Tag Archives: Lebanon

Hezbollah: From Lethal Politics to Political Suicide

Commentary by Oussama Hariri – 1 March 2012

This article was first published in Arabic.

Source: mar15.info

In a recent speech, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the secretary general of Hezbollah, reasserted his party’s support to the Syrian regime. Among his rather far-fetched statements was the blunt denial of what is happening in Homs, describing the city’s massacres merely as exaggerated events. While the people of Homs face a brutal ordeal, Hezbollah is far from changing its political course. Successful policy is based on adapting to changing times and the emergence of new political players. While change has swept across the political scene in the Arab world with new powers rising and others declining, one cannot help but wonder where Hezbollah’s policy, the fierce defense of a doomed regime, will lead it; all this in the context of the changing prospects of regimes across the Arab world. Continue reading

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Hezbollah: Is this still really resistance?

 Commentary by Riccardo Dugulin – 15 January 2012

Source: theblaze.com

The term ‘resistant’ provides the person it describes with an almost immediate moral high ground. Regardless of the historical time and place, once put into a conflict situation the resistant is an individual that willingly decides to make disproportionate sacrifices and to take above than average risks to defend his values and homeland. From the Hashashiyyin Shiite rebels resisting Sunni Saljuq rule in Persia between 1092 and 1265 to the armed Algerian factions freeing their territory from French occupation in the 1950’s; resistance movements always face a large and organized foreign army with elements of indirect and asymmetric warfare. Beyond the concrete operational techniques such armed groups decide to use to protect and free their homeland, the resistant is the beneficiary of almost complete moral superiority. Continue reading

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Who Lost Lebanon? From Politics of Confrontation to Compromise

Commentary by Takuya Matsuda – 2 September 2011

Rafiq Hariri & Hassan Nasrallah

The year 2011 already seemed likely to flower into a turbulent year for the Middle East, even before the advent of the “Arab Spring” that toppled close to three dictators in the region. Hezbollah’s withdrawal from the national unity government in Lebanon, which kept the country’s chronic sectarian conflicts from resurfacing for the past few years, sparked fears that the Lebanese “time bomb” was finally going to explode. Nobody could have predicted “the Arab Spring”, a series of historical events that have rocked the region’s authoritarian regimes since January. Continue reading

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Interview: Michael Young on the “Arab Spring”

Michael Young

Michael Young is one of the leading political analysts in the Middle East and broader Arab world. He is the opinion editor of the The Daily Star (Lebanon) and the author of The Ghosts of Martyrs Square: An Eyewitness Account of Lebanon’s Life Struggle. He also tweets @BeirutCalling. In light of recent developments in the region, ArabsThink.com has had the opportunity to interview Michael Young about his take on events. The interview was conducted on the 9th of August 2011. Continue reading

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Filed under Arab Spring, Egypt, English, Foreign Policy & IR, Gulf states, Interview, Lebanon & Syria, Turkey

Lebanon’s Shameful Silence on the Syrian Revolution

Commentary by Tamer Mallat – June 13 2011

Copyright Margaux Bergey

On June 15, 2011, Syrian revolutionaries will enter their third month of protest. Thirteen Fridays have already past, over 1,300 Syrians have lost their lives – excluding those listed as missing -, and over 12,000 remain incarcerated in a prison system where torture, humiliation, intimidation, rape and extra-judicial execution constitute the modus operandi of regime violence. In face of looming defeat, Bashar al-Assad appears to have waged an open war against the people of his own country. The army is being deployed everywhere, helicopters are gunning down peaceful protestors; for the regime, the “enemy” appears to be no other than the entire population of Syria. And yet, the Syrians have not succumbed to Bashar’s murderous folly. Friday June 10, hundreds of thousands of protestors braved the plethora of bullets being fired at them to continue to voice their demands: the Syrian regime must go. However, in neighboring Lebanon, the scene is very much different. For a country that has suffered from the Assad dynasty’s tyranny for almost three decades, the Lebanese have been awfully quite. Worse even, the majority of Lebanese can be best described as being completely apathetic, to be as diplomatic as the limits allow. Continue reading

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Obama’s Speech: What Was Unsaid

Commentary by Tamer Mallat and Mélissa Rahmouni21 May 2011

Obama’s long overdue speech on the Arab Spring has provoked a series of mixed and muted reactions across the Arab world. For many, his outspoken remarks claiming that any Palestinian state must be created on the basis of the pre-1967 borders, were received as an encouraging sign that the US is upping the ante on Israel. President Obama’s clear embrace of non-violent and pro-democracy protests in addition to his condemnation of the brutal crackdowns in Bahrain, Syria, and Yemen, aimed to highlight America’s firm position that favors democratic reform. However, Obama continues to stop short of calling for regime change. By encouraging autocrats from Bahrain to Syria to undergo sincere reforms, Obama’s policy remains focused on ‘behavioral change’ over ‘regime change’. Obama’s silence on a number of issues betrays a possibly more sordid foreign policy shift. Not one word was directed at the developing state of affairs in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Algeria and Morocco. Continue reading

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Filed under Algeria, Arab Spring, Bahrain, English, Foreign Policy & IR, Gulf states, Lebanon & Syria, Morocco

A Bullet for a Rock: An Eyewitness Account of the “Bloody Sunday” Massacre

Commentary by Sabah Haider – 18 May 2011

For many of those who protested — and died — on Israel’s border with Lebanon this May 15, it was their first sighting of their ancestral home. On Sunday May 15, I stood in solidarity with tens of thousands of Palestinians, Lebanese and other pro-Palestinian protestors in Maroun al-Ras, Lebanon, where I witnessed the Israelis respond to protestors throwing rocks at Israel, over the barbed-wire fence marking the border, with live ammunition. Many young men were shot: 10 people died and 115 were wounded, the largest number of casualties at any of the day’s border protests in Egypt, Syria, Jordan, the West Bank, Gaza, and Lebanon. There were reports that the Israelis used rubber bullets, but rubber bullets don’t kill. Continue reading

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