Tag Archives: Hizbullah

Hizbullah Looks For Lebanon Victory

Western and American political leaders are focused on dealing with the Israel-Palestinian conflict but to the north, it is very likely that Hizbullah will gain a majority in the Lebanon Parliament in the election to be held on June 7. Hassan Nasrallah, the dynamic leader of Hizbullah would not win any popularity contests in western nations, but he is a charismatic leader who is widely admired among Muslims in the Middle East. There are 20 parties competing in the election while Hizbullah will be united behind their candidates. Of course in the topsy turvy world of Lebanon politics, power has to be divided between Christians and Muslims so the outcome is still unclear as to which group will have effective power in governing the nation.

However, Nasrallah supporters are excited about what they view as the coming victory. One supporter, Hussein Alloush, told a reporter: “We are the party of God, God is going to help Nasrallah win.” Funny, I thought God was on the side of George Bush. Does this mean God is a turncoat who is switching sides and abandoning Christianity for some Muslim leader?

Israel President Hints At Action Toward Iran

Israel President Shimon Peres employed aggressive language in discussing the actions of Iran and how their challenge might be met. In an interview with Kot Hai Radio, he said the arrest over the weekend in Egypt of a Hizbullah cell was a blow to Iran which undoubtedly funds that organization. “Ahmadinejad recruits forces against us, but there are also forces against him.” He called for unifying Arab nations which are threatened by terrorism in order to defeat Iran’s aggressive behavior. He want on to note his hope Obama will be successful in being able to negotiate with Iran, but warned that if Iran continued fostering terrorism it might require Israel to undertake military action, “we’ll strike him.”

President Peres is correct in calling for Arab nations to unite with Israel against Iran, but until Israel refuses to accept a Palestinian state and withdraw from the West Bank, there will be no such coalition. Ahmadinejad is not the only obstacle to peace in the Middle East, the president only has to look at the current cabinet of Benjamin Netanyahu.

Islamic Televsion– Is It Evolving?

Less than a fifteen years ago, the concept of “Islamic Television” simply meant a man coming on a few times during the day to recite prayers from the Koran. On Fridays, many mosques would televise a sermon, but the focus on Islamic television was on meeting the religious needs of devoted followers. Today, Islamic television is a multi-billion dollar industry offering channels to satisfy the needs of young children or those interested in love and marriage issues. In 1998k Saudi Arabia’s ART launched the first Islamic satellite channel, Iqraa. Its flagship program was “Talk From The Heart” which featured a well known televangelist, Amr Khaled.

Today, women are on TV and there are series that deal with love and life issues as well as political issues such as the war in Iraq or in Afghanistan. Lebanon’s Al Manar is funded by Hizbullah and only allows women who wear the niqab to appear in a broadcasting role. Its goal is fostering hate toward Israel and furthering the goals of its organization and what it considers to be Islam’s future.

The Islam Channel based in London offers programs which allow those of other religions to present their ideas as well as supporters of Israel. A goal is fostering debate and discussions. Hopefully, the new world of Islamic television can become a force for peace.

UN Chief Urges Dismantling Of Hizbullah

UN Secretary-General Ban ki-moon warned that Lebanon can not be a functioning government until Hizbullah is dismantled. “Hizbullah’s maintenance of separate military assets and infrastructure is a fundamental challenge to the government’s attempts to consolidate the sovereignty and authority of the Lebanese state,” according to Ban. he is concerned that several Palestinian militias continue to operate both inside and outside of refugee camps causing great concern to the government. He warned about the growth of sectarian violence which threatens to lead to further violence.

The governments of Syria and Lebanon on Wednesday signed an historic document which normalizes relations between the two states. Ban welcomed the agreement, but also wanted Syria and Lebanon to address issues like the presence of armed forces within Lebanon that pose a threat to the survival, not merely of the government, but to the very existence of the nation. As long as Hizbullah exists with its own army, there can not be a legitimate government in Lebanon.

Syrian Troops Gather At Lebanon Border

The government of Bashar Assad has consistently supported terrorist activities throughout throughout the Middle East, but it is now concerned about the presence of terrorists within its own territory. Several days after an explosion in Damascus, which most probably was carried out by Islamist fundamentalists who dislike the secular rulers of Syria, the government of Syria discovered a new interest in dealing with extremists. Syrian troops are reported massing on the border of Lebanon, a nation with whom Syria historically has tried to rule, but now has shaken loose of such controls. Two days ago in the Lebanese city of Tripoli, a bus carrying Lebanese troops blew up killing several people.

The Syrian government insists its troops are only at the border to prevent smuggling, but most observers belief their presence is a warning to the government of Lebanon not to attempt any fostering of violence against Syria.

In the confused world of Middle Eastern politics groups shift and switch making it impossible to completely grasp who is with whom. A Syrian ally, Hizbullah is now a prominent part of the Lebanese government, but that in itself may not be sufficient to allay Syrian fears about violence entering their nation from Lebanon.

Joe Biden Stands Up To Israel Lobby!

Vice presidential candidate Joe Biden bluntly told members of the Israel press the United States will support Israel’s right to make its own decisions and any action by Israel should be one made by its leaders without any influence on the part of the United States. “Israel has a right to defend itself and it doesn’t have to ask just as any other free and independent country.” He vowed the United States will “always standby Israel, without telling Israelis what they can and cannot do.” He made clear his view that the pro-Israel lobby, AIPAC “doesn’t speak for the entire Jewish community” and “it doesn’t speak for the state of Israel, no matter what it insists on any occasion.”

It is about time an American political leader has stood up to AIPAC and made clear they have no right to speak for the “Jewish community” of America since American Jews have differing views on the Israel-Palestine conflict. Biden blasted the incompetence of the Bush administration in dealing with the Middle East. Senator Biden argued against a view that in dealing with Iran the situation was either war or peace. He insisted there was plenty of open ground for negotiation.

Senator Biden displayed his grasp of the Middle East by noting how the Bush administration insisted on withdrawal of Syria from Lebanon without taking into account the need to train a Lebanese army to fill the void which resulted in Hizbullah moving into the role of military power in Lebanon.

One can only wonder if Sarah Pallin has any grasp of what Biden discussed with the Israel press.

Hizbuallah Has New Guided Missiles

Many Israel leaders have been arguing over the past several years in favor of policies that present a tough stance regarding Palestinian demands on the assumption time is on their side. Instead of confronting the reality of restoring the West Bank, Prime Minister Olmert and others fight to protect the rights of West Bank settlers whose presence endangers any prospect for peace. Hizbullah has just announced they now possess advanced Iranian supplied missiles capable of hitting deep inside Israel. Hizbullah promises to use those missiles if Israel launches an attack against their positions. The militant group also claims its missiles are equipped with a special mechanism which increases the accuracy of the missiles.

The constant mistake made by Israel leaders is believing time was on their side. It never was and never will be because there are so many more Arabs than Jews in the Middle East. The presence of wealthy Middle Eastern nations ensures militant groups like Hizbullah will be supplied with weapons. To believe, “knocking out” the Hizbullah missiles ends dangers is to live in fantasy.

Rival Lebanese Groups Agree On Compromise

Rival Lebanese leaders reached a compromise agreement today which ended the 18 month stand-off that has virtually paralyzed the nation and nearly brought about a possible resumption of civil war. Parliament will meet on Sunday to elect army chief Michel Suleiman as president of the nation. the agreement between the American backed government and Hizbullah came about after the recent outbreak of violence in which Hizbullah forces readily routed those supporting the government. Under the compromise agreement, Hizbullah will have a virtual veto power regarding decisions to be made by the government.

“Today, we are opening a new page in Lebanon’s history,” said Saad al-Hariri, a Sunni politician who heads the governing coalition. “I know the wounds are deep, but we have no one except each other,” Hariri is regarded as the potential prime minister of the new government. Most Lebanese seek an agreement in which there is no victor and no one defeated.

The compromise marks another defeat for the Bush administration program of no negotiation with Hizbullah. In the end, it was discussions and engaging in dialogue which produced the basis of peace in Lebanon. Hizbullah is part of the process regardless of whether they are liked or not.

Inside Hizbullah In The Streets Of Lebanon

Hanady Salman, writing for Al-Ahram from the streets of Beirut described how policies of the United States, Saudia Arabia, and inept leaders of Lebanonon forced Hizbullah fighters to openly oppose the government. Hizbullah militants went a gainst the wishes of their own leaders in asserting power against government forces. “It did not mater how many times the secretary-general of Hizbullah, Hassan Nasrallah, asserted he did not want an Islamic republic in Lebanon. It did not matter how many times he explained that his party’s sole aim was to have a fair share in the decision making of the country. He repeated his patience had an end vis-a-vis the government’s decision that were alienating both the party and his followers…Finally, they pushed him into the corner.”

For months, Hassan Nasrallah, has been expressing his willingness to dialgoue with Israel even to the point of offering an extended cease fire, but the Bush-Olmert mentality that speaking with the enemy means accepting everything the enemy desires, has blocked efforts at negotiating with Nasrallah.

Salman argues the Lebanese government has been accepting advice and support from outside forces like the United States and Saudi Arabia which have turned Lebanon away from both internal and external negotiations and compromises that might result in stability. Instead, chaos is growing and only Hizbullah may have the power to impose its will upon opponents.

As Salman observes, “And, someone has to convince the U.S. that it cannot keep supporting a group of Lebanese politicians that cannot deliver the way U.S. backed politicians did when the US invaded Iraq. Does the US want another Iraq?”

Hizbullah Seeks To Control Lebanon

Lebanon’s Social Minister Nayla Moawad told the German newspaper, Der Spiegel, that Hizbullah is engaged in a coup to take over the government and establish its ideology in the nation. She insisted the government had given many concessions to Hizbullah but each time they were given one thing they demanded even more. “Hizbullah has been preparing the coup wich took place just now for two years” and has been supported by huge shipments of arms from Iran and Syria. The ostensible reason for the current conflict is over demands by the Lebanese government for Hizbullah to dismantle its extensive military communication network which spans the entire country and is not controlled by the government.

She believes the Lebanese army made a wrong decision when it did not act decisively in recent weeks but has withdrawn from conflict in order to avoid plunging the nation into another civil war. ” I think,” she said, “the Lebanese army is simply overwhelmed.” She admits “as far as Hezbollah is concerned, they can take control of the whole of Lebanon within just a few days if they want to.” They already control west Beirut and are taking over other areas of Lebanon. She argues, “Hezbollah wants to force its ideology on Lebanon. It’s an extremist, theocratic ideology that comes from Iran and that Iran would like to see dominate the whole Arab world.”

Ms. Moawad is furious “the international community hss reacted to this coup with a markedly loud silence. It’s shocking because Lebanon has been taken hostage.” She is both disappointed in Europeans and the Arab League which has stood by and allowed the Shiite group to control Sunnis and Christians.

There is scant doubt Iran and Syria have played important roles in arming Hizbullah and working to undermine the Lebanese government. But, equally sad, is mistakes on the part of Israel which has refused to negotiate with Hamas or seek a genuine compromise with President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority. This refusal to work cooperatively has played a role in allowing Hizbullah to gain power.