Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
SATURDAY, 19 APR 2014
04:47 AM Beirut time
Weather    
Beirut
20 °C
Blom Index
BLOM
1,214.01down
Editorial
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
Dead-end rhetoric
Hezbollah's leader Hasan Nasrallah speaks during a ceremony in Beirut's southern suburbs, Friday, Dec. 20, 2013. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
Hezbollah's leader Hasan Nasrallah speaks during a ceremony in Beirut's southern suburbs, Friday, Dec. 20, 2013. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
A+ A-

The leader of Hezbollah gave another one of his “how dare you?” speeches Friday, ratcheting up political tension in Lebanon while claiming to be interested in turning over a new page with his March 14 rivals.

Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah recited the usual litany of complaints against March 14 politicians, whom he accused of making dangerous accusations about his party. Nasrallah’s outrage is conveniently absent of any assessment of the rhetoric of his own party members and allies, who waste no opportunity to engage in wild accusations about the behavior of their rivals – the language of “treason” is a constant feature of such statements, in the event that Nasrallah hasn’t noticed.

It’s a case of Hezbollah’s acting as if it’s on the defensive, when in fact it regularly engages in offensive verbal and other maneuvering. Sprinkled in between Nasrallah’s offers to work together for the national interest are, invariably, the usual ultimatums – the next government in Lebanon will be X, and not Y – period, end of story. “Don’t play with us” is another favorite threat that Nasrallah used on Friday – this is what an armed political party in Lebanon tells the other political actors on the scene, while claiming to be engaged in self-defense.

With every speech, both before the eruption of the uprising in Syria and after, Nasrallah talks about the “exceptional circumstances” the region is experiencing. It’s time for Hezbollah to do something exceptional itself, namely make a real effort to arrive at compromise and abandon the policies that have contributed to all of the tension. Otherwise, the speechmaking, exclusive interviews and other media appearances by Nasrallah generate nothing other than empty words and phrases.

As for next year’s presidential election, Nasrallah made a plea for a candidate who represents Lebanon and challenged his rivals to act without allowing their decisions to be swayed by the intervention of foreign countries. This kind of empty rhetoric might play well with Hezbollah’s supporters, but it would take a superhuman mental feat to even imagine – for the sake of argument – that Hezbollah would ever stand up and say to Iran, for example, or to Syria: “We reject your ‘choice’” for Lebanon’s next president, we will openly lobby against this choice, and we will vote no in Parliament when the time comes.” Unless Hezbollah undergoes a radical change, there’s no reason to expect that it will act in any way other than keeping one eye, or both, on the interests of its foreign friends and backers.

Hezbollah’s leader and his colleagues are quick to talk about being victims and wanting to work together with others for the common good of Lebanon, but the fact that they spend most of their time issuing ultimatums and setting down red lines means that few people bother listening anymore to such dead-end rhetoric.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on December 21, 2013, on page 7.
Home Editorial
 
     
 
Lebanon
Advertisement
Comments  

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement


Baabda 2014
Advertisement
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Multimedia
Images  
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Friday April 18, 2014
View all view all
Advertisement
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Why Israeli-Palestinian talks fail
Michael Young
Michael Young
Why confuse gibberish with knowledge?
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
Echoes of 1914 characterize the Ukraine crisis
View all view all
Advertisement
cartoon
 
Click to View Articles
 
 
News
Business
Opinion
Sports
Culture
Technology
Entertainment
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS