Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The ‘Divine Victory’

Hassan Nasrallah just announced that Hizbullah has achieved a “significant strategic and historical victory against Israel, not just for Lebanon and the resistance, but also for the entire Umma.”

Of course, for leaders like Nasrallah, their mere survival is a victory in their eyes, and the eyes of the ‘Ummah’. I am reminded by Saddam Hussein's speech in the wake of the 1991 Gulf War. The fact that the Shi’ite warlord managed to fire hundreds of missiles deep into Israel, a feat that not even Gamal Abdul Nasser could achieve in his time, represents another major victory for the Arab and Muslim masses starving for any semblance of Israeli and western defeat, only to add more imaginary victories to feed their self-delusion for years to come.

Other snippets from Nasrallah's televised speech:

"We emerged victorious in a war in which big Arab armies were defeated before."

“Who will defend Lebanon in the case of a new Israeli offensive? The Lebanese army and an international force in the south will be incapable of protecting Lebanon.”

“Hizbollah will not be pressured or terrorised to give up its arms.”

“Those who discussed the disarmament of Hizbullah’s weapons at this critical stage are mistaken,” in a reference to Lebanese politicians who spoke against Hizbullah’s provocative attack, adding that any such discussion is “immoral.”

Lebanese Hizbullah supporters are, typically, firing celebratory gunfire in the southern suburb of Beirut as we speak, while distributing posters of Nasrallah with the title 'the divine victory.' Amazing how fast those posters were printed.

Other Lebanese don’t seem so impressed.

I think we all agree that, despite heavy military and operational losses for Hizbullah (though some would dispute that, since its rockets continued to pour consistently into Israel until the last day of hostilities, notwithstanding Israeli claims that over 50% of its rocket arsenal has been destroyed) and substantial damage to Lebanese infrastructure, Hizbullah’s position in the region and in Lebanon has been given a considerable boost. The weakened Lebanese government will now have to tread with care.

Iran must be rubbing its hands with glee right now.