- September 3, 2011
Editorial: Syrian Revolution Unveils Hezbollah’s Double Standards
Can a revolutionary party, a radical group or even an ideological organization fall short in recognizing a revolution parallel to it and supportive to its cause, especially when being so near and initiating in the immediate vicinity? The answer to this question is "yes". In the case of the Lebanese Hezbollah, this is true in view of its failure to fully recognize the Syrian revolution burning on its borders for months.
Reasons for this failure are many and varied.
The first reason is that Hezbollah did not make its stance regarding liberation and resistance a consistent one, failing to surpass doctrinal and sectarian limitations or address wider Arab, Islamic, and global humanitarian horizons. Hezbollah would still be excused for this since it is not the initiator of a revolution of its own. It only sees itself as an extension to another revolution or as an agent for it, namely, the Iranian revolution. In this sense, one could claim that the convergence of the sectarian affiliation between Hezbollah and Iran was a more important factor for both sides than the cause of liberating Lebanon or confronting Israel.
The second reason is that Hezbollah – along with many others – engulfed the tricky prankster bait, which is forwarded by the hunter Bashar al-Assad, in the form of a claim to be a "resister". Actually, the same trick was delivered by Saddam Hussein and even Gaddafi. All of those self-defeated tyrants claimed to be at the fore-front of the battlefield, helping the resistance and supporting it. The Syrian media machine emphasized this claim although neither Hafez nor Bashar Al-Assad moved any of their forces against Israel. The "homeland protectors" or Humat al-Deyar (the nickname for the Syrian Armed Forces) moved only to hit the cities and towns of the Syrian territories for the cause of suppression of the liberation revolution emerging. The crisis is basically arising from the engulfing the bait and moving without any attempt for the verification of the claim that the Syrian regime is pro the resistance or not. This made Hezbollah nothing but an entity that is organically linked to a regime that has its own secret channels with Israel as well as its calculated balances with all the Israeli governments for half a century.
The third reason is the relationship between Hezbollah as an organization and the ruling regimes, and never "the people". The reason for this crisis is the link of Hezbollah to a certain regime, which is the Iranian one, and its association with the regime in Syria that is allied with the Iranian regime. Regime-wise, Hezbollah also wants through its movement as an organization to have a stake in the Lebanese post-Taif regime and government (as the heir to the "Amal" movement as the spokesperson and representative to the Shiite and southern Lebanese people). This situation – of course – would not allow Hezbollah to have the ear that listens to the Syrian people crying for freedom; as such freedom would restore to the Syrian people their legitimate right to resistance; the actual (not the verbal) one against Israel. How come Hezbollah failed to see the young Syrians chanting and demanding Al-Assad (who has not fired a single bullet against the Israeli occupation in the Golan Heights) to push his tanks and forces (Humat al-Deyar) towards the liberalization of the Syrian territory occupied by Israel instead of killing the peaceful demonstrators and starting their own occupation of the Syrian territory.
The fourth reason is the inability of Hezbollah to measure and compare the victims of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon throughout the course of many Israeli assaults with the victims of the Syrian army and its thugs (al-Shabbeiha) in their holy operation to occupy the lands of cities and towns of Syria. The number of the victims of the regime of Bashar al-Assad in the last six months has surpassed the number of all victims of Israeli aggression on Lebanon in years. It seems as if the Syrian army has received a mandate from the Israeli military for the destruction, killing and occupation of the rest of the Syrian areas other than the Golan, which were not occupied by the Israeli forces. The dramatic crisis is that Hezbollah – with its sharp political intelligence and despite its vast experience – wants to believe and supports the lies of the Syrian media, which speaks of armed groups terrifying the Syrian people and the Syrian Armed forces (Humat al-Deyar) are clearing the country of these enemies.
The fifth reason is that Hezbollah has become in the context of the movement that does not consider itself anymore as part of the whole framework of resistance movements against Israel in the region. For this reason, Hezbollah has failed so far to study, understand and analyze the positions of other resistance movements – inside and outside Syria – towards the Syrian regime’s current repressive practices. These movements – including Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other Palestinian factions – have declined to support or justify the practices of Bashar al-Assad’s regime since the beginning of the protest movement in the Syrian streets. It is therefore strange that Hezbollah does not pay any attention to this contrast between its position and the positions of other Islamic and resistance movements. Perhaps this is because Hezbollah prefers giving priority to its religious affiliation and external links with Iran rather than acting independently through the affiliation to the resistance that has deeply rooted Arab-Islamic and humanitarian foundations; i.e. the ideology that sees the resistance as a legitimate right for the peoples, even against the regimes that claim to be pro the resistance while denying its own people the right to exercise any act of resistance.
The sixth reason is that Hezbollah does not read the writings on the walls of the current Arab revolutions in terms of being liberation revolutions against repression and domination, and resistance revolutions against hegemony, occupation and dependency. Hezbollah may believe that every revolution that is not typical in style and form to the Iranian revolution is not a revolution at all. And perhaps Hezbollah or some of its leaders want to fool themselves and think that the ruling regime in Syria is a revolutionary one – and perhaps Islamic revolutionary as well – because it has some connections with Iran, although the Syrian Baath is not much different from the Iraqi Baath Party, which the Iranian revolution fought against throughout the eighties. Hezbollah certainly failed to see how Bashar al-Assad is a mirror image of Saddam Hussein, and even worse.
For these reasons, Hezbollah failed to recognize the elements of foundations of the Syrian revolution. Will that failure continue? We pray Allah that this should not be the case.