| In Order to Be Accurate
Hazem Saghieh/Al-Hayat, August 14, 2006
It would be wrong not to consider that Hezbollah is victorious just because Lebanon has been destroyed. There are countries that were both destroyed and victorious at the same time. But to say that the party has not achieved victory is based on further reasons.
In World War II, for instance, a wholesale destruction befell many countries, such as Russia and Britain. However, the two countries triumphed because the destruction in Germany was much worse. Eventually, the Russian and British armies and other armies of the Alliance entered Berlin ; prompting Adolph Hitler to commit suicide by shooting himself in the head.
Honestly speaking, Hezbollah's situation is not like that of Israel, which has suffered much less destruction than Lebanon has. Israel has not given up, whether as a State or as a political leadership. Instead, it threatens us with wide-scale land invasion. Olmert, Peretz and Halutz are not likely to commit suicide, as far as we know.
Judging the results of confrontations between the national liberation movement and colonialism, even though it is a controversial issue, is inapplicable to either Lebanon or Israel . Vietnam and Cambodia also suffered destruction, while the US definitely did not suffer.
In turn, the Vietnamese and Cambodian death toll outnumbered the US casualties. The same can be said of France and Algeria, 'the land of a million martyrs'. Nevertheless, the US withdrew from Vietnam and all of Indochina, just as France pulled out from Algeria.
This does not apply to Hezbollah and Israel , which has re-occupied a strip of another country from which it withdrew six years ago. This does not cancel the loss of Israel, especially if we compare what is happening with its precious, previous victories accompanied by its imperial grandeur. It was neither able to prevent the missiles from raining down on its territory, nor did it manage to settle on a clear military strategy.
While the Israeli political leadership seems to be swinging between contention and a lack of homogeneity, it seems that Israel's old theory of deterrence (built against classical conventional armies) also drastically needs to be reviewed. In turn, this war can also lead to a change in the Israeli role and function in the overall Western strategy, not in the sense of abolition, but in the sense of adaptation.
But we delude ourselves by talking about 'the beginning of the end of Israel', portraying the loss as a defeat, or putting Israel's loss on par with our victory, while witnessing what is becoming of Lebanon.
Wars are confrontations that test the health of societies. The Lebanese, who hailed the 'beginning of the end of the American Empire' after US Marines withdrew from Lebanon, recall that this 'empire' succeeded, after only seven years, in defeating the Soviet Union without shooting a single bullet.
How, then, can we say that Hezbollah has triumphed? The only answer is that the Arabs are more likely to have the nerve to face Israel now, because their sense of dignity and pride are stronger than ever before.
This interpretation requires further interpretation:
First, the Arabs' courage has cost the destruction of an Arab homeland, State and society. Second, this courage did not spread to neighboring countries of Israel, taking into consideration that the war has outlasted all previous Arab-Israeli wars. Third, it is an argument that assumes that the Lebanese alone, as long as other Arab bordering countries have not, and will not, pluck up the courage to take action, are the ones who will repeat the experiene, God forbid. Fourth, the phrase 'dignity and the unrelenting people' (and it is alright to quote Ziad Rahbani for a good purpose) will soon be turned into declared humiliation and degradation, as begging for assistance and aid begins - to help displaced people restore their homes, and compensate some of the losses that befell the poor Lebanese.
And then we will certainly find out that the environment of the resistance itself will express its reservations about the reconstruction and the submission to the 'IMF conditions. '