“Lebanon Throng Hails Hezbollah Chief, Who Calls Militia Stronger”

23lebanon6001 "Ahmed Hussein, 78, made the trip to Beirut from his southern village of Kafr Kila. He said his house and most of his neighbors’ homes were destroyed, but that Hezbollah gave them tents and water tanks to help them get by. “All of us whose houses were destroyed we came here for Nasrallah, to tell him what we lost is nothing,” Mr. Hussein said."  Anthony Shadid


800,000 people in that square.  A fair number of non-Shia among them.  Defiance, defiance, defiance…   A little known "tidbit."  When Nasrallah started handing out Iranian reconstruction money, Hizbullah prioritized payments in such a way that Christians and Sunnis had a higher priority that the Shia.  This was clever politically, very clever.

I was at a government owned think tank a few days ago and sat on a panel where I had the task of talking about the recent war in the Lebanon.  My views are known to you.  The interesting thing that happened at this meeting was that one of the people there was a leading Washington scholar on the subject of the modern Middle East.  He was "hell bent" to convince the meeting that Hizbullah had lost the war, had lost the war politically, militarily morally, had lost in every way and that the evident Israeli strategy aimed at reducing the Lebanese to a quivering mass eager to accommodate Israel had succeeded.

There has been a lot of that lately in the national media and among the chattering classes in Washington and New York.  The assertion is made over and over against that black is white, hot is cold, etc.  We are now being subjected to a massive propaganda (information operation) campaign designed to convince us all that Hizbullah was destroyed and discredited by the recent fighting, that Hizbullah lost "X’ % of its weapons, equipment, men, political support, etc.  At root these claims of attrition against Hizbullah seem to have their origin in press releases from the Israeli Ministry of Defense in Tel Aviv.  They started there, were picked up by the dolts in cable news, repeated over and over and are now well on their way to becoming "received wisdom."  In fact nobody knows what Hizbullah lost.

The demonstration in Beirut yesterday was undoubtedly intended as a corrective to the political warfare being waged against it.

By whom?  Make your own judgment.  Bearden was right.

Pat Lang


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17 Responses to “Lebanon Throng Hails Hezbollah Chief, Who Calls Militia Stronger”

  1. Paul says:

    This administration and Israel continue to apply a warped sense of metrics to this – in a rush to management and not leadership we choose to define our own success to meet political objectives. A self licking icecream cone.

  2. J says:

    there is what is in the best interest of u.s. and what is not. take a look at a study that apparently was intentionally not covered by our mainstream media (msm) this past spring (the msm avoided it like the plague). the report created a firestorm within foreign policy circles especially from the pro-israeli circles. u.s. foreign policy should be based on what is best for the u.s., not what is best for another country, no matter how friendly or not they may portray themselves.
    for your readers reading pleasure:
    the israeli lobby and u.s. foreign policy.

  3. John in LA says:

    These are what I call AIPAC TALKING POINTS.
    Whenever a momentous event takes place in the Middle East the TV screens bloom with talking heads — usual suspects, neocons, Dershowitz, Zuckerman, Bush government mouthpieces, Fox Newsreaders etc.
    The annoying thing is the not-coincidental similarity of their remarks. They ring the same, right down to the adjectives, right down to the metaphors. For example, how many times have we heard that Israelis will be pushed into the sea?
    Always “pushed into the sea”…
    All the AIPAC has to do is keep Congress leashed to the trough and keep up the drumbeat of disinformation and the American pepole will, evidently, drone on their moronic way about their lives.
    I saw a Congressman on TV last week – midwest, can’t recall his name – with charts showing the billion a week we’re pouring down the drain in Iraq.
    Don’t bother to learn his name. I’m sure that AIPAC has targeted him for dismissal

  4. Frank Durkee says:

    It would be so refreahing When people don’t know or arew’t sure that they simply said so. god historians do that as well as giving their argrumant for their position with some attention to the counter argruments. Our present public discourse is awful.

  5. jonst says:

    Paul wrote:
    >>This administration and Israel continue to apply a warped sense of metrics…<<< True Paul. But I think you can say this about Israeli leadership: they offer these metrics to comfort/influence the less informed. Here in the states we BELIEVE our proffered metrics. To the extent I am correct in this observation; it’s a fairly significant difference.

  6. zanzibar says:

    The propaganda is primarily aimed at the US public. The rest of the world don’t seem to have the same level of spin as in the US and even the Israelis don’t seem to be subject to the same level of propaganda.
    The chief education officer of the IDF, Ilan Harari, told a conference of senior IDF officers that he believes Israel lost the war – making Harari the first senior officer to state openly what other officers have been saying privately.
    Harari intends to resign from the IDF shortly, after serving in many field positions, including as a battalion commander in the Golani Brigade and commander of the Nahal Brigade.

    The Hizballah rally and the decision by Nasrallah to address the throngs I believe is the first step to assert themselves more strongly in Lebanese domestic governance. The fact that Nasrallah noted that they have rearmed even with the European presence and ridiculed the current Lebanese PM and called for a new “unity” government shows they are making their moves. The Shia under the organization of Hizballah intend to gain a significant share of power in Lebanon. They know it, the Lebanese know it, the Sunni Arab regimes know it, Israel knows it and so do the professionals in the US intelligence and military. Its only the American public that is confused and apathetic.
    The more events play out the more convinced I become that the neo-cons and the corporate media are colluding to dominate the terms of discourse in the US with a singular goal of maintaining power at any price. The level and sophistication of doublespeak would even surprise Orwell. Note how there are no real voices framing the debate on torture and kangaroo trials on the basis that it is ineffective, that it is amoral, that it is illegal and that it violates decades of precedence and most importantly the very principles of our country and constitution. The debate is all about any means to “protect Americans” from terrorists is acceptable and anything contrary is “appeasement”.
    This intense and unchallenged domestic propaganda is very disconcerting and IMO leading us down a very slippery slope.

  7. Will says:

    It’s always ironic to note that the Israeli people and press are freer and more honest in their criticism of Israeli and U.S. policy than U.S. media who toe the Lobby line.
    Moshe Arens, former Israeli Defense Minister, said immediately that Israel lost the war. I put his quote in the Wikipedia article. The illustrious Tewfik of the 1,000 edits deleted it saying “who would care what he says.” I got in a wheel war with him. And I unltimately lost when another apologist buddy of his chimed in. There’s a 3RR rule. On your fourth revert of an article in 24 hours you can be blocked, usually for a 24 hr period. Now it’s becoming clearer Israel lost, Moshe Arens is back calling for a state inquiry, not just a whitewash. And as I’d previously posted, a senior active general, Ilan Harari has admitted that Israel lost. Warning, this is a solicitation for more people to become involved as Wikipedia editors.
    see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_Israel-Lebanon_conflict
    see for short video clip of victory rally. found it at nur-al-cubicle blog. she monitors italian and french press
    Best Wishes

  8. Will says:

    I just saw the comment about the Walt and Mearsheimer study. Israeli lobby and US Foreign Policy. Below are more non pdf links and info about them. Mearsheimer is very interesting. After attending West Point he served in the Air Force. How can you do that? Their writings are full of phrases such as offshore balancers, hegemons, and neat foreign policy concepts.
    this is the abridged version of the Israeli lobby and U.S. foreign policy that was published in the London Review of Books
    And of course the WikiPedia article has both points of view, is kept up to date, and has all the links at the end
    Best Wishes

  9. arbogast says:

    I would like very much to know who Bearden is.
    The Republicans are scared to death they will lose one of the houses of Congress in November. Anyone who thinks this is about Hezbollah has another think coming.
    This is about power in the US now, not the Middle East.
    Pat is correct. There is a “décalage” between the reality in the US and the reality outside the US.
    French intelligence agent speaking on US behind the scenes efforts to impose banking sanctions on Iran: “Les services de renseignements français ont aussi de forts doutes sur l’efficacité de l’approche américaine : difficile de détecter les transactions douteuses, arguent-ils ; et aucune sanction financière n’a jamais empêché un attentat.

  10. julie says:

    I don’t think the debate in Israel is so simple. And I am hopeful that this ugly little mess will knock some sense into both sides.
    As for the Us the new right has to argue that using violence is the only solution and in and of itself brings success.

  11. Jay says:

    If Sy Hersh was right and the Lebanon war was a prelude to an attack on Iran, then persuading the American people that Israel won is an important step on the path to war.
    With a sophisticated enough propaganda campaign, the neocons will be able to persuade the ignorant American masses to support war with Iran by arguing that we will defeat them from the air just like Israel defeated Hezbollah.
    In the end, it doesn’t really matter what happens in Lebanon, just how it gets sold here in the states. If the Republican party and their allies in the media say often enough that Israel won, pretty soon most Americans will be looking forward to the opportunity to emulate the Israeli experience in Iran.
    I suspect that the sight of Bolten threating Iran by saying “capitulate or you will suffer the same fate as Hezbollah” will provide some good laughs at the U.N., but I doubt many Americans will get the joke.

  12. John Howley says:

    Would not Rummy agree that wars are won or lost in the media and not on the battlefield?
    You’re darn right it’s about power in the U.S. Lose the House or Senate and Bush will be buried in subpeonas.
    Republicans must retain power at all costs.
    The more pessimistic the polls become, the more likely are desperate measures.
    “Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) yesterday urged voters to stay away from polling places during the November general election and instead cast paper absentee ballots.” (WaPo 9/22)
    Talk about suppressing turnout…

  13. ckrantz says:

    What Bearden are talking about is professional way to run counter-intelligence and espionage. Where the purpose of interrogation is to gain intelligence. Not the rubber hose, fingernail factories of the third world or the U.S lite version.
    And Bearden should know having run operations in africa, easter europe and of course afghanistan if his bio is correct.

  14. jang says:

    Make no mistake the power of television marketing and its influence on the public’s belief systems. Cough, cold and flu season must be worth billions to the drug companies and they must spend millions on their TV ads knowing, of course, that some of us become “hooked” by what we see. These believers behave in an amazingly similar manner. They WANT what they have seen advertised, no similar product will do. It, and only it, works. They are angered to be hear anything that disparages the product (ie,that contains a med that’s been around for years) and leave with the look of the hunter to try & find it in another place. They believe the magic and if asked are you influenced by what you see on TV they would answer no.

  15. leonard unger says:

    I think my original point about when the UN ceasefire took effect is still correct: Israel suffered tactical loss but if they have a peacefull border that is a type of “victory”. By commiting mass destruction on Lebanon Israel was able to put enough political pressuure on Hezbolla to stop the rockets.This is a stupid and tragic conflict Israel has its faults but they don’t want to annex Leabenese territory and both countries would be better off if they had normal diplomatic relations. Neither the Leabenese or Israeli people “won” that war it was just a stupid waste.

  16. ali says:

    The odd thing about the W&M paper is that it was covered by some US MSM outlets but mainly as an outbreak of anti-semitism or academic censorship.
    It got far fairer scrutiny in Europe and Israel as Henry at Crooked Timber points out here:
    DC has an even more dysfunctional relationship with the Gulf Kingships than Israel but that’s enough Yankee navel gazing.
    What’s significant here is how Nasrallah is choosing to use the considerable political capital the bumbling Israelis have given him.
    His speech is full of simple plainly stated realities; there will be no enforced armistice, no one has the power to disarm his men. The Sinora government failed to protect Lebanon. He’s calling for regime change; a national unity government and we should understand who he wants it to unite around. He means perhaps not a Hizbullah dominated government but one where the radicalized Shi’a have a far bigger footprint. He may well achieve that; such are the spoils of war.
    “Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has thrown down a challenge to Lebanon’s political class, one that all Lebanese should embrace with enthusiasm. In a rousing speech at Friday’s rally in Beirut’s southern suburbs, the leader of Hizbullah said his resistance fighters would lay down their arms when Lebanon had a clean, solid government and a strong military. ”
    Even Sinora has been saying Lebanon will be last Arab nation to make peace with Israel. “Tears don’t protect anyone” is Nasrallah’s powerful message and that is both a call to arms and an efficient kidney punch to Siniora. There will be a lot of folks in Lebanon looking at the cluster bomb strewn rubble that was their homes and thinking: yes Nasrallah could make our trains run on time.

  17. Will says:

    Narallah’s translated speech courtesy of the BBC is posted at juancole.com sunday, sep 24th, 2006. Long but worth reading.
    Lebanon has a confessional electral law. parliament seats are allocated by the confessions. Even the Armenians (who are classed as a religion: Armenion Orthodox Church, Armenian Catholic Church) have seats. (Definitely an equal protection violation toward atheists!)
    Presently the Shiites are under-represented pro rata to their population. Under the Taif-agreement the pariament was updated to 64:64 Christian-Muslim.
    That’s the next reform. One man one vote.
    The Muslim strategy to dilute the Shia is to grant citizenship to the Palestinian refugees who are overwhelmingly Sunni and now persona non grata even though they were born in Lebanon.
    The Christian strategy to dilute the Muslim vote is to allow the overseas Lebanese (overwhelmingly Xtian) to vote. There are more overseas Lebanese & descendants than territorial Lebanese!
    Best Wishes

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