A source on politics, war, the Middle East, Arabic poetry, and art.
Saturday, January 09, 2016
Iran and Hizbullah are not final in their conflict with the Saudi regime
It is important to bear in mind that Iran and Hizbullah are not principled as they claim to be, or as principled as Western media assume them to be. The ideological orientation of both entities are often exaggerated. Both are typical political actors who are prone to compromise, double-dealing, and deals-under-the-table. Hizbollah's relations with Walid Jumblat is a good example: they express enmity and then they visit and kiss on the cheek. Hizbullah has become in many way a typical Lebanese opportunist political party. Look at this picture: Elias Murr is one of the worst and most corrupt political actors in Lebanon. He has no popular support but Syrian regime intelligence service was bribed by his father, Michel, who was made Minister in successive Lebanese government. Michel urged the Syrian mukhabarat to make Elias minister, and he served in the Emil Lahhud administration before switching side (opportunistically) to the March 14 movement. What he lacked in charisma and intelligence he compensated with loyalty to foreign actors. Wikileaks was most embarrassing to this man: he was cited giving sectarian and political advice to the Israeli enemy while serving as Minister of Defense. What did Hizbullah do? He forgave him and the head of Hizbullah political bloc visited him recently accompanied by the Iranian ambassador. I predicted this week: that it is not unfathomable that Hizbullah MPs will yet again attend the reception at the Saudi embassy in Beirut and will even participate, yet again, in cutting the celebratory cake. And on the relationship with Saudi Arabia, Hizbullah has little independence in that regard: he will follow the tune of the Iranian regime which has always been way too eager to appease the Saudi royal family. This will happen again. Don't bet on an eternal conflict. It has been scientifically proven: Islamists (of the Sunni and Shi`ite variety) are not less pragmatic and opportunist and shifty than...Walid Jumblat himself.
Comic by Terry Furry, reproduced from "Heard the One About the Funny Leftist?" by Cris Thompson, East Bay Express
As'ad AbuKhalil, born March 16, 1960. From Tyre, Lebanon, grew up in Beirut. Received his BA and MA from American University of Beirut in pol sc. Came to US in 1983 and received his PhD in comparative government from Georgetown University. Taught at Tufts University, Georgetown University, George Washington University, Colorado College, and Randolph-Macon Woman's College. Served as a Scholar-in-Residence at Middle East Institute in Washington DC. He served as free-lance Middle East consultant for NBC News and ABC News, an experience that only served to increase his disdain for maintream US media. He is now professor of political science at California State University, Stanislaus. His favorite food is fried eggplants.
Email the Angry Arab at: aabukhalil[at]csustan [dot][edu]
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