Across the Bay

Monday, May 07, 2007

Full Circle: Hezbollah Returns to the 80s

Hezbollah has abandoned its agenda from the 80s like I have abandoned breathing. In my recent post, I discussed certain aspects of this issue, focusing on the mutilation and subversion of the Lebanese system and its institutions.

Now Nasrallah has come out, on Iranian TV no less, to add more, calling for electing a president directly from the people and to conduct a popular referendum.

"The idea of electing a president [directly] from the people even if only for one time, or many times, is a civilized, democratic, civic and developed idea worthy of attention," said Nasrallah. (Emphasis mine).

Nasrallah also added his support for a popular referendum as the only way out of the current crisis if early parliamentary elections won't be held (which he knows they won't).

Now, where have I heard this before? It's somehow 1989 all over again, and somehow, the destructive Michel Aoun is in the middle of it. The difference this time is that Hezbollah is using Aoun as a Christian battering ram with which to destroy the Lebanese system and replace it with Hezbollah law.

Back in 1989, Ayatollah Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah was calling repeatedly for a popular referendum. And so, according to Fadlallah's scheme, no decision taken by Parliament should pass unless it were put to a referendum. In effect, Fadlallah was eliminating the function of Parliament in Lebanese political life. Step one in introducing Hezbollah law, one that is being repeated today.

This was also the call of Sheikh Naim Qasim. And just for added delicious irony, it was declared at a memorial for victims of Aoun's bombardment of Haret Hreik in 1989. He declared: "the people represent themselves, and are not represented by MPs. Let them choose by themselves the solution that they desire through a popular referendum, and then we would know that the mustad'afin were the ones who chose the system and that nothing would be forced on them." (al-'Ahd, 10/6/89)

This logic was again approved by Fadlallah (An-Nahar, 10/7/89). Commenting on the Taef meetings, he said, "the Lebanese people is the one who can run its affairs with sincerity, not those who represent it." He added, "any document will be worthless unless the entire people approves it. It's not enough for the MPs or the Arab Committee to approve it."

Fadlallah was also calling for a president to be directly elected by the people, not through parliament. (An-Nahar, 10/20/1989). In fact, he added that the only characteristic the candidate should have is to be a "Lebanese citizen" (i.e., no longer Maronite. This is the flip-side of a referendum, of course).

And just so that we don't think Fadlallah is "sectarian" in any way (this is the kind of things you still hear idiotic Aounists repeating today), he added, "if you had a general referendum in Lebanon between Muslims and Maronite Christians, you'll find that the voice that rejects Maronite authority exists among Christians exactly as it does among Muslims."

Speaking of Taef, at the time, Hezbollah's Muhammad Yazbeck called Taef "a conspiracy against the resistance the brotherly Syrian presence." (An-Nahar, 10/17/89).

Now, once again, Hezbollah is rejecting the government's seven-point plan, which it had agreed to while its ministers were still in cabinet. The plan, which served as the basis of UNR 1701, called among other things, for full state authority over Lebanese territory, and the reactivation of the armistice agreement between Lebanon and Israel, in order to end any possible military activity on the southern border.

Hezbollah has been launching a campaign to destroy this plan. You'll remember what I had noted regarding what Emile Lahoud tried to do in Riyadh (he, at Syria's behest, tried to remove any reference to the plan from the final Arab League statement on Lebanon, and failed).

Now Syria's agents are running wild again. Pitbull Wiam Wahhab came out, (in tandem with Lahoud), and declared that the 7-point plan is as good as dead as far as the Syrian-Hezbollah camp is concerned. And to follow up on what I said regarding the "Hezbollah as Pasdaran" model, Wahhab spelled out Hezbollah's and Syria's vision: Hezbollah is Lebanon's defense strategy, and the Lebanese Army is what complements it.

This came as Hezbollah's cadres were all reneging on their commitment to the 7-point plan. First, was Nawaf Musawi (who said Rice handed the plan to Seniora), then Muhammad Fneish and then Hussein Hajj Hassan.

Some in Seniora's circles are saying the reason for this campaign is because of developments on the Shebaa front, perhaps leading to its transfer to UN authority, stripping Hezbollah of one of their pretexts to maintain their weapons. This is in tandem with Lahoud already preemptively providing a new pretext saying that even if Israel withdrew from Shebaa, it would not be "the real" Shebaa, in that Israel would still control the water! I.e., this is a never-ending lie.

This gives a hint as to why Hezbollah was not given veto power and was not trusted with the tribunal. Hajj Hassan, for instance, echoing the Syrian line, called it a project for American hegemony over the region. Then came Nasrallah, on Iranian TV, and openly rejected the tribunal under Chap. 7.

This is how easily they turn on agreements. Veto power, as I said, is intended only to safeguard their weapons and anomalous existence, and thwart everything that stands in their way. The purpose is to enshrine their anomalous existence in any future cabinet and its policy statement. This is why the March 14 coalition is saying, any new policy statement will have to reflect what was agreed to, including demarcating the border with Syria, exchanging embassies with Syria, disarming the Palestinians outside the camps, the tribunal and the 7-point plan.

Hezbollah has openly declared its rejection of the above. Hezbollah wants its own state. Hezbollah has come full circle back to the 80s. In fact, it never stated otherwise. Only western cheerleaders did.