq, letting terrorist pass into Iraq from 2003 to 2006, killing scores of Shias.
Hezbollah might have done the right thing and suppress the advancements of terrorism. But it solved nothing, just like the American intervention in Iraq or Afghanistan. It kicked the bottom of the bad guys, but look at the Lebanese situation, Terrorism, after two long battles in Qusayr and Qalamoun, is at our door, abducted soldiers and threatens to violently behead them. Racism is growing every week against the Syrian refugees.
I will never be 100% with its intervention or 100% against it. But there are just too much “what if”, what if it didn’t join the war ? Would it be worse in Lebanon or better ? One thing is sure, joining the war in Syria doesn’t make things better for Syria, just like in Iraq and Afghanistan. Hezbollah is slowing terrorism, just like USA is slowing terrorism in Iraq. But it must ask itself, what are the true origins of terrorism and extremism ? How can we fight the the roots of it without weapons and bombs ? The only answer we often get. “Terrorism is present because of the Wahhabi Saudi funds”. That’s the form, not the background.
Hezbollah disappointed me, because allying with a dictator is 1) not a good thing a Muslim group should do. 2) it condemns War crimes from Israel, while ignoring the ones committed by Assad. It has lost a lot of legitimacy.
Maybe Hezbollah should have waited them to fight them here, but again, too much maybe’s
I hope that we will observe a true transition, a peaceful and political, diplomatic one.