Hezbollah seems to be constantly in the news these days. As the group grows more popular in Lebanon and the threat of war between Lebanon and Israel increases, Hezbollah’s visibility and prominence will only rise. The scud missile controversy started all of hoopla (though it could be argued that the resurgence of Hezbollah started with the decline of US diplomatic efforts in Lebanon after 2005) and increased the already stiff tension between Lebanon and Israel.
Most recently was the 10 year anniversary of the Israel occupation of Southern Lebanon – a national victory generally attributed to the Resistance (see: Hezbollah). The anniversary provided the opportunity for Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah to thump his chest and proclaim his strength and, since the group’s identity is inextricably tied to Israel, Nasrallah’s speech of strength was also a reiteration of Israeli weakness.:
The Hezbollah leader added that the current civilian and military drills taking place across Israel will not prepare them for a Hezbollah attack. “Carry out your drills, but when rockets shower the Occupied Territories, let us see how [your] drills would have benefited you,” Nasrallah said addressing Tel Aviv, the news site quoted him as saying.
[tweetmeme] As Nasrallah was proclaiming his groups Superman-like qualities, Lebanese PM and Hezbollah governing partner Saad Hariri was in Washington talking with US President Obama*. Predictably, the talks surrounded the growing strength of Hezbollah and the need for the group to stop rearming, specifically, the role of Syria in the rearmament process. Meanwhile, the US Congress is concerned about increasing military aid to the Lebanese Armed Forced (LAF) out of fear that the weapons would find their way to Hezbollah (a fairly well debunked theory – see here and here). Furthermore, the Obama Administration is still trying to find its way out of the fog created by suggesting that the US engage with Hezbollah in an attempt to moderate the group. Predictably, the suggestion (if you can call it that) was met with much backlash in the US, Israel and within Hezbollah.
On a more absurd note, Israeli military strategist Chuck Freilich has unsubstantially suggested that Hezbollah might be a threat for nuclear terrorism. I am not even going to begin going into the idiocy of this (or the lunacy of his entire policy paper). I’ll let Richard Silverstein do the light-lifting here.
*This is a good post by the folks over at The Majlis, it reeks of neo-imperialist (or, perhaps, old-school imperialist) accusations. I’m not saying that author Evan Hill is wrong, but American imperialism is a whole different discussion. I just like the frankness of the first line:
For basically as long as Lebanon has existed as a modern nation, foreign forces have found the country a useful proxy to assert their regional interests in the Middle East, so it’s not exactly breaking from script for the Obama administration and the U.S. Congress to assert an extremely self-interested agenda during Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s first visit to Washington since coming to power last summer. (Nor is it strange for America to be self-interested, but I digress.)
Photo from Ma’an News