[Marxism] Robert Fisk on Hizbollah

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Aug 11 08:33:40 MDT 2006


http://news.independent.co.uk/world/fisk/article1218405.ece
Robert Fisk: Hizbollah's iron discipline is match for military machine
Published: 11 August 2006

Much bellowing and roaring comes from Israel about a mass military attack 
all the way to the Litani river. But today, much less bellowing and roaring 
about "rooting out" the "weed" of the Shia Muslim Hizbollah "terrorists" 
who are supposedly - in Israel's fantasies, at least - an ally of America's 
enemies in the War on Terror (a conflict which, of course, we all 
religiously support).

A column of Israeli armour, which crept into the Lebanese Christian town of 
Marjayoun - largely populated by the Lebanese collaborators of Israel's 
occupation from 1978 to 2000 - turned north yesterday towards Khiam, a 
village already largely depopulated, to find that the Hizbollah guerrillas 
there refused to surrender.

Israel's frustration - and its sense of loss since 15 of its soldiers were 
killed in just the fraction of the south Lebanese border area which it 
"controls" over the past 24 hours - was evident in a potentially criminal 
document which it dropped over Beirut yesterday. Signed "the State of 
Israel" - which at least makes its origins clear - the tracts announced 
that "the Israeli Defence Forces intend to expand their operations in Beirut".

Ouch, we all said when we read this, anticipating more civilian deaths. And 
we were not without proof. The Israeli decision, announced in this Israeli 
document - a square of paper that fluttered on to shoppers and office 
workers, and myself, in Riad Solh Square - had been taken because Hizbollah 
rockets had continued to fall on Israel and because of "their leader's 
statements" last night. On Tuesday evening, Sayed Hassan Nasrallah, the 
Hizbollah chairman, had boasted of the 350 missiles he claimed his members 
had fired on Israel over the previous 48 hours, and urged Israeli Arabs to 
leave Haifa.

And it should be said that the Israeli army are not winning their war in 
southern Lebanon. Within two kilometres of their own border, they lost 
their 15 soldiers on Wednesday. Many others were wounded. The furthest the 
Israelis could reach in an armoured column yesterday was the edge of Khiam, 
the site of their own notorious torture prison from 1978 to 2000. It is 
still only two miles from the border and they are fighting a far more 
determined and disciplined enemy than in 1982, when their "incursion" took 
them as far as Beirut.

The Israelis have crossed the same border to find that their enemies, 
Hizbollah, are prepared to die in battle - indeed, seek to die in battle - 
unlike the secular PLO over whom they proclaimed an easy victory in 1982. 
Hizbollah is a different enemy, one which turns the Israeli Prime Minister, 
Ehud Olmert's, claims that he is pursuing the same "war on terror" as 
George Bush into dust. The Hizbollah is officered by men who spent 18 years 
fighting Israeli occupiers, and who learned the hard way that improved 
weaponry and iron discipline are more important than nationalist rhetoric. 
Since the Israeli retreat in 2000, they have had six years to bury their 
arms caches underground amid extraordinary secrecy.

Amazingly, the Hizbollah television station, al-Manar, is still on air. 
Israel's anger at this amazing bit of technological initiative may have led 
to its preposterous attack on the old French mandate semaphore and radio 
station transmitter in west Beirut. The structure, built by the French in 
the 1930s, had been a repeater station for Radio France during and after 
the Vichy French regime but had lain derelict since 1946. Yet at 11.20am 
yesterday, the Israelis wasted two missiles on the tower, thus proving the 
"war on terror" - in which they insist they are "our" allies - goes back to 
an era before Israel existed.

Yesterday's air-dropped Israeli document ordered Shia MuslimsinBeirut's Hay 
al-Selloum, Bourj al-Barajneh and Shiyah districts to abandon their homes 
"immediately". In other words, the Israeli army wishes to "cleanse" every 
civilian out of the 12 square miles between Beirut airport and the old 
Christian civil war frontline at Galerie Semaan. This malicious document 
ends with a sinister threat - which breaks all the relevant rules of the 
Geneva Conventions - that "each expansion of Hizbollah terrorist operations 
will lead to a harsh and powerful response and its painful response will 
not be confined to Hassan's gang of criminals".

So what does "not be confined to" mean? That it is the civilians who will 
pay the price - this time in Beirut - as they have in the Israeli air force 
massacres of southern Lebanon over the past three weeks?

Well, stand by for more Hizbollah atrocities and more Israeli atrocities.

Much bellowing and roaring comes from Israel about a mass military attack 
all the way to the Litani river. But today, much less bellowing and roaring 
about "rooting out" the "weed" of the Shia Muslim Hizbollah "terrorists" 
who are supposedly - in Israel's fantasies, at least - an ally of America's 
enemies in the War on Terror (a conflict which, of course, we all 
religiously support).

A column of Israeli armour, which crept into the Lebanese Christian town of 
Marjayoun - largely populated by the Lebanese collaborators of Israel's 
occupation from 1978 to 2000 - turned north yesterday towards Khiam, a 
village already largely depopulated, to find that the Hizbollah guerrillas 
there refused to surrender.

Israel's frustration - and its sense of loss since 15 of its soldiers were 
killed in just the fraction of the south Lebanese border area which it 
"controls" over the past 24 hours - was evident in a potentially criminal 
document which it dropped over Beirut yesterday. Signed "the State of 
Israel" - which at least makes its origins clear - the tracts announced 
that "the Israeli Defence Forces intend to expand their operations in Beirut".

Ouch, we all said when we read this, anticipating more civilian deaths. And 
we were not without proof. The Israeli decision, announced in this Israeli 
document - a square of paper that fluttered on to shoppers and office 
workers, and myself, in Riad Solh Square - had been taken because Hizbollah 
rockets had continued to fall on Israel and because of "their leader's 
statements" last night. On Tuesday evening, Sayed Hassan Nasrallah, the 
Hizbollah chairman, had boasted of the 350 missiles he claimed his members 
had fired on Israel over the previous 48 hours, and urged Israeli Arabs to 
leave Haifa.

And it should be said that the Israeli army are not winning their war in 
southern Lebanon. Within two kilometres of their own border, they lost 
their 15 soldiers on Wednesday. Many others were wounded. The furthest the 
Israelis could reach in an armoured column yesterday was the edge of Khiam, 
the site of their own notorious torture prison from 1978 to 2000. It is 
still only two miles from the border and they are fighting a far more 
determined and disciplined enemy than in 1982, when their "incursion" took 
them as far as Beirut.

The Israelis have crossed the same border to find that their enemies, 
Hizbollah, are prepared to die in battle - indeed, seek to die in battle - 
unlike the secular PLO over whom they proclaimed an easy victory in 1982. 
Hizbollah is a different enemy, one which turns the Israeli Prime Minister, 
Ehud Olmert's, claims that he is pursuing the same "war on terror" as 
George Bush into dust. The Hizbollah is officered by men who spent 18 years 
fighting Israeli occupiers, and who learned the hard way that improved 
weaponry and iron discipline are more important than nationalist rhetoric. 
Since the Israeli retreat in 2000, they have had six years to bury their 
arms caches underground amid extraordinary secrecy.

Amazingly, the Hizbollah television station, al-Manar, is still on air. 
Israel's anger at this amazing bit of technological initiative may have led 
to its preposterous attack on the old French mandate semaphore and radio 
station transmitter in west Beirut. The structure, built by the French in 
the 1930s, had been a repeater station for Radio France during and after 
the Vichy French regime but had lain derelict since 1946. Yet at 11.20am 
yesterday, the Israelis wasted two missiles on the tower, thus proving the 
"war on terror" - in which they insist they are "our" allies - goes back to 
an era before Israel existed.

Yesterday's air-dropped Israeli document ordered Shia MuslimsinBeirut's Hay 
al-Selloum, Bourj al-Barajneh and Shiyah districts to abandon their homes 
"immediately". In other words, the Israeli army wishes to "cleanse" every 
civilian out of the 12 square miles between Beirut airport and the old 
Christian civil war frontline at Galerie Semaan. This malicious document 
ends with a sinister threat - which breaks all the relevant rules of the 
Geneva Conventions - that "each expansion of Hizbollah terrorist operations 
will lead to a harsh and powerful response and its painful response will 
not be confined to Hassan's gang of criminals".

So what does "not be confined to" mean? That it is the civilians who will 
pay the price - this time in Beirut - as they have in the Israeli air force 
massacres of southern Lebanon over the past three weeks?

Well, stand by for more Hizbollah atrocities and more Israeli atrocities.

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