Why Hezbollah Should Keeps its Weapons
By Yusuf Fernandez | Al Manar | December 28, 2009
Israel has become a mortal threat for Lebanon since its creation on the Palestinian lands. In an article entitled “A Strategy for Israel in the 1980s”, which appeared in the World Zionist Organization’s periodical Kivunim in February 1982, Oded Yinon, a journalist and analyst of Middle Eastern affairs and former senior Foreign Ministry official, told of “…the total disintegration of Lebanon into five regional, localized governments as the precedent for the entire Arab world…”. Therefore, the existence of a strong and independent Lebanon was considered as a main obstacle for Zionist plans for hegemony in the region.
There is no doubt that Israel is now the same threat for Lebanon that it has been for decades. Some weeks ago, Israel announced that it would continue to carry out espionage activities in Lebanese territory. The announcement came after the Lebanese found an Israeli espionage device, which was later destroyed by Israeli aircraft, near the southern village of Houla. The incident was the latest in a long list of Israeli violations of UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which was designed to end the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict. Previously, Lebanese Internal Security Forces (ISF), undoubtedly with Hezbollah’s assistance, uncovered 11 Israeli espionage networks made up of 15 suspects involved in these activities.
“Every single Israeli overflight of Lebanon is a violation (of the Resolution 1701),” said the UN special envoy for Lebanon, Michael Williams. “To the best of my knowledge, there is probably no other country in the world which is subject to such an intrusive regime of aerial surveillance.”
The 10th UN report published in June witnessed 388 Israeli airspace violations, 48 territorial violations and 77 sea violations. According to analysts, Israel’s continued violations of Lebanese territory, sea and airspace have rendered the UN Resolution irrelevant.
Israeli media outlets claim that Hezbollah have strengthened its military power and now has more and more advanced missiles than it had before Israeli assault on Lebanon in July 2006. According to Israeli military analysts, any move against Lebanon would require a move first against Hezbollah’s capability to disrupt life in Israel with its rockets and missiles.
Actually, Hezbollah has become an icon of the resistance of the Arab and Muslim world due to its two victories over Israel in 2000 and 2006. With only some thousands of fighters Hezbollah defeated a much larger army equipped with US-supplied state-of-art weapons.
For his part, Hezbollah’s Secretary-General, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, has pointed out that the resistance will continue to boost its capacities in order to fulfill its role in liberating the Lebanese territory remaining in the hands of Israeli occupiers. The statement acknowledges the right of “the Lebanese people, army and the resistance to liberate the Shebaa Farms, Kfar Shuba hills and the northern part of the village of Al-Ghajar, as well as to defend Lebanon and its territorial waters in the face of any enemy by all available means.”
Hezbollah’s military role will be implemented by cooperating with the Lebanese army. In its new manifesto, Hezbollah says “The Israeli threat calls for Lebanon to have a defence strategy built on a marriage between a popular resistance that helps to defend the country against Israeli aggression and a national army that protects the country and its stability.” In this sense, Hezbollah has called on the Lebanese state to strengthen the capacity of the regular army and to acquire advanced weapons for it. A strong Lebanese army has been always a basic point in Hezbollah’s project for Lebanon.
Military analysts in the West agree that Hezbollah’s defensive strategy -the cooperation between a regular army and a highly motivated guerrilla army- is the most successful formula for Lebanon to confront a new Israeli aggression. There have been other examples of such type of cooperation in history. In Vietnam, the National Liberation Front or Vietcong cooperated during the anti-imperialist war with the North Vietnamese army in order to develop a successful war strategy against US invaders. In China, Mao Zedong created a guerrilla army that was able to defeat the regular army of Chiang Kai-shek in 1949. The same thing happened in Cuba in 1959 and in other places.
History shows that a highly-motivated and ideologically united irregular army can fight a powerful enemy army better than a regular army due to several reasons, including its capacity to mobilize the population in a people’s war against an invader. In this sense, no military analyst considers that the Lebanese regular army is able play the same role as Hezbollah in a conflict.
Therefore, Hezbollah and its arms have become a critical deterrent against Israel’s ambitions and aggressiveness. A strongly armed Hezbollah will persuade any Israeli leader to have second thoughts before launching any war on Lebanon, Syria or another country in the region. This is why Hezbollah has become the main obstacle for the US-Zionist project in the Middle East.
Knowing that Israel is unable to defeat Hezbollah, US lawmakers, many of whom are bribed by US pro-Israeli organizations, want Hezbollah to be stripped of its deterrence ability against Israel. A few days before the visit of Lebanese President Michel Suleiman to Washington due on 12 December, US lawmakers urged the Obama administration to condition the military assistance for the Lebanese army on the agreement of Hezbollah to hand in its arms. “We must seek to support stronger multilateral efforts to disarm Hezbollah and clear southern Lebanon of Iranian weapons,” 31 lawmakers wrote in a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
US President Barack Obama has also called on Lebanon to crack down on arms smuggling into the country, saying the weapons posed a potential threat to neighboring Israel. Obama did not explain why Lebanon should become defenceless just to please its mortal enemy. Actually, the US, which gives billions of dollars in military aid to Israel each year, has denounced any foreign military aid to the Lebanese Resistance, especially that coming from Syria or Iran. “What we see is absolute American commitment to Israeli interests, Israeli conditions, and Israeli security … while disregarding the dignity or feelings of the Arab and Muslims people and their nations and governments,” Sayyed Nasrallah said in a recent speech broadcast to tens of thousands of supporters in a southern Beirut suburb.
The United States has long provided military assistance to Lebanon — including 410 million dollars to the army and the police. But Washington has not handed over any sophisticated arms for fear they could end up being used against Israel. No one can think seriously that US aid is aimed at protecting Lebanon against an Israeli aggression. Actually, the purpose of this aid is only to “strengthen” the Lebanese army enough so that it could be used by a hypothetical pro-West government in Lebanon, willing to do the “dirty work” for the US and Israel, against the Resistance. However, the US will only give Lebanon second-class weapons in order to prevent this country from developing an effective defense against the Israeli enemy.
No serious politician in Lebanon can trust the US. Washington’s ultimate plan for Lebanon is to have a Western controlled government ready to sacrifice Lebanese and Arab interests, force the Resistance to disarm and transform the country into a launching pad against Damascus, an Israeli and US puppet. However, in order to implement this scheme, Washington needs “partners” inside Lebanon.
Christian 14 March forces, backed by Maronite Patriarch Sfeir, share the US and Israeli view about the disarmament of the Resistance. However, the influence of these groups is not large in Lebanon, particularly after the strengthening of relations between Syria and Lebanon, which has isolated those parties and their hidden or public anti-Syrian views. Although these groups have shown their reservations or objections to the Sixth Article of the Ministerial Statement, which has been overwhelmingly passed recently by the Lebanese Parliament, few people in Lebanon agree with them. Most Lebanese understand what the reality is and this is why the largest and most important Lebanese parties agree on supporting the Resistance’s right to confront Israeli occupation and threats.