Are There Really Two Hezbollahs?

Is slicing the Party of God into good elements and bad elements a sensible policy?

How central is the “military wing?”

Today, the British Home Office banned “the entire military wing of Hezbollah” from the UK, supposedly as a rebuke over their disruptive role in Iraq. In the British decision, there was an implied message: There is a good Hezbollah, and a bad Hezbollah, and we don’t like the latter. But can Hezbollah really be divided as such?

It is understandable why the hair-splitting Brits have made that distinction. After all, as Lebanese, we all know at least someone who supports Hezbollah. Our friend-in-yellow wouldn’t hurt an insect, let alone engage in terrorism. For all we know, that person’s life could be devoted to helping the poor and teaching orphans, so why should he be banned from traveling to the UK and be a productive member of Society?

But to think of Hezbollah’s weapons as an externality would be seriously misleading. Hezbollah’s weapons (and hence its armed faction that the Brits have banned) are an integral part of Hezbollah’s self image and identity and the main source of the party’s influence and popularity. The very appeal of Hezbollah lies in its perceived ability to militarily defeat Israel. Take that away and they become just another political party in Lebanon, hardly a recipe for popularity.

Hezbollah itself would never let go of its weapons. For the last two years, Lebanese politicians, journalists, elites and bloggers have attacked Hezbollah in every single way imaginable, but failed to provoke them. It took a government decision with a potential to disrupt their military effectiveness for them to react in a bloody and ruthless way in the streets of Beirut.

In other words, trying to separate Hezbollah from its armed faction is an exercise in futility. As the release of prisoner Samir Kuntar has shown, to Hezbollah and all of its supporters, the gun will always be mightier than the pen.

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  • march8 *$#@

    Way overdue. I wonder what took the Brits so long. HA’s actions in Iraq have been known for more than a year and its actions in the Palestinian territories known for much longer. But I guess the Brits discovered what the majority of Lebanese now know (also a bit overdue) which is that Hezbollah is nothing more than a terrorist organization that is more than willing to kill fellow Lebanese.

  • Abdallah

    So Mustapha,

    While Hezbollah was risking their lives to prevent Lebanon from turning into another Gaza or West Bank, what were you doing?

    You wouldn’t risk a fingernail to fight Israel, and you work for an Israeli. Traitor.

  • Mustapha

    So boring Abdallah,

    You’re either with us or with the terrorists Israelis. Sounds familiar?

    I can’t blame you though, the Iranians are paying you to say exactly that 😉

    Next time, try saying something smart for a change..

  • Louis-Noel Harfouche

    “Hezbollah risking their lives to prevent Lebanon from turning into another Gaza or West Bank”??? wtf??? Is this Abdallah guy for real?? and I bet he must say this with a straight face too, that mindless little drone!!!

    wlé Abdallah, khalo? Since when was Lebanon a concern to you Hizbollah mercenaries and thugs!?!!
    Wlé, ma you get your money and your “eminences grises” from Iran, your weapons from Syria, your inspiration from a hateful bloodthirsty god, and you dare pretend you’re making sacrifices for Lebanon ya mrett?? Wlé do you morons even listen to yourselves? Wlé okhté, 7ello 3an tiizna ba2a! Don’t freaking protect us anymore wlo khayyé, ok? Ma 7ada talab menkun, no one is asking for your sacrifices ya shuhada ya ento!! Put your weapons down, have a freaking bath and a shave, and GET A JOB for a change! Fu**ing neurotic freaks with a Jesus complex!!!!

  • theCourtFool

    The problem with this post, is that you make it very clear you’re a Sunni, and worse don’t give credit when credit is due.

    Even Seniora had the courtesy of acknowledging Hezbollah’s most recent achievement.

  • Louis-Noel Harfouche

    Fool, Seniora is, like you, a fool for hinting that Hizbo is anything more than a bunch of mercenaries and thugs beholden to non-Lebanese patrons; one a totalitarian thugocracy, the other a psychotic triumphalist theocracy.

  • also a fool

    @jester, hizb – and olmer – are in “saving face mode”, so if some kids from both side of the south fence start to throw rocks at each other, hizb would say that they’re “exchanging stones”, is a glorious day for the “resistence” and the war was a fine price for “liberating” lebanese stones from zionist captivity.

    About saniora endorsment, I would not value it that much, after all, after all those past (mis)performance by M14 in general – what would you expect ? I wouldn’t be surprised if someone, someday, push a finger hard into saniora derriere, he just look back and say that “ya dude, it’s not hygienical…” and do nothing.

    1) I would be more honored getting back a stone than kuntar.
    2) If nas&hizb are allways in rambo-mode, why he didn’t start a war with syria to “liberate” the syrian jails.


  • The Sandmonkey

    He3, hezbollah’s achievement. He3 he3 he3.

    Yes, putting an entire country into war, getting 1200 lebanese killed and more than 700 disabled, to secure the release of a child murderer. Oh yeah. Those are results one can really rally behind.

    I bet you believe that the Israelis were the ones behind Harriri’s assassination as well, don’t you courtfool?

    I love people like you. You make me laugh! 😀

  • Rollen

    “While Hezbollah was risking their lives to prevent Lebanon”
    Whoa? Are you a gold fish? I mean cant you remember anything from the last two years? the july war, the cbd sit down & the last month’s havoc??

    “from turning into another Gaza or West Bank,”
    fuck yea!! I mean look at the tolerant, all wisdom hezbollah [1, 2, 3] then look and the barbarism of hamas [1, 2, 3] .. THERE IS A HUGE DIFFERENCE!!
    i want to thank the opposition in general and hizb in particular for giving us the stability that the lebo’s enjoye, the warm fuzzy feeling of security and giving lebanon the chance to florish.. thank you hizb from the economy, stability and our international image.

  • Bronx-man

    The only answer to the question, “Are there really Two Hezbollahs?”, is absolutely not. As the article’s comments point out, without weapons Hezbollah evaporates. They fit in so well with a populace that places such a high value on trigger pulling solutions and no value on approaches that require knowledge and mental effort. So, if the military wing represents one group just who (and what) represents the second?

    Hezbollah is not the Irish Republican Army, which had both military and political parts. What political program does Hezbollah offer Lebanon. If just providing social services after disasters is all it takes then the Red Cross would be running a good part of the world. The literacy rate in Lebanon is about 90%, which means that 10% of 4 million people can’t read and write. And most of these people are living in the South. Hezbollah Country! Wouldn’t Hezbollah ranks be a lot smaller if more people received an adequate education and were able to find work. You better believe it. So where are the education and job creation policies? This is pretty basic stuff.

    Last point. Hezbollah is a proxy for Iran – everybody knows that. Their sole function is to use force for harassment, diversion, destabilization and weapons testing. As the expression goes, “they are not being paid to think, just do”. A political wing, separate from the military, is not available now and for the foreseeable future.

  • silver penguin

    mutapha, don’t insinuate that abdallah is stupid;
    musapha, YOU are stupid.

  • pink flamingo

    mustapha says: “…and they become just another political party in Lebanon, HARDLY A RECIPE FOR POPULARITY.”

    especially if they become like the future movement, a lame-ass mafia that pays uneducated “cockroaches” (to quote mustapha) to be its supporters.

    *NOTE: mustapha once called another group of people(the shiaa) cockroches. this was in a post that mentioned frangiyeh a few months ago, and when a comMentor called mustapha on it, he deleted the entire post.

  • grey herring

    mustapha says, “It took a government decision with a potential to disrupt their military effectiveness for them to react in a bloody and ruthless way in the streets of Beirut.”

    there is nothing more bloody and ruthless than the mafia-government’s attempt to disarm the resistance, thereby leaving the southern lebanese vulnerable to the zionist death machine.

    the government is a non-government. they are not professional in the least. they are thieves. they are crooks. they are corrupt. they steal away water and electricity fromt he people. they are worthless and meaningless. the most effective thieves among them have been sanyooora and rafiq.