September 7, 2008

Hizballah's Nasrallah says what we knew all along...

On September 4, Hizballah leader Hasan Nasrallah stated what any observer of Middle East politics has known all along: Hizballah has no intention of disarming and disbanding its militia, although it has committed to do so numerous times.

This should come as no surprise.  Hizballah has rarely, if ever, adhered to any pact or agreement it has made.  This includes the Ta'if Accords of 1989, United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1559 of 2004, and UNSCR 1701 adopted at the end of the 2006 war between Israel and Hizballah.

All of the accords that Hizballah has agreed to include a requirement that Hizballah disarm and disband its militia, the
al-muqawamat al-islamiyah (Islamic Resistance).  The accompanying requirement is that "foreign forces" - read: Israel - would leave the country as well.  Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon in 2000, ending an 18 year occupation - the United Nations declared Israel to be in compliance with the Tai'f accords.  UNSCR 1559 demanded that Hizballah live up to its end of the deal.

Hizballah refused, claiming that Israeli forces were still occupying part of Lebanon - specifically the Shaba' Farms (
mazari' al-shaba').  This is an excuse created with Syrian complicity.  (See my earlier The Shaba' Farms - Hizballah's Fig Leaf.)  

The Shaba' Farms sit adjacent to the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.  Both areas have been occupied since Israel seized them in the Six Day War of 1967.  Old Syrian army maps and United Nations maps both show the area to be part of Syria, not Lebanon.  When it became apparent that Israel was going to withdraw from Lebanon and remove any reason that Hizballah should maintain its militia, Syria claimed that the Shaba' Farms were actually part of Lebanon, not Syria.  A myth was born.

Israeli occupation of any part of Lebanon, in the eyes of Hizballah, justifies the continued existence of Hizballah's militia.  What changed on Friday was Hizballah's need for the myth.  Nasrallah said that regardless of whether Israel withdrew from the Shaba' Farms and another disputed border area (the village of al-Ghajar), it would not disarm.

One has to ask if Nasrallah will justify this complete disregard for Hizballah's commitment by claiming the Shi'a dispensation of
taqiyah - lying to protect the faith.

In any case, Nasrallah's words expose Hizballah for what it is - a lying bunch of thugs who are more interested in power than peace.