Thursday, December 01, 2016

Hizbullah and the left

Of course, Hizbullah is not a leftist party.  It never matched its gently developed general rhetoric about social justice with its internal politics.  But this article in Jacobin basically implies: that Hariri (and there is no mention of the Hariri economy or of Hariri control of the economy--Hariri name appears in two passing references here) and everyone else in Lebanon was trying to enact Marxist policies but that only Hizbullah prevented them.  But most importantly: there is no substantiation whatsoever.  Look at this: "The party holds increasing weight in professional associations, and some companies, especially in real estate, tourism, and trade, under Hezbollah’s direct influence have gained power in the Lebanese business community. A new fraction of the bourgeoisie linked to the party through Iranian capital and investments was created, while the rest of the Shi’a fraction of the bourgeoisie, whether in Lebanon or in the diaspora, came increasingly under the umbrella of Hezbollah — or at least close to the party because of its political and financial powers. These characteristics of Hezbollah’s political representation and social base indicate that though the organization continues to draw support from all levels of society, its priorities are increasingly oriented to the highest strata."  And whenever someone in academia speculates about how much Iran funds Hizbullah per year or per hour, I express puzzlement: how can you substantiate that?  Look what he says about that without even a footnote: "Hezbollah’s sources of funding also explains its rather conservative economic program. The Islamic movement’s financial resources are based on support first from Iran (estimates range from $100 to $400 million a year) and then from the Lebanese Shi’a middle class and bourgeoisie, and the alms (zakât) collected by Hezbollah on behalf of Khomeini.".  How on earth does he find that out?  This reminds me when I asked the American author of the Middle East, Sandra Mackey about her assertion in her lousy book, The Saudis, that Saudis keep their clothes on when they have sex.  I asked her: how did you find that out, assuming it is true? She said: everyone knows that.   Also, look at this reference to that day of May 7th: launched armed attacks on pro-March 14 neighborhoods.".  That tells the whole study, does it not? But as far as polemical attacks on Hizbullah go, this is another one.