Sunday, April 15, 2007

War of words

It’s quite often rather difficult to interpret speeches from Lebanese leaders; in the sense that you really don’t have a clue whose side the speaker is on. Without much problem, you can take an Opposition speech and believe it’s from the March 14 movement.

Take a look at a recent speech given by Fadlallah, a pro-Hezbollah religious leader:

Lebanon's senior Shiite cleric said Friday that international and regional interference in Lebanon's domestic affairs would not forge peace in the country, nor would it resolve its problems. In his weekly Friday sermon from the Imam Hassanayn Mosque in Haret Hreik, Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah said that foreign countries "are exploiting internal discord to serve their projects in the region at the expense of Lebanon."

If you don’t know any better, you’d think he’s speaking out against Hezbollah’s reliance on Iran and Syria, two foreign countries that are exploiting internal discord. Further reading seems to confirm this impression:

"The Lebanese are being led into political labyrinths by a certain political group that is dependent on regional and international authorities that want to turn Lebanon into an arena…”

Now, you still could think he’s talking about Iran and Syria. The confusion is caused by the typical vagueness of speeches in Lebanon: people hardly mention names; they’d rather talk about ‘certain political groups’ or ‘foreign countries’.

Fortunately for the naive reader, Fadlallah realized his own ambiguity in time and continued:

…for US projects and European plans, especially the French ones,"

Ah! There we are!

Of course, anyone knowing Fadlallah’s position would already know he’s talking about the Wild Wild West, but still. Speeches like this reminds me a lot of the similarity between statements from Al Qaeda and George Bush: replace God with Allah and the speeches are almost identical.


Blacksmith Jade said...

Nice post :)

You know its funny, because I get the feeling taht in presenting it this way, Fadlallah (and everyone else using this technique) evoques winks and nods from his listeners, allowing them to feel as if they have shared in a secret or some superior political understanding which they can then show off to their neighbours.

(wink wink)

Riemer Brouwer said...

Heh,heh, good observation. Have you ever seen little kids watching teletubbies or similar kids programs? They already know all the jokes, but it's the anticipation that's the most fun for them!

Blacksmith Jade said...

Hi Riemer,

Thanks for the "return visit" to my blog and your comment there. I have only recently discovered your blog but have enjoyed reading it immensely.

If you're interested I think it would be great if we cemented a link between our two blogs through a link exchange.

If you're interested let me know at:!

In any case, I look forward to us continuing this exchange.


fvdv said...

B Jade said: as if they have shared in a secret or some superior political understanding ...

--> power, that's all.

... which they can then show off to their neighbours.

--> Tubbies with power... and guns...= dummies.