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August 29, 2006

Lebanese Turn On Nasrallah

Topics: Middle East News and Perspectives

Last night, Abdul at Freedom's Zone posted on The Big Pharoah's previous predictions that once the eyes of the Lebanese lift away from Israel, at least the non-Shiite among them, they will then turn toward Hezbollah with a more critical eye, and how those voices were begining to be heard. Today, Amil Taheri writing at the New York Sun, apparently agrees:

... What was presented as a "Great Strategic Divine Victory" only a week ago is now beginning to look more like a costly blunder. And the man who is making the revisionist move is the same who made the original victory claim: Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, secretary-general of the Lebanese branch of Hezbollah.

... In a TV interview in Beirut Sunday, Nasrallah admitted second thoughts about the wisdom of capturing the two Israeli soldiers, an incident that triggered the war: "The party leadership never expected a response on such an unprecedented scale and volume [by Israel]," he said. "Had we known that what we did would lead to this, we would certainly not have embarked upon it."

... For a roundabout way of eating humble pie, this was not bad for a man whom Western media have portrayed as the latest Arab folk hero or even (as one U.S. weekly put it) a new Saladin.

Why did Nasrallah decide to change his unqualified claim of victory into an indirect admission of defeat?

.. Hezbollah lost some 500 of its fighters, almost a quarter of its elite fighting force. Their families are now hounding Nasrallah to provide an explanation for "miscalculations" that led to their death.

... Throughout southern Lebanon, once a stronghold of Hezbollah, pictures of the "martyrs" adorn many homes and shops, revealing the fact that many more Hezbollah fighters died than the 110 claimed by Nasrallah. What angers the families of the "martyrs" is that Hezbollah fighters had not been told that the sheik was starting a war to please his masters in Tehran, and that they should prepare for it.

The fighters found out there was a war only after the Israelis started raining fire on southern Lebanon. In fact, no one - apart from the sheik's Iranian contacts and a handful of Hezbollah security officials linked to Tehran and Damascus - knew that Nasrallah was provoking a war.

Continue reading, "Nasrallah's Blunder".

Nasrallah a "new Saladin"? Definately not, more like just another ho-hum Islamic cleric with more ego than common sense, combined with belief in an ideology more appropriate for the Dark Ages than the modern world.

Posted by Richard at August 29, 2006 7:42 AM

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