Hizbollah Takes A Stand

This Reuters story about Hizbollah taking sides with Syria and against the people of Lebanon is amusing, both for the story and for Reuters’ attitude toward it. Here are some excerpts, with my comments:

Hizbollah, Lebanon’s most powerful party, threw its weight against Syria’s opponents on Sunday, calling for a peaceful mass rally in central Beirut on Tuesday in support of Damascus and against Western meddling.

Got that? Syria has thousands of troops stationed in Lebanon and thoroughly dominates politics there; but when President Bush and others support the efforts of the Lebanese people to eject the invaders, that’s “Western meddling.” Oh, and why do you suppose Hizbollah is “Lebanon’s most powerful party”?

The Shi’ite Muslim group, which has the largest following in the country and is the only one with weapons….

Well, of course the Syrian army has weapons too. Those weapons can give you a large following, all right.

after Syria announced Saturday a two-phased total troop withdrawal from Lebanon, the staunchly anti-Israeli group entered the domestic political ring facing the opposition.
The group’s chief Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah warned that Syria’s pullout under intense global pressure could spell chaos for Lebanon and push it toward peace with Israel.

That’s lovely: Hizbollah is “staunchly anti-Israel.” Note the absence of the T-word. “Chaos,” of course, is another word for democracy. It appears that Hizbollah shares President Bush’s conviction that democracy in the Arab world will indeed help bring about peace in that region.

“I call on all Lebanese to this peaceful popular gathering to reject foreign intervention that is contrary to our independence, sovereignty and freedom,” he said.

Note the qualifier. For years, Hizbollah has been protected by the Syrian invaders. It is entirely in favor of foreign intervention in Lebanon. In a classic bit of double-talk, it opposes foreign intervention that is “contrary to [Lebanon’s] independence, sovereignty and freedom”–that is, intervention that seeks to kick out the invader that has destroyed Lebanon’s independence and sovereignty, and limited her people’s freedom. No indication, though, that Reuters sees anything odd about Hizbollah’s position.
Reuters then proceeds to recount the history of Hizbollah from 1982 to the present without, once again, mentioning the T-word.
I can only assume that this is another piece of post-modernist irony like Barbara Demick’s “North Korea, Without the Rancor”.


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