Michael Totten

The patriot and his militia

By Abu Kais

It became clear after listening to Nasrallah’s address on Thursday that the milita leader is pissed about the Lebanese cabinet allegedly conspiring against the re-arming of his group, and the attempt to extend state authority over all territory. Almost the entire speech was reserved for exposing alleged cabinet attempts to destroy the resistance and confiscate Hizbullah weapons. For Nasrallah and his followers, this is unpatriotic and amounts to treason. For any person who believes in the rule of law, any attempt to curb weapons smuggling to an illegal militia is the least a legitimate authority can do.

Nasrallah’s narrative was designed for anti-Israel Shia ears. I find it strange that any Aounist would find anything in it appealing or compatible with their stated aims.  There’s a government guilty of western support for over a year and a half, making it suspicious (never mind that Nasrallah’s political soldiers were part of this government). The internal security forces have to prove they’re a national force. The prime minister is conspiring with the Israelis by ordering the Lebanese army to cut the Hizbullah supplies during the war.

“Just because he [Siniora] is a Sunni doesn’t mean I should keep my mouth shut. Does any Arab, Muslim or Christian, Sunni or Shia accept that a prime minister cut the weapons supplies to the resistance that’s defending the country?”

Nasrallah elsewhere may have rejected murder and civil war, but this last statement, coming from a religious figure in the Arab world, is a legalization of Siniora’s assassination.

What’s worse, Nasrallah accused the internal security forces of spying on Hizbullah for the Israelis, and of trying to locate Nasrallah’s whereabouts and failing to “protect the country and its citizens.” Nasrallah lamented the fact that “they” pay taxes to the government to train and arm such agencies. As if Hizbullah and its 150,000 employees ever paid taxes for the billions they receive from Iran!

And then Nasrallah proceeded to categorize Sunnis, saying that if this cabinet does not accept to give Hizbullah the blocking vote (yes, Nasrallah wants to join the Israeli-supported cabinet), he will find patriotic Sunnis who could handle such leadership.

And since Nasrallah is such a secular minded guy that appeals to Aounists and communists alike, tomorrow a pro-Sunni fundamentalist will lead Shia Islamists in prayer, so the communists and the Aounists better make room. As for Sunday, the “national opposition” will attempt to ruin another weekend, burying the country and its economy in the sanitary hole that Hizbullah created in downtown Beirut.

Update. Incidentally, Le Monde today quoted (French) a senior UN official as saying there was "a constant and massive rearmament of Hizbullah."  According to the official, these weapons are entering Lebanon thanks to the complicity of Hizbullah sympathisers in the directorate of General Security, which controls the borders. The directorate is officially part of the Interior Ministry, but is run by a pro-Hizbullah guy. Its former director is in jail over suspected involvement in the Hariri murder.

For some context on the tug of war between the cabinet and Hizbullah/Amal on this issue, click here (a post about the time former acting interior minister Ahmad Fatfat tried to put a leash on  General Security but was accused of running a security regime by Hizbullah and Amal). This is further proof that one of Nasrallah’s primary aims is to protect his weapon supply. Not that it ever stopped. But it could.

In related news, the UN has confirmed the report of a Syrian plot to kill 36 Lebanese figures. Don’t expect a fiery reaction from Nasrallah.