Thursday, December 07, 2006

Nasrallah's Speech. People have asked me--and my sister pushed me--to write something on Nasrallah's speech. I did not watch the whole thing. I am on the road, so I watched the news excerpts on New TV. I then read the full text. I was surprised. Hizbullah has decided to get firm and decisive with their enemies--their electoral allies. They put those same people (Hariri and Jumblat) in the majority. Yes, there are problems. Nasrallah made it very clear that he considers Sanyurah and Jumblat and company allies of the Israeli war--which of course is true--and yet he is still willing to form a cabinet with them. I do believe that the opposition in Lebanon should focus on Sanyurah and the other symbols of March 14th Movement. But the demands of the opposition are very limited: nothing is being said about one of the most dangerous element of the government's policies, namely the horrific economic program that is to the right of Pinochet's "liberalization campaign." Nothing on that, but Hizbullah has ignored the issues of social justice since the advent of Rafic Hariri0-or since his installation by Syrian mukhabarat. Nasrallah was skillful--very skillful--in handling the issue of sectarian incitement. There is no question that the Hariri camp is blatantly engaged in sectarian agitations in manners and ways that are unprecedented in the contemporary history of Lebanon. They have nothing else. I mean, do you know anybody in Lebanon who genuinely likes or admires Fu'ad Sanyurah--except Samir Khalaf, but who cares about Samir Khalaf really--the one who thinks that he can't be anti-Shi`ite because his family kept a Shi`ite maid, as he once had told me. What Sanyurah lacks in popular support he compensates with sectarian incitement. The opposition's demonstrations are quite successful and very well choreographed. Theatrically: they are much better than the March 14th Movement in my opinion. It is astounding--or not astounding really--how the protests are so ignored in the Western press. Where is the Nation magazine which now only covers demonstrations that are staged and managed by Staachi and Staachi. Also, the Nation liked "glamorous" leaders of the March 14th Movement. Bearded men and veiled women (of course there tens of thousands who are not) in those protests turn off many a Western journalist. The plan of the opposition seems sets in stone; and the ruling group appears most nervous. Sanyurah is getting more vulgar by the day. And the Zarqawi follower in Lebanon, the Mufti of `Akkar, is now the key champion of Fu'ad Sanyurah. It is also very clear that the Hariri camp tried in the first days of the protests to drag the opposition into sectarian warfare. The opposition skillfully avoided that; it was determined to not do that. The alliance between `Awn and Hizbullah saved Lebanon from extra sectarian conflicts and tensions, and the alliance lasted longer than most people's expectations. It was interesting and good that Nasrallah did not mention Iran and Syria and even said that he opposes "wisayah" (guardianship, the term used to refer to Syrian domination of Lebanon) even with "friends and "brothers"--a reference that usually refers to Syria. The oppostion also succeeded in adhering to peaceful protests--the March 14th Movement was violent: it entailed wholesale attacks on poor Syrian workers all over Lebanon. And every assassination in Lebanon was followed by murder and attacks on Syrian workers. Nasrallah at one point--when he talked about those who urged the US to prod Israeli to attack Hizbullah--was referring to Jumblat and Marwan Hamada although he named neither. But while the opposition is attracting tens of thousands of Christians, the sectarian cast of the conflict in Lebanon can't be denied. The overwhelming majority of Sunnis are following the Hariri camp, just as the overwhelming majority of Shi`ites are supporting Hizbullah (and to a lesser degree Amal). It was good that Nasrallah finally spoke about the Hariri militia (named the Internal Security Forces). This is well-known to the Lebanese people. And the March 14th now know that they can't count on more than rhetoric from the US government. And what can their ally Saudi Arabia do to help them out? And I wish that Al-Akhbar stop this annoying habit of daily (approving) citations of the Saudi ambassador in Lebanon. From the standpoint of political rhetoric, this was a strong speech that was well presented and delivered. He looked angrier than usual, but that may have please the crowd which has been restraining its urges for revenge after the murder of an unarmed demonstrator at the hands of Bush's allies in Lebanon. I read that King `Abdullah of Jordan expressed support for Sanyurah: a man who has no support at home, wants to distribute support abroad. How ironic is that? Who will that fool, except the columnists of the Washington Post who got really excited over the Cedar Revolution. I don't have to time to look up the words of Friedman, Ignatius, and others. And yesterday, Jumblat attended yet again a conference of the European socialists. I mean, I never EVER had regard for European socialists (for revolutionary socialists, sometimes) but how telling. The French socialists were hailing a sectarian warlord who is in power simply because he was born to a medieval landowning family leadership. The French socialists were hailing a man who is urging the Lebanese to allow the World Bank and IMF to take over the Lebanese economy. The Hariri camp is digging for a civil war, let us hope that the opposition continues to thwart that dangerous design.