HASAN NASRALLAH: A LEADER OR A WHEELER DEALER?
By Pierre Maroun


Leader of the radical Shiite group Hezbollah’s Secretary General, Hasan Nasrallah, is a very controversial yet liked personality
in the Muslim and Arab worlds. Since the withdrawal of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) from southern Lebanon in May 2000,
he emerged as a strong and wise leader after claiming victory over the IDF. However, this image has been changing lately due
to his divisive speeches and the misconduct of his party’s militia inside Lebanon. One his latest speeches took place on
September 16, 08, during an Iftar held by the Islamic Resistance Support Association. While Nasrallah was supposed to
announce his views and ideas regarding local, regional, and international issues, the main theme or goal of his speech was
to send hints and warnings regarding the National Dialogue. He did not limit his message to the majority in the Lebanese
Parliament (March 14 group), but he rather extended it to the Lebanese President Michael Suleiman who called for the said
dialogue, which is going to be under his patronage.

The first blunder in his speech occurred when Nasrallah stated that Hezbollah respects “every person present in the
dialogue” claiming that he was very “serious about it.”  However, he added, “We call for and we insist on increasing the
number of participants in the dialogue” claiming that “ethics and national values” compel him to demand the participation
of those who support the Resistance. Knowing Nasrallah, it seems that he is not only very serious about the National
Dialogue, but he is rather very worried, too. Therefore, his demand to expand the participation to include other pro Syrio-
Iranian puppets is a mere attempt to torpedo the Dialogue before it starts. It doesn’t take a genius to know that adding more
individuals to any debate will only make it harder for participants to debate an idea, but more so to reach an agreement.  
Furthermore, Nasrallah wants to include more of his allies (lackeys) in order to have a greater chance to obstruct the dialogue
and to undermine its success without appearing to be the main and only complainer or individual behind its sabotage while
facing the demands of the March 14 group whose leaders are adamant to end the de facto state of Hezbollah within the de
jure state of Lebanon. This means that Hezbollah’s weapons and the deployment of its long range missiles all over Lebanon,
north of the Litani River, will be scrutinized by the majority since the Defense Strategy is the first item on their agenda as well
as on the agenda of President Suleiman.

Moreover, still on the national level, Nasrallah’s second faux pas came after claiming “victory” for the insurgency his militia
conducted in West Beirut and south Mount Lebanon on May 7-8, 08. Nasrallah seems to be another individual who is
obsessed with imaginary victories, which only he can feel and recognize.  After celebrating victory of the July 2006 war with
Israel, which pushed Hezbollah North of the Litani River and which resulted in destroying most of southern Lebanon villages
and the main bridges connecting the country, Nasrallah has new victory. He claimed in the mentioned Iftar that the operation
conducted on May 7 against Beirut was another victory affirming, strangely, that it was a “necessity to save the country.” He
did not elaborate, however, as to how did such barbaric act against Lebanese civilians has saved the country nor did he
mention from whom. Nevertheless, following his “absurd” and vague statement, Nasrallah had the nerve to ask the people of
Lebanon to support the “resistance” of Hezbollah. In other words, he simply asked the people he kidnapped, humiliated,
tortured, and in some cases killed their loved ones to support the militia, which committed such atrocities. He either must
think very highly of Beiruties and their ability to forgive without apologizing or even giving them an explanation for his militia’
s vicious attack on them and their neighborhoods, or he may believe that they are too cowards to refuse his demand. Or
maybe he thinks that all Lebanese will sacrifice their children for the “sake of his feet” as one Shiite mother referred to the
death of her own son during the 2006 war. (Feeda Ijrou Sayed Hasan.)

In addition, Nasrallah called in his speech on the Lebanese people, and government, to trust and support his “resistance”
movement even after breaking his earlier proclamation that the “weapons of Hezbollah will never be used inside Lebanon,”
turned out to be his greatest lie. Furthermore, in his attempt to gain the sympathy of Lebanese people, Nasrallah tried to
portray his pro-Iranian militia as a friendly one by referring to it as a “made in Lebanon” resistance. Notwithstanding, his
“made in Lebanon” statement comes only days after his true announcement that he was a “proud soldier in the Welayet el
Faqih” of Iran. The blood of the innocent Lebanese he killed on May 7-8 has not dried, yet, Nasrallah is asking for their
unconditional trust and support. These conflicting statements reveal one of two things. It is either Nasrallah believes that
the memory of the Lebanese people is too short or that they are mentally challenged, and therefore, they cannot comprehend
what he and his militia have done to them in the name or resistance, or his underground hiding and lack of sun rays has
taken its toll on his state of mind for he has been coming across as an irrational and incoherent weasel instead of a wise
and truthful leader.

On the regional level, Nasrallah still insists that he has achieved a “victory” over Israel in the July war of 2006. What is more
disturbing and worrying is that he truly believes that “Israel fell down, as a result of this “victory.” This is worrying since
despite the daily threats issued by the Israeli officials against Lebanon, Nasrallah believes that Israel is “not able to wage
war” against Lebanon or Hezbollah. What’s is more disturbing is that Nasrallah’s statement includes quotes from the Israeli
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert telling his cabinet that “the balance [of power] in the region is now destabilized,” calling for a
peace “settlement with the Palestinians.” Does Nasrallah truly believe that Israel is going to throw its hands up in the air
and surrender because the balance of power is upset?  No; Mr. Nasrallah. During similar cases in the past, Israel did not
surrender, but it rather went to war against its enemies to regain its upper hand in the region. This is by no means to be
viewed as a support to Israel, but it is rather to warn against another miscalculation by Nasrallah and a call to be more
rational and realist when dealing with war and peace decisions for we fear that another of his blunders may destroy Lebanon
and devastate its people who have not recovered from Nasrallah’s last miscalculated war in 2006. Besides, what if Israel
launches another war against Lebanon; will Nasrallah rebuild the country’s infrastructure and revive the innocent martyrs? Or
will he just claim another “victory,” and excuse himself by stating, “I didn’t know” any better, again? There has to be a higher
degree of rationality, responsibility, and accountability or similar deadly mistakes will reoccur. It is the responsibility of the
Lebanese government to take back the decision of peace and war.

Nasrallah’s hypocrisy reaches its climax when he praises himself and his jihadists by referring to an “important” Israeli
website, which posted that an “American military source,” with no name or rank, “Confirmed that the Georgian army should be
rebuilt on Hezbollah’s model, because Hezbollah had demonstrated how a small army can win against huge military forces.
His statement clearly reveals that Nasrallah believes that the Americans are convinced of Hezbollah’s powers, which may be
true. However, Nasrallah fails to realize that suggesting a Georgian Army built on Hezbollah’s model by such official does not
mean that the US admires Hezbollah, which is on the State Department list of terrorist groups. Instead, Nasrallah must know
by now that the US blows out a balloon before it blows it up.

Hasan Nasrallah did not become a controversial figure overnight and without legitimate reasons. The Lebanese people in
general and the March 14 audience in particular have been disappointed, disturbed, and suspicious of Nasrallah and of
Hezbollah misconducts. The most significant of such misconducts started with Nasrallah’s uncalculated war with Israel in
2006, which was followed by his attempt to paralyze the government of Prime Minister Fouad Saniora when Hezbollah and
AMAL’s ministers resigned from the cabinet, and which was accompany by a year-long sit-in in downtown Beirut, which in turn
paralyzed the capital’s economy. Last but not least, his war on the predominately Sunni neighborhoods of West Beirut and
the Southern portion of Mount Lebanon, mainly the Druze areas was the hair that broke the Mule’s back.

These transgressions, along with an already growing suspicion of Hezbollah’s role in relation to the assassinations and
bombings, which targeted their leaders and their neighborhoods, left no doubts in the minds of most Lebanese that
Hezbollah and its leader are playing into the hands of Syria and Iran at the expense of the Lebanese state and people.  
Therefore, many spectators wonder: If Nasrallah prides himself on having the best intelligence network, which he claims
have penetrated the Israeli Defense Forces and through which he knows what occurs in the halls of the White House and in
other world capitals, why can’t he figure out, for once, who has been assassinating their leaders and officials within Lebanon
and sometimes near Hezbollah’s strongholds?  Why this internationally recognized “power,” which the Americans want to use
as a model to build other armies, couldn’t for once stop one bombing of their neighborhoods? If Nasrallah receives reliable
intelligence from important source, based on which he decide who’s a “traitor” and who’s an ally in Lebanon, why can’t he at
least resolve one crime or arrest one assailants? Well, only Hasan Nasrallah can answer these legitimate questions.

On the regional level, ever since the war of 2006, Nasrallah, the “Arab nationalist,” has been on the offense against most
Arab leaders and states. He never fails to attack the Arab countries, which of course are at odd with Iran and Syria. When
lacking a just premise, he criticizes them on internal issues, which are the concern of their own people, if any. His harsh
criticism to Saudi Arabia has exceeded in terms of harshness and animosity to that of his criticism to Israel and the “greatest
Satan the United states of America.In conclusion, in order to avoid more bloodshed, it will be wise for Nasrallah to merge his
militia into the Lebanese state while his main supporters and lifeline Syria and Iran are still standing, for at the moment he
can negotiate and maybe receive the best deal for such merger. However, he must act fast for time is of the essence due to
the fact that the patience of the International Community with Iran’s nuclear program is running thin due to the lack of
cooperation of the Iranian government with the International Atomic Energy Agency.  Consequently, the war clock against the
Khomeini’s regime in Iran is ticking fast, and in case such a war occurs, it is almost a certainty that Ahamdi Najad’s regime
will face the same devastating ending, which the regimes of Saddam Hussein in Iraq and that of the Taliban in Afghanistan
have suffered before due to their foolish standoff with the world’s community.

What's more, if Nasrallah fails to Lebanize Hezbollah, it will be then true that since the Israeli withdrawal in May 2000, to the
invasion of Beirut and Mount Lebanon in May 2008, Hasan Nasrallah has transformed himself from a leader of a resistance
admired by most to a wheeler dealer trying to sell the people he slaughtered a resistance that Lebanon needs no more. He is
selling them ideas about an enemy that only exists in his mind and in the mind of the radicals for this is their only raison d’
etre. Meanwhile their real objective has been since the creation of Hezbollah in 1982, has been to replace the Lebanese
political system with an Iranian like Welayet el Faqih. This is not a secret for it is mentioned in Hezbollah’s Manifesto. Soon,
however, Nasrallah will realize that this is mission impossible for the Lebanese people know from the blood (their own) on
his hands that he is nothing but a savage Persian wolf in sheep closing waiting for the right moment to devour his prey, which
in this case is the Lebanese people and their way of life.



Pierre A Maroun

September 24, 2008
PERSPECTIVE
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