""Hebzollah still has the means of power, which is weapons, money and the support of the Lebanese government," said Ali al-Amin, a former top cleric in the southern city of Tyre who said he was expelled from his office by Hezbollah agents in 2008. "Politically, they are on the ropes," analyst Matthew Levitt of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy said of Hezbollah. "You see a willingness to challenge Hezbollah that you have never seen before." "It's a mafia state," Nadim Koteich, a prominent March 14 activist and TV talk show host, said of Hezbollah's domination of Lebanon."
1) Ali Al-Amin was in fact a cleric for Hizbullah. He issued fatwas in the 1980s during the worst phase of the party's history to justify on religious grounds kidnappings, executions, and various acts of thuggery. Al-Amin was indeed a Mufti for the city of Tyre but he in fact was kicked out of his office not by Hizbullah but by men from my home city from the Amal movement. It was quite a brief affair and was predictable. He was so hated not so much for his views but because he was on the payroll of Hariri and Saudi embassy in Lebanon at a time when both are hated by the Lebanese Shi`ite community. Prior to his expulsion, he was boycotted in the region and was not allow to attend any funeral or wedding. In fact, I took it as a democratic sign because in the Shi`ite community (outside of the lousy Khumayni republic in Iran) the clerics are chosen by the people and without intervention by the state.
2) Levitt is a known propagandist for the Zionist shop, WINEP.
3) Koteich is a TV presenter for--you guessed it--Hariri TV. Koteich has been savagely lampooned as of late not only because he is unfunny and is trying to mimic Jon Stewart in his Daily Show but also because he yelled to a crowd to storm a government building.
So this should give you an idea about the quality of Western reporting on Hizbullah and the rest of the Middle East. (thanks Basim)