Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Hizbollah discovers Democracy
Read this paper by Hizollah's principle political theorist, who is basically Nasrallah's right-hand man. Some choice quotes:
Hezbollah’s insistence that Lebanon’s political system is a democratic consensual one based on the rule of ‘con-sociationism’ as stipulated by the Preamble of the Lebanese Constitution cannot be understood merely as a political response to a particular moment of deep divisions. It reflects a deep transformation in Hezbollah’s understanding of the requirements of the Lebanese political system as well as its appreciation that internal stability is central to every national project if it is to succeed in its pan-Arab and Islamic dimensions.
I.e., if there is internal strife because not every voice is heard and represented in government, if there is struggle between factions because the government does not represent the will of everybody but, rather, represents the will of only a few or even just the will of the Shiite majority in Lebanon, then everybody suffers and Hizbollah's effectiveness at representing its Islamist core constituency deminishes. In other words, he states that Hizbollah believes in democracy of a particularly liberal kind -- a consensual democracy that represents the will of the people as a whole, rather than of just the Shiite majority.
Neither was it possible for the government to enjoy the credibility of wide popular support with Hezbollah outside. This would have left a significant constituency - if not the largest - outside state institutions, with the likely disturbances and instability that this could cause in the Power structure and in its ability to govern.
Because stability is necessary for peace and prosperity, and prosperity is necessary in order to achieve Hizbollah's long-term goals, he argues that the entry of Hizbollah into Lebanese politics is simply a way of helping arrive at the national consensus via what he calls "the national dialogue". In short, Hizbollah's long term goal has to be to build a strong government in Lebanon that reflects the will of the people -- of *all* the people, not just Islamists and not just the Shiite majority -- in order to build the prosperity needed for Hizbollah to achieve its social and and military goals. Contrast this to the Decider's "you're either with us or against us" nonsense, which has achieved nothing other than dividing the American people against each other and is causing a national crisis in the United States where we could shortly be in a civil war that would make the Lebanese civil war look like a piece of cake.
Instead, the aforementioned national dialogue was created. Hezbollah’s attitude towards its political adversaries was reflected once again in the political understanding reached with the Free Patriotic Movement headed by General Aoun. A memorandum of understanding was drafted. It reflected the movement’s attachment to dialogue, its willingness to conclude pragmatic settlements on the basis of political balances, and its concern for political stability. The document constituted a qualitative change in the nature of the existing political coalitions: the two parties represent arguably the two most popular movements in Lebanon, from the Muslim community and from the Christian community respectively, with very different political backgrounds and histories. They succeeded nevertheless in reaching a joint political understanding based on mutual concessions and built consensual approaches to thorny political issues.
You must remember that only 15 years ago, in the October 13 massacre, Hezbollah was one of the militias that slaughtered Aoun's supporters when they overthrew his government with Syrian Army support. Yet now these two bitter enemies are, if not supporters of each other, at least talking and making mutual concessions for the good of Lebanon. Which the Decider and his Republicant Party show a total disinterest in doing. Their idea of "compromise" is "do it my way, period."
This, BTW, is a good counter-example to the "Muslims just want to kill and convert everybody at gunpoint" nonsense. Recent events show that Hezbollah's militia has the military power to impose their rule upon Lebanon if they so desire -- I mean, they fought the IDF to a standstill, and the IDF is far more powerful than the Lebanese Army supported by the other factions (the Christians and the Sunni). Yet instead, Hezbollah has taken a seat at the table, and has accepted the principle that, even though the Shiite are now the majority in Lebanon, that there can be no peace without bringing in the Sunni and Christians and even giving them special priviliges in order to reassure them that the majority doesn't want to harm them.
Factor in Hezbollah leader Nasrallah's recent apology for the capture of the Israeli soldiers, where Nasrallah states that if he had known that Israel would have attacked rather than did a prisoner exchange like they'd done in the past, he wouldn't have done it. He basically apologized to the Lebanese people for a mistake he'd made, and in that same speech also basically placed Hezbollah's militia under the strategic command of the Lebanese government, stating that no matter how many provocations and breaches of the treaty were made by Israel, Hezbollah's military arm would take no offensive actions unless the national dialogue process at the federal government level arrived at a consensus that it was time to act. Shit, if only we Americans had a leader willing to apologize rather than "stay the course"
So, I have one question: if Hizbollah apparently is a bigger believer in democracy than George W. Bush is, then why don't we put *them* in charge of "bringing democracy to Iraq" rather than the Bush Administration? Oh sure, there's that little bit of American law making it illegal to trade with terrorists, but look, that's just a piece of paper, just like the Constitution...
-- Badtux the "Hmm, who's the bigger terrorist?" Penguin
Posted by: BadTux / 8/30/2006 09:38:00 PM
What? You expect King George to keep his nose out of something?
# posted by BBC : 31/8/06 5:03 AM
Contrast this to the Decider's "you're either with us or against us" nonsense, which has achieved nothing other than dividing the American people against each other and is causing a national crisis in the United States where we could shortly be in a civil war that would make the Lebanese civil war look like a piece of cake.
I was just asking Hubby the other day if he thought there were more people snarling at each other in public. He said he'd noticed it too. Do you really think violence might break out?
The right's monolithic control seems to be disintegrating, but I think the hatemongers aren't doing good by America.
if Hizbollah apparently is a bigger believer in democracy than George W. Bush is, then why don't we put *them* in charge of "bringing democracy to Iraq" rather than the Bush Administration?
..Or some kind of coalition of local peoples who know more about the history and culture - But then, Bushco's not there to spread democracy. He's just there for the oil.(the liar) He can't understand that imperialism just won't work these days, and he's bankrupting us trying to prove that it will.
Has there even been a democratic revolution that did not start with "terrorism"? Maybe India, with Ghandi's guidence, though as soon as independence was won, it decended into a free for all.
Hezbollah is doing the real "hard work" of rebuilding the infrastructure, and helping the people, that Bushco is just too elite to care about. I watched that firestorm, and it seemed to me that Israel was creating a whole lot more terror and heartache than Hezbollah.
# posted by SB Gypsy : 3/9/06 8:23 AM
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