Repost from the old site.
Ever since the Lebanon War last summer between Hezbollah and Israel, much nonsense has been written about this organization, much of it from Zionists and US imperialists in the press. It is time for a rational overview.
Lie: Hezbollah is the puppet of Iran and Syria.
Not true! Is Israel the puppet of the US? Well, the US supports Israel, right? Despite the US support, Israel is not the puppet of the US. Israel does what it damned well wants. Well, yes, Hezbollah gets support from Syria and Iran, but they don’t take orders from them anymore than Israel takes orders from America.
In truth, Hezbollah does what it wants. Iran was probably informed before Hezbollah started this war, but that’s about it. And Hezbollah’s autonomy from Syria is well-documented. Syria uses Hezbollah to keep up the pressure on Israel, not because they want to kill all the Jews, like insane Zionists insist, but because they want the Golan Heights back.
Iran supports Hezbollah in order to support Shia power in the region, and because Hezbollah’s leadership supports the Iranian revolution and because Iran hates Israel.
Lie: The Lebanon War was started by Iran to take the heat off its nuclear program.
Not true! It looks like Hezbollah started the war on its own in order to try to win back some Lebanese that Israel has been holding captive for a long time.
But they had no idea that the war would go this way. They thought it would just be a few days of shelling back and forth and then they would get down to some hard bargaining. They were totally taken by surprise by Israel’s response.
Lie: Hezbollah “started the war”.
Well, yes, Hezbollah conducted a cross-border raid, killed and wounded some Israelis, then grabbed some captives and took them back to Lebanon.
But to place all of the responsibility for the resulting war in which Israel destroyed Lebanon is insane. Israel’s wild response was part of a war that they had been planning for over a year, in concert with the US, and the war was conducted by both the US and Israel.
In fact, Ehud Olmert has recently given testimony in Israel that he had been planning this war for months along with the neocons in the Bush Administration. The Israeli military already had advanced plans for this war that they had developed with Ariel Sharon.
The neocons were trying to use the war against Hezbollah as an excuse to attack Syria, but Israel would not take the bait. They wanted to go after Hezbollah’s main backer, Iran. Since Iran could not be hit itself, the second best option was to go after Syria. The apparent purpose was to weaken Iran’s allies Syria and Hezbollah prior to an attack on Iran itself.
This explains why both the US and Israel have been refusing to deal with Syria’s increasingly desperate efforts to negotiate a settlement on the Golan Heights (Syria is even willing to turn the Golan into a “peace park” and give Israelis free access to visit it.
Since this war, logically, Syria has been edgy, and has been building up its forces along the border with Israel. But in the crazy paranoid Israeli mindset, this is seen as Syria preparing for a (in my opinion, an obviously suicidal) war with Israel. Even the distinguished Martin Van Creveld, Israel’s top military historian, has bought into this nonsense.
What will stop the upcoming Syrian war? Let’s ask Van Creveld. Only a US attack on Iran. What will hasten it? A US withdrawal from Iraq and a US refusal to attack Iran. We can see the twisted Israeli thinking. If the US does what Israel wants, the nonexistent war can be prevented. If the US acts against Israel’s wishes in the region, the fake war can be prevented.
Lie: Hezbollah is an insane terrorist group that is dedicated to killing all the Jews.
Jews just love this one, since so many of them are afflicted with a paranoid-masochistic character that just eats this stuff up. It’s not true.
Hezbollah is not opposed to a Jewish state, they just don’t like that Jews stole Palestine, which they did. Lebanon is a Lebanese nationalist organization. They mobilized to fight Israel when Israel annexed South Lebanon. Ten years of guerrilla war won it back for Hezbollah and Lebanon and Hezbollah were the heroes of Lebanese nationalists.
Hezbollah is now fighting to get back the Shebaa Farms, Lebanese land that Israel occupies and refuses to give back to Lebanon on some very phony grounds. They have also made some noises about three or four Lebanese Shia villages that Israel conquered, ethnically cleansed and annexed in the 1948 War.
Many of the people in the South, where many Palestinians live in refugee camps, and people have lived through numerous conflicts with Israel, really hate Israel, and understandably so. So here for an overview of the people’s views of Israel.
Hezbollah has said that if the Palestinians accept Israel for a Palestinian state, Hezbollah will stand by that. Unfortunately, Hezbollah’s leaders have made some lamentable anti-Semitic remarks and it is disgusting that they call one of their missiles “Khaibar” in reference to the Khaibar tribe of Jews who had their men killed and their women enslaved by Mohammad.
Lie: Hezbollah are radical fundamentalist Muslims, like Al Qaeda.
Not so! At the beginning, Hezbollah laid down Islamic Law in south Lebanon but over time they found that it was not going over well, so since 1990 or so, they have lifted most of their restrictions.
At the time, Hezbollah banned alcohol and forced women to wear headcovers. Both of those bans have now been lifted by Nasrallah. However, Hezbollah still arrests homosexuals and turns them over the Lebanese police, since I believe that homosexuality is illegal in Lebanon. They may beat some of them too.
The Shia in particular seem to take a hard line against homosexuality, as the Iranian regime and the Iraq Shia have really persecuted gay men. The Iranians mostly beat them up, harass them and send them to jail for short stays. The Iraqi Shia have also been beating them, but apparently they have also killed quite a few gay men.
The Shia doing this include the Dawa and SCIRI parties that the US supports in Iraq. Hezbollah’s supporters include many liberated females, I saw a video on Youtube of Lebanese women without hijabs driving a car and smoking cigarettes, then doing a belly dance, all the while saying how they supported Hezbollah.
Hezbollah rallies have included quite a few beautiful young women without hijabs, and many have been dressed racily. Josh Landis tells of how during the Lebanese Civil War, when Hezbollah took over a district, they imposed Islamic Law, but it went over so poorly that they soon rescinded most of it.
Lie: Well, at least Iran is a radical fundamentalist state like Al Qaeda.
Nor is Iran. Women have many more rights in Iran than they do in the Gulf. The dress code is loosely adhered to and the religious police no longer bother mixed couples. Fredericks of Hollywood stores dot Tehran.
Middle class and upper middle class young people are engaging in lots of promiscuous sex and not much is being done to stop them. One of Iran’s top race car drivers is a woman. There are many women in Parliament and most or all professions are open to women. Compare to Saudi Arabia where only 5% or so of women are even employed.
Alcohol, marijuana and especially opium are widely consumed at parties and not much is done about that. Prostitution is widespread, especially in the religious city of Qom, where they serve the religious students. There, throngs of young women meet men and go before mullahs to get a temporary marriage in order to have sex.
The temporary marriage is merely a cover for prostitution. There is so much prostitution in Tehran that the religious leadership has suggested having official houses for them, all under the banner of temporary marriage. The religious leadership has also recognized transsexualism and one of the top mullahs is a transsexual.
Temporary marriage is widespread, and a famous Iranian female parliamentarian has had sexual relationships with many men, including top mullahs, under this rubric and has written about it. Also, Iran is much more democratic than most of the Sunni regimes, and this is one of the things that the Sunni regimes fear most about Iran.
Supporters of this theory can always come up with this or that atrocity to demonstrate how Iran is an Al Qaeda-like state, but the truth is more complicated than that.
Lie: Hezbollah has savagely persecuted the Israeli-backed South Lebanese Army.
After Israel’s withdrawal in 2000, most people expected that there would be widespread paybacks for the South Lebanese Army (most of whom were Shia, not Maronites as it is commonly thought.
In fact, after Israel withdrew, Hezbollah issued a directive forbidding any attacks on the South Lebanon Army members, many of whom just went home. Quite a few others defected over to Israel.
That’s pretty amazing, considering that the French Resistance executed 10,000 “traitors” during World War 2. It’s also highly untypical behavior for a “terrorist” group.
Lie: Hezbollah is a terrorist group.
Well, for the most part it is a Lebanese resistance organization, and the vast majority of its attacks are against Israeli military targets.
It’s true that during the war, they fired rockets at Israeli cities and killed some civilians, but many of those attacks were actually aimed at strategic targets like arms factories and military bases that Israel cynically put right in the middle of Arab towns, so that if they enemy attacked, they would kill a lot of Arabs by accident.
On the other hand, Israel killed far more civilians in this war, and somehow avoided the “terrorist” label. Isn’t that kind of unfair?
Lie: Hezbollah and Iran are out to kill or convert all the Sunnis and then attack and kill or convert all the infidels in a world war, after which everyone will be a Shia Muslim.
I could not believe that people actually believed that one, but I heard a number of (mostly) Zionists and US imperialists repeating this bit of Sunni paranoia.
On the Sunni conversion, see here. On the rest of it, forget it. Shia is the nigger of the (Muslim) World. The relationship between Sunni and Shia is similar to that between Whites and Blacks during the Jim Crow South, with the Sunnis being the Whites and Shia being the Blacks.
The notion of Shia takeover is similar to fantasies of poor downtrodden Blacks taking over the South, or America. In Lebanon, the Shia say that the Sunnis used to only let them work as garbage collectors. Shia youngsters were routinely taunted and attacked by Sunni gangs in Beirut in the 1970’s.
Lie: Hezbollah gets Iranian money for schools and hospitals to brainwash Lebanese into supporting the terrorists.
No! The reason they do this is because to this day, the bigoted Lebanese government that the US supports provides almost zero money whatsoever for any kind of development whatsoever in South Lebanon.
This is the reality of Lebanon, and its always been this way. Someone has to do it, the government won’t, so Hezbollah steps in. Good for them!
Lie: Hezbollah is trying to take over Lebanon to make a fundamentalist Islamic state there.
Well, that is their stated intention. In the early days, they may have believed it.
In recent statements, Nasrallah has said that an Islamic state is only possible in Lebanon if the “vast majority”, meaning over 80% or so, or people support it. That is not likely any time in the near future, so the project is all but written off. Hezbollah is reckoning itself to Lebanese reality.
Lie: Lebanese Christians are poor, downtrodden and horribly persecuted by Muslims.
Nonsense. In fact, they have always run the country! This lie is spread by some of the Maronite fascists. In the late 1950’s, Marines landed in Lebanon to help preserve an election that the Christians stole.
The real cause of the Civil War was the Muslims wanting a fairer share of the pie that the Christians had unfairly dominated for far too long. The Christians are being forced to concede some of their excess power in Lebanon (though they still have most of the money and much of the political power) and this is why some of the Maronites are wailing so much about “persecution”.
Lie: The Lebanon War last year was between Israel and a group of terrorists called Hezbollah. Most other Lebanese were not involved or opposed Hezbollah.
As you can see here, Israel was fighting much more than Hezbollah in South Lebanon.
In the Battle of Aita Al Shaab, most of the village fought against Israel, under the leadership of Hezbollah, true, but most fighters were just “local militia” who were not actually Hezbollah fighters. Further, there was quite a bit of fighting from members of the Lebanese Communist Party. The Amal militia fought against Israel too.
Truth is, Israel was essentially fighting a war against the people of South Lebanon. It’s true that a certain amount of that resistance was Hezbollah, but much of it was just local militia fighting for their homes and towns.
In the town of Marjayoun, during the Civil War the headquarters of the pro-Israeli South Lebanon Army, Israel came under attack soon after they entered the town by members of Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP). Most of the members of this party are Greek Orthodox.
In fact, it may be the most popular political party among Lebanese Greek Orthodox. In the Sunni villages, the local Muslim Brotherhood and another fundamentalist group organized an armed resistance.
Furthermore, 80-90% of Lebanese supported Hezbollah during the war, including 80% of Christians. The sickening US media deliberately lied about this, making much of the tiny minority of Lebanese who opposed Hezbollah, acting like they were the majority, and trying to portray the country as “divided”.
Lie: Hezbollah forces salute using “Nazi salutes”, so that means that Hezbollah idolizes and Nazis and wants to kill all the Jews just like Nazis did.
Much is made of this on Zionist and rightwing blogs and even in the mainstream press. See here and here for two examples. For more examples, see here, here and here.
In the last example, written by a militant Jewish Zionist named Lewis Loflin, although the photo on the right is of Hezbollah forces giving a “Nazi salute”, the photo on the right, which he states is of a Hamas fighter giving the Nazi salute, is actually of a PFLP fighter.
You can tell it is a PFLP fighter by the characteristic red headband and the poster and Ahmed Sa’adat, the present leader of the PFLP. Many people say that the PFLP is dead, but it is interesting how a dead organization could afford full uniforms, headbands, posters and automatic weapons.
This blog strongly supports the PFLP, and as leftists, I assure you that the mainstream PFLP does not like Nazis one bit.
The fact is that the “Nazi salutes used by Hezbollah fighters” is propaganda.
This is a type of salute which was originally known as the “Roman salute”. It has a fascinating history, and was widely used by many countries before World War II. Under the name “Bellamy salute” or “flag salute”, it used to be usual salute used when saying the US Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of the United States. A photo of the Bellamy salute is here.
Because of the similarity between the Bellamy salute and the Nazi salute, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt instituted the hand-over-the-heart gesture as the salute to be rendered by civilians during the Pledge of Allegiance and the national anthem in the United States, instead of the Bellamy salute.
The association with Nazism has been so strong that the salute has rarely been used by non-Nazi organizations since the end of World War II. There are several exceptions; one is the Republic of China (Taiwan), where the salute is still used during the swearing of oaths in inaugurations.
The salute is also still used by some Palestinian militant groups. It is also known to be used by the Tamil separatist organization, the LTTE, while saluting their leader Velupillai Prabhakaran.
Lie: Hezbollah does not support Israel’s right to exist and therefore they want to wipe it off and map and kill all 5.1 million Jews there in the process.
Embedded in this clever argument is the notion that any nation or regime has any kind of inherent right to exist.
Did colonies and empires and occupied territories have a right to exist too? The very notion that any nation-state on Earth has some kind of a rock-solid “right” to exist is strange and counter-intuitive.
Sure, humans have a right to get together and make nations out of mapped out geographical parcels, but why does that mean that that nation has some kind of a laid in tone specific right to exist?
The fact is that throughout history, nations, empires and colonies have come and gone. The ones that no longer exist had no greater or lesser right to exist than any existing state does.
Meanwhile, the US has initiated a very controversial plan to counter Shia influence in the region. The plan is being coordinated with Saudi Arabia, specifically Prince Bandar, who has a longstanding relationship with US Administrations, and possibly the Jordanian government, especially Jordanian intelligence.
They are working to arm and build up the pro-US Siniora government and stoke sectarianism in Lebanon.
Part of this plan, outrageously, has involved money given by the US, via the Siniora regime, to three Sunni Salafist groups who are pro-Al Qaeda. These groups are being armed in order to fight Hezbollah (since they loathe Shiites). If push comes to shove between Hezbollah and the Lebanese government, these groups will be used to battle it out with Hezbollah.
Outrageously, the US is once again funding Al Qaeda, which shows that imperialism truly has no morals at all. See The Seymour Hersch’s The Redirection in the latest New Yorker magazine (video here).
The Saudis are racists who hate the Shia and want to keep them down. In fact, most of the Sunni Arab regimes are like this. They all look to the Ottoman Empire when the Sunnis ruled the roost and the Shia were kept down by force. This is the Sunni Jim Crow era that they long for.
It is outrageous that the US is supporting Sunni Jim Crow racism against the downtrodden Shia and it is particularly despicable that the Israeli Jews, considering the history of the Jews, are supporting the oppressor against the oppressed. Or maybe that is what Israel is all about?