Monday, May 12, 2008

Hezbollah’s failed "Shock and Awe"

After taking over West Beirut and destroying the TV stations and offices of Hariri, what will be Hezbollah’s next steps? They have the momentum right now which inevitably means time is against them. And that’s an interesting turn since up until now it was Hezbollah that was benefiting from delay. Not anymore.

The longer the delay of political results, the less sense the recent violence will have made. In a remarkable copy of Great Satan’s tactic of “shock and awe” tactics, Hezbollah thought it could bomb March 14 into submission. And, similar to America’s initial victory, Hezbollah strikingly occupied West Beirut in some 24 hours.

But that’s only the first stage, what’s more important is what will happen next. America’s precedent doesn’t bode well for Hezbollah as the almighty US of A were unable to translate their military might into real influence. It’s doubtful Hezbollah will be more successful.

For one thing, Hezbollah has alienated most Lebanese with its fighting against fellow Lebanese, despite promises to the opposite. Also, the fact that March 14 is ceding control over its various quarters to the military makes it difficult for Hezbollah to launch another round of violence if the government doesn’t give in. Because during that next round Hezbollah would have to take on the Lebanese army.

In retrospect, March 14’s rather unexpected giving up its locations to the Army was quite a smart thing to do, assuming Hezbollah won’t fight the army’s present in March 14’s regional offices. This effectively takes away the violence option from Hezbollah.

That leaves Hezbollah with two problems: one is that time is running out so they have to take the initiative, something the guerrilla organization doesn’t have much experience with: changing from countering Israel’s aggression towards defining the agenda requires a change in approach that it might find difficult to make.

Second, up until now, Hezbollah has pretty much always used violence as its strategy of last resort negotiations. Now with the Army stepping in, that card is of the table, leaving Hezbollah with little choice but to explore new ways of getting what it wants: true dialogue.

In the mean time, we can expect more violence across Lebanon. Aoun must have looked on with jealousy at what Erslan has achieved in the Shouf mountains: most if not all PSP offices and weapons of his archrival Walid Jumblatt have been confiscated by the Lebanese Army, simply by calling in Hezbollah special forces to fight the PSP militias.

No doubt Aoun will be tempted to also ask Hezbollah to fight his opponents: the Falangists and the Lebanese Forces. If the latter two organizations are smart, they’d follow the example of sly fox Jumblatt and turn over their weapons and offices to the Army as well.

Jumblatt has realized it sometimes takes courage to be a coward and he has been able to look further than the first round. Let’s see if history will agree with him.


Anonymous said...

I'm no fan of the LF, but I think of Aoun lifts a finger against them he will be more or less eaten alive.

Anonymous said...

Aoun, Arsalan and Wahab are all traitors who are give their alleigance to Iran and Syria over their Lebanese brothers.

Hezbollah was founded by Iran so they were never Lebanese to begin with. They have always been puppets whose strings are pulled from Tehran.

EV said...

If Hezbollah,as I suspect, is truly realizing the dream of Bashar and of that lunatic Iranian, which is to destroy Lebanon, then they will take on the Army next, knowing that this is the one that will crumble the house of cards. If they don't do it now, then they will create the political environment for a future date. No matter how, the future looks grim.