[Marxism] Re Many Hezbollah activists are from leftist groups ???

Michael Karadjis mkaradjis at theplanet.net.au
Thu Aug 3 10:06:14 MDT 2006

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Tom O'Lincoln" <suarsos at alphalink.com.au>

> Sayan B quoted Robert Pape on suicide bombers coming from leftist
> backgrounds. Mike K asked in turn: "Was mass communist 'entryism' into
> an originally "Islamist' anti-occupation resistance movement an
> important factor transforming it into something far more secular in
> reality and far more effective than it would have been if it had stuck
> to some of the original shibboleths, sectarianism and fundamentalism
> inherent in its founding ideology?"
> Maybe, but we're talking suicide bombers here -- not the  most secular
> and effective strategy in my eyes. If there was such an "entryism" it
> would also mark a historic degeneration of the Lebanese left. Which
> wouldn't be surprising, my recollection is that the Lebanese CP was
> badly affected by the 1970s civil war -- lots of money from dubious
> sources, but a much-reduced working class base.
Firstly my suggestion above is just conjecture, and not really even
suggesting any organised 'entryism' as such.

On suicide bombing not being a 'secular and efective' strategy, well you
might be right, but let's not confuse the method (suicide versus
shooting or bombing etc) with the target (civilians or military). The
Hamas suicide bombings alrgely targetting civilians has unfortunately
given the term a certain flavour for many people. Hizbullah's suicide
bombing was directed against US and Israeli occupation troops. I would
argue that it was extremely effective, and as for 'secular', well the
tactic was started by the Tamil Tigers, a secular nationalist

From: "Mason Gibb" <mason.akhnaten at gmail.com>

> Michael--
> I suggest you read the Hezbollah primer, linked originally by Yoshie.
> It explains that Hezbollah emerged out of these groups rather than
> these groups entering into Hezbollah.
> http://www.merip.org/mero/mero073106.html
> QUOTE: Initially, this growing urban population of mostly Shi'i poor
> in Lebanon was not mobilized along sectarian lines. In the 1960s and
> early 1970s, they made up much of the rank and file of the Lebanese
> Communist Party and the Syrian Socialist Nationalist Party. Later, in
> the 1970s, Sayyid Musa al-Sadr, a charismatic cleric who had studied
> in the Iraqi shrine city of Najaf, began to challenge the leftist
> parties for the loyalty of Shi'i youth.

Yes it was an excellent primer. However, this quote above is from a
different era. Amal arose as a competitor to the left parties, and in
the late 1970s and early 1980s fought a number of battles with the
Lebanese CP. Actually it was widely accused of acting as a trojan horse
for the Lebanese right among the Shia. Some of its leadership was highly
ambivalent about the Israeli invasion.

The struggle against the Israeli occupation opened a new period. At the
outset, the armed resistance consisted largely of the CP's and Amal.
Hizbullah had not even distinctly emerged, but was formed from radical
Shia groups within and on the fringes of Amal. When it did emerge in
1985, Amal, at the behest of Syria, was launching criminal attacks on
the Palestinian camps. Although Amal and Hizbullah were co-religionists,
Hizbullah vigorously denounced Amal, defended the Palestinians, and
eventually drove Amal from their strongholds. Since then Hizbullah never
atacked the (Sunni and Christian) Palestinians. And while theoretically
as anti-communist as Amal, I'm not aware of any attacks on the CP's. Nor
of any sectarian attacks on Christian communities. It put defeating the
Israeli invasion above all else.

Something happened between its inception in 1985 and the early 1990s -
Amal had declined massively, as had both CP's, while Hizbullah the far
and away major resistance group. My suggestion about what hapened above
would have occurred during this period.

Whether that represents "degeneration" of the CP(s), as Tom suggests,
I'm not sure. He also sugests they had already degenerated, and had
alreadt by the 1970s lost much working class base. Maybe, but they were
apparently still a major element in resistance after 1982, during the
initial stage of resistance. Perhaps with being so badly affected
already, and in an era when Shiite confessional politics was on the
rise, they may have seen the split in the Shiite confessional ranks as
an opportunity. I don't want to judge whether that was a good or bad
idea or a 'degeneration', but if true, it was certainly effective.
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