[Marxism] Is Lebanon on the verge of a new fighting?

David Walters dave.walters at comcast.net
Sun Jun 22 22:22:27 MDT 2008

Fred, thanks for you comments...umm...what do you think is 'sectarian' 
about my comments? No one who has written, in fact, has stated anything 
different where it counts: on the role Hezbollah played in beating back 
Israeli incursions. I'm not sure what the 'sectarianism' is in this 
case. That I don't support Hezbollah as the workers party of Lebanon? 
That I criticize it because it has not always played a progressive role 
*within* Lebanese politics? What?

Fred states this:

"That is, it is consciously directed by leaders of all class origins 
toward solving bourgeois democratic problems of Lebanon, NOT the 
class/social problems that underly the whole crisis."

I don't agree. I don't think that Hezbollah is at all interested in 
"...solving bourgeois democratic problems of Lebanon,..." I think it 
wants to increase Shia representation which is "a" democratic demand but 
there is no indication that Hezbollah is revolutionary nationalist which 
is what it would mean if what you state is true. Their original program 
was for an Islamic Republic in Lebanon...but they did abandon this 
shortly after the Israeli's withdrew from Lebanon in 1985. It has run 
non-Muslims on it's slate for the Lebanese parliament but by and large 
it still defines itself as a revolutionary Islamic organization. 
Additionally, it virtually "eliminated" all Lebanese left presence in 
the southern part of the country, along with just about all 
non-Hezbollah political organizations. This *inluded* Palestinian 
organizaitons with which Hezbollah has historically had a hostile 
relationship with.

It plays the role of being anti-imperialist and that, now, is it's most 
important attribute which I noted above no one on this list, yet, 
disagrees with. It is it's most salient feature. This is a good thing, 
not a bad thing and it is what, no doubt, motivated Yossi and his little 
band of anti-Zionists IN the Zionist entity to support them in their 

My comment about their timing of the attack on the IDF was that I'm 
curious about why it took place *then* and not before or after the 
events in Beirut. I should also point out that Hezbollah leader 
Nasrallah suggested in an interview that had he to do it all over again 
(Hezbollah being something of a one man operation) he would NOT of taken 
on the IDF which resulted in the deaths of thousands of Lebanese 
civilians. While I noted that in fact here on Marxmail everyone noted 
the strident defense of Lebanese soverightry by Hezbollah actually 
beating back the Israeli incursion...I for one consider the kidnapping 
of the two Zionist soldiers to of been a total and absolute provocation, 
akin to standing in front of an insane tiger and slapping it upside the 
head. Hezbollah claimed of done this in solidarity with the people of 
Gaza. I don't doubt the sincerity of this for a moment. But the defense 
of Lebanon was completely after the fact...it was idiotic to have done 
what they did in the first place and unilaterly without, say, discusison 
with Lebanonese Palestinians who simply had nothing to do with the 
Hezbollah action but suffered the consequences along with the rest of 
the people of Lebanon. In the US we would call this "ultra left 
sectarianism". It was unilateralism of the worst sort. And, the 
political fall out of their actions is not yet to be counted. Once the 
first shots were fired of course, it became necessary to act as Yossi's 
group did. This is why I respect Yossi's comments on this question.

It seems typical of Fred's well reasoned comments to follow on Walter's 
general method of jumping on any bandwagon that appears progressive and 
projecting onto it a set of politics that doesn't exist ('socialist' 
'anti-capitalist' 'revolutionary nationalist', etc). The inability to 
make a distinction between defense/support for the *actions* of a group 
and the political analysis as somehow 'revolutonary' to use a broad 
term, marks both Fred and Walter's politics, it seems to me.

Hezbollah is what it is: an anti-Zionist Islamic political group based 
on the Shia population of southern Lebanon and Beirut. This is what it 
SAYS it is. I take them at their word and wouldn't read anything *more* 
into it. The tasks of Lebanese Marxists I would think would be to try to 
build their current, unite the class across sectarian lines, support and 
defend all those fighting Zionism and pushing to rid their country of 
their archaic sectarian political system designed by French colonialism 
(the undemocratic Ta'if Accord). It means *competing* politically with 
sectarian organizations like Hezbollah, Amal, etc. (since you can't join 
them unless you subcsribe to their "politics").


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