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Financial Times "Comment & Analysis"-Hizbollah has redrawn the Middle East

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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 12:07 AM
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Financial Times "Comment & Analysis"-Hizbollah has redrawn the Middle East
Hizbollah has redrawn the Middle East

The perceived victory of Hizbollah in Lebanon may be short term but has highlighted some new and important developments. For the first time, the Israel Defence Forces were unable to prevail in an all-out war. More significantly, the winner this time is a Shia Muslim, non-state, armed movement supported by Syria and Iran. In Israels previous wars, from 1948 to 1982, the challengers were Sunni Arabs.

In fact, Israels effort this time to eradicate Hizbollah was no remake of past Israeli-Arab wars. It signified several complex and seemingly contradictory trends in the Middle East. First is the revival of a radical Islamic front that rejects the Arab-Israeli peace process. Second is the growing divide between Shia and Sunni Muslims in the Gulf region. Finally there is the changed political dynamic after the recent entry by radical Islamist movements such as Hizbollah and Hamas to mainstream electoral politics.

The alignment between Hizbollah, Syria and Iran in a radical front against a peace settlement with Israel promotes anti-US and Arab nationalist mottoes more than any Islamic ideology could do. The Sunni Arab street has embraced Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, Hizbollahs leader, as the new Arab hero, the Nasser of our time. But Mr Nasrallahs elevation also works partly to lessen the appeal of Osama bin Laden in the Arab Middle East. (my emphasis)

That this radical front is led by Shia or secular Shia (as in Syria) is also significant. Since the US military intervention in Iraq in 2003, Sunni Arab conservative regimes in the Gulf and Jordan have been concerned not with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but what they saw as a growing Shia crescent, bringing under Iranian patronage oil fields north of the Gulf (Iraq, Bahrain and the Saudi north-east). Saudi Wahabi clerics had issued fatwa, or religious edicts, condemning the Shia as heretics. But they and the Sunni clerics were forced to retreat after Hizbollahs perceived victory. The same clerics who earlier condemned the Shia have issued new fatwa supporting Hizbollah in its fight with Israel. On the government level, the deafening silence from Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia after the Lebanon ceasefire is a clear sign of embarrassment after their earlier hostility to Hizbollahs actions.

(more at link)

What really caught my eye in this piece was the last sentence in the 3rd paragraph: ...Mr Nasrallahs elevation also works partly to lessen the appeal of Osama bin Laden in the Arab Middle East.

So. We have been told ad nauseum that the raison d'etre for bin Laden's Al Qaeda is to attack the West, especially the U.S. Neither bin Laden or Al Qaeda work to empower the people of the Middle East to better their own lot within their own countries, they appear to simply advocate destruction (if we are to believe what the powers-that-be attribute to them in terms of random terrorist acts).

It has never appeared to me that Osama bin Laden had any sort of coherent agenda that would actually lead to improvements in the lives of the Islamic peoples on whose behalf he is supposedly warring -- but he DOES make a damn useful bogeyman for Western governments (ours especially). In fact, he has been an excellent enabler for fullfilling all the police state and imperial power desires of our ruling junta.

There are some of us who have wondered all along, of course, if -- in the context of the long-standing relationship between the Bush & bin Laden families -- there hasn't been something a little too convenient in the timing of Osama tapes over the years, for instance. And the speed with which the CIA (the same CIA that helped organize and fund the original Afghan Mujahdeen from which Al Qaeda evolved, btw) always confirms that the latest tape IS "most likely" from Osama.

And there are some of us who have been suspicious about the *reality* of Al Qaeda all along...

However, if the above is just all too tinfoil hatish, then just think about the surface ramifications if the Financial Times' speculation is correct. The ascendence of Hizbullah's example of indigenous empowerment and focus on IN-country activism -- they are not declaring "jihad" on the West, they are entering into the political process of their national government is an entirely different paradigm than Al Qaeda's blow-shit-up modus operandi.

This ought to be an excellent development in the "War on Terror" (if the WOT were actually real, and not just a convenient propaganda set for political control) -- the fading away of the rabid global jihadists and the evolutionary rise of a locally focused, new Islamic form of populism integrating itself into the democratic polity.

But of course, that is the LAST thing that the neocon/global power axis wants.

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madrchsod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 12:40 AM
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1. hizbullah has a far better organization than bin laden
they haven`t used it because they are consolidating their political power at the present time. "the future is so bright i have to wear shades"
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FlavaKreemSnak Donating Member (288 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 04:39 AM
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2. It wasn't that Israel didn't prevail

They are still prevailing, they are still occupying it, and doing military operations there, plus they have got other countries to send people to help them, and Condi said the other day that we are going to give the pro-American Lebanese leaders money to kill Lebanese people who fight back against Israel. So they are prevailing. I think what happened was that they were losing more soliders than they wanted to so they wanted to get soldiers from other countries so Israel could just do more like air support and be protected.

Also we don't really know exactly what the plan is, maybe they will say Iran is just too big a threat and will have to be liberated and also Syria, so the whole Lebanon thing was to get ready for that, because they are always saying that the only reason that anybody in Lebanon was fighting back was because of Iran and Syria and so if us and Israel can just get those two invaded and occupied then everybody in Lebanon will be happy to be occupied by Israel and none of them will fight back. Now that may sound really weird but it was also weird for them to say that Iraq had all this WMD and was going to attack America, or maybe it was England in 45 mintues.

And they have said some other pretty weird stuff, which I won't even get into because a lot of it is a touchy subject except to say I don't think that the things you say about Osama etc is tinfoil hatish because it is just historical stuff even if it is not exactly what you are going to hear in your history class, and I don't agree with the author of the article that the Middle East got redrawn.
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The Stranger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 03:06 PM
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3. They slipped this in:
The alignment between Hizbollah, Syria and Iran in a radical front against a peace settlement with Israel promotes anti-US and Arab nationalist mottoes more than any Islamic ideology could do.

Interesting propaganda, considering these entities have gone out of their way NOT to create problems with the U.S., but the Neoconservative traitors running the Bushed Administration won't take no for an answer. They want their war with the brown, non-Christian Muslim A-Rabs, and damned if they aren't going to get it.
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