The secretary general of Hezbollah, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, does not accept for one moment that his party is “confused, unclear or foggy,” as he remarked during a televised address on Tuesday evening.
Is it reasonable that the vision, practice and policy of Hezbollah are not confused, after the detailed outline that he presented on the Syria crisis? It was also offered in earlier speeches over the past two years by Nasrallah, who explained the complications of this policy, moving between the various phases of the conflict while employing contradictory notions. Is it shameful for the party to be confused before what Nasrallah termed the American-western-Arab-Israeli conspiracy “to destroy Syria as a state, people, society and army, so that a central state does not exist, irrespective of the government running it, whether presently or otherwise”? In addition, Nasrallah cited the goal of taking Syria out of the alliance of states supportive of resistance to Israel.
Isn’t the momentous nature of this conspiracy a sufficient reason for Hezbollah to be confused? Or, does Hezbollah’s superiority exceed the human capability to overcome difficulties of this sort, which are imposed by this “conspiracy?” Or, perhaps Nasrallah’s repetition, in more than one speech in the past, of his denial that Hezbollah is confused amid what is being witnessed by Syria and the region, serves as decisive evidence that the party is in fact confused.
If it is natural and logical for Sayyed Nasrallah to demonstrate his firmness before what he sees as a “conspiracy” against Syria, then one can understand his need for such self-confidence before his supporters, and in the face of his rivals, about his ability to overcome the loss represented by Syria’s exit from the pro-resistance camp. This is, in other words, the loss of this card enjoyed by Iranian regional influence because the Syrian regime is busy with a civil war, while serving as one of the reasons for the escalation of this conflict.
In making an accusation against what he called “the first direction” that is battling the regime, Nasrallah said there were those who wagered that the regime was facing an imminent collapse, and that developments on the ground in fact indicated the opposite. This is true, but Nasrallah also ignored the number of times in which he, in his speeches, said that the military approach had ended, that the regime had been able to bring things under control, and that events were headed in the direction of a political settlement. During the first year of the uprising, how many times were things under control in Homs and elsewhere? Nasrallah forgot how many times his envoys informed Lebanese leaders that the situation in Deraa and elsewhere would be settled by the following morning, to the benefit of Syrian President Bashar Assad and his troops. Meanwhile, opponents of the regime achieved progress, despite their weak capabilities, which obliged Hezbollah and the “friends” of the regime to intervene openly as time went on. Nasrallah promised that “countries and resistance movements and groups are being forced to intervene in the confrontation on the ground”; Tehran began to achieve this by sending to Syria trained fighters from countries in which it enjoys influence, via Iraq, and perhaps Lebanon as well, under the pretext that there were fighters of several different nationalities fighting with the opposition and the Nusra Front Islamist group.
Do all of these earlier wagers by Hezbollah mesh with the notion that the Syrian regime’s army can prevail militarily? After all, Nasrallah said, “We never once called on the regime to settle things militarily, even though it could do so.”
Can it be termed anything other than confusion when Nasrallah denied that Iranian forces are in Syria, as he referred to the presence of trainers? He then concluded this by declaring that “it is either incorrect in the first place, or very much exaggerated.” He is turning the debate over the presence of these forces into a quantitative exercise – is it tens of thousands, or thousands, or hundreds of thousands, while the other side engages in “exaggerations”? He engaged in the same thing while mocking what media reports have proven in terms of the numbers of dead Hezbollah fighters.
It is pointless to talk about the regime’s drive to abort the attempts at dialogue since the outbreak of the crisis and foil any political solution, so that the promised military solution does not come to pass. There is no reason to reiterate that there was a deliberate bid to militarize the peaceful uprising against the regime, through the use of excessive levels of violence to halt the mass demonstrations in support of change, in cities and rural areas of Syria. Just recently, the Syrian president informed his Lebanese allies that he was able to achieve victory, that Iran had trained a militia of more than 60,000 fighters, which would be able to settle things, and that the majority of the Syrian people supported him.
In criticizing the fatwas calling for jihad in Syria, by Sunni sheikhs in Lebanon, Nasrallah took his rivalry with Future Movement leader Saad Hariri to the extent of refusing to recognize that the latter stood against these moves, and instead termed it a case of “looking for praise.” Nasrallah said “no one should present himself as being civilized,” while at the same time said he did not want problems in Lebanon. How can both notions be correct?
Nasrallah is afraid that “political facts will be imposed by facts on the battlefield,” as he put it. The source of the confusion is that the Syrian battlefield is changing, ahead of the fall of the regime, and Nasrallah is confronting the new political facts.
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