the Disillusioned kid: What they've got to say
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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

What they've got to say

The following is a statement released by Al Badil al Chououii al Taharruri (Libertarian Communist Alternative), a Lebanese anarchist group, on the current situation. Dated July 17, matters are, if anything, worse now. I don't normally present these sorts of things verbatim, but I think it is an interesting perspective you're unlikely to encounter elsewhere and if it peeves you that much I figure you can always go elsewhere:
Once again, Lebanon is deeply engaged in a war which nobody can see the end of. On 12th July, the Lebanese Hezbollah, a political and religious Shiite movement, kidnapped two Israeli soldiers behind the South Lebanon border, killing eight Israeli soldiers. Israel did not need more than this in order to put its plan of attack into action, a plan that was prepared much earlier, exactly in the same way as in 1982, when Israel invaded Lebanon using a shabby assassination attempt against the Israel ambassador in London as pretext.

But this time the Isba attack was on an unprecented scale, that nobody had ever seen in Lebanon. It is worse than a Lebanon invasion because it consists of aerial and naval attacks everywhere in Lebanon. And we mean everywhere: the airport, the southern suburban districts of Beirut, a Hezbollah bastion, the main roads that link the towns and regions of the country, the ports, the residential districts, etc. The aim is to totally paralyse the country and spread fear, which cannot be done without killing civilians, 180 so far, eight days after the start of the war. Many signs show that the conflict is not about to end, since the Western countries are contacting the USA to ask the Israelis (!) to allow their citizens to be evacuated, something which did not happen with such haste even during the 1975 civil war...

This attack must be analyzed as part of a wider scenario. In our opinion, it arises in the context of the American plan for a Great Middle East. George W. Bush wants to create a large area that would be favourable to him and which would include Arabic countries and Israel, leading to the end, in one way or another, of conflict in the Near East. Iran and Syria are opposed to this project, which is obviously a good thing. But the bad thing is that Syria and Iran, who support Hezbollah and who fight against the plans of Bush and the Israeli government, are clearly totally reactionary countries, from all aspects.

Furthermore, Hezbollah (the Party of God!!) is a party that, despite all it has done in order to drive Israel from Southern Lebanon and despite the large number of martyrs sent to carry out their religious duty, a one-way ticket to a paradise of honey and houris, has not satisfied Lebanese expectations for many years. The "Party of God", under Iranian control, is clearly and obstinately anti-freedom. It is simple: it is not possible to live in the Hezbollah areas. In the villages where it is preponderant, one is advised to keep the volume of music down and not to play songs suitable for belly dancing. Once a party of resistance and scarifice, the "Party of God" has become unbearable: women are more or less forced to machinations (corruption, Syrian infiltration of all Lebanese institutions, etc.).

That is the way Hezbollah has provoked a strong popular reaction against itself. For several months, Lebanese political leaders have been meeting in Parliament ("Meetings for a national dialogue") in order to find a solution to the country's crucial problems, including Hezbollah arms. Hezollah, in fact, is refusing to give up its weapons to the Lebanese army, effectively forming a State within the State. And in a tremendous show of arrogance, the Hezbollah leader, Hassan Nasrallah, broadcasts his violent, mediaeval threats (calls to chop off heads, arms...) against all those who would try to take their weapons. But it has not done anything against Israel for several years, except for re-stating the Lebanese identity of the Shebaa farms. Hezbollah can be frightening because of its fanatism but also because of the popularity it enjoys in some sectors of Lebanese society, that comes from its promotion of the policy of "martyrs for the nation". But without Syria and Iran (and in particular Iranian financing), there would be no Hezbollah.

Since Syria's humiliating retreat from Lebanon, two large political trends have developed: the 14th March current (the date of the huge demonstration that took place after the assassination of ex-Prime minister Rafik Hariri), and the pro-Syrian 8th March current, which has been joined by the Christian supporters of General Aoun, since he was promised the presidency of the Republic. We believe that the 14th March camp constitutes a relatively "revolutionary" current, in comparison with the 8th March current which comprises corrupt elements under Syrian control and nostalgics of Lebanon's dark past. The behaviour of the Lebanese Communist Party is nothing short of scandalous. Together with a few others, most of whom nostalgic for Arab Nasserism, it makes up a very weak third camp with little or nothing to offer. There has, however, been a split within it (Communist Intifada), which Al-Badil is close to.

Finally, once again, the political position we must take with regard to these events has to be clear, beyond a simple denunciation of the Israeli attacks. We say NO to Hezbollah as a reactionary, religious, pro-Iran party; NO to Bush, Blair and Chirac, who consider these disproportionate attacks (the destruction of Lebanon to obtain the release of some soldiers) as a legitime form of self-defence by Israel; NO to the UN Security Council’s timid and ambiguous behaviour; NO to the Lebanese government which is incapable, weak and contradictory, wasting its time begging for help, counting the casualties and hoping in the international tribunals.

A wide coalition of the new left that has begun to take shape within the 14th March camp, is the only way, in our opinion, to advance the situation. But in the meantime, we must find food and especially medicines for about one million Lebanese people who have been displaced since the beginning of the war. In the meantime, we need forces that can intervene in support of a ceasefire, now indispensable, that can only be obtained with pressure being put on both sets of belligerents, and to whom everyone is now crying: we don’t like you!
(Picked up on the Lenton Anarchist Forum email list.)
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