The ticking is louder [Archives:2008/1132/Opinion]

February 25 2008

This observer continues to watch events in the region unfold with scaring overtones that the forces of evil in the region and overseas are adamant in keeping the flames of conflict burning until someone decides it is time for a full fledged conflict to flare up. The slaying of Imad Mughaniya, the military genius of Hizbullah is surely an incident that confirms this notion and it is not surprising that all the eyes now are turned towards Southern Lebanon.

After the resounding speech by Hassan Nasrullah1 late last week, the indefatigable leader of Hizbullah2, one is convinced that the course of events in the region is heading for an explosive up turn that will indeed “change the picture of the region for generations to come”, as Nasr-Allah said. What the Israeli Mossad undertook in Damascus by the killing of Haj Ridhwan, as Mughnia is sometimes called, was either a grave miscalculation or an act that emanates from a naive notion that the arithmetic can be shifted to the Israeli side as both sides (Hizbullah and Israel) continue to outdo each other in an unusually disproportionate balance of power, in which the guts and the tact have been slipped away from the Israelis and taken over by the cunning and impassioned gusto of the wily and astute (as well as respectfully prudent) Sayyid Hassan Nasrullah.

If the Israelis mistakenly assumed that Nasrullah would not exceed his limitations, as he is now busy with the not yet untangled complex quagmire that the political forum in Lebanon has taken, they surely are entering the snare that Hizbullah is best at arranging. Hizbullah always seems to go ahead of the clock, being fully aware of how the powers in the region are shifting and for whom the hot wind is blowing. In all likelihood, Hizbullah has been meticulously arranging for the big moment when the elements of power will have their tests again and the Israelis certainly have not been doing their arithmetic properly.

For all the apparently lopsided arrangement in Lebanon and the poor stance of the “moderate Arab regimes, as they continue to hedge on American sheer physical power and the strong display of “tough talk” by an obviously incapable war machine that has been shown to be prone to defeat, just as all Goliaths are bound to meet their Davids, Hizbullah is bound to come out of this seemingly intricate mumble jumble of political intrigue and dangerous play with fire in Lebanon with an outstanding display of its own cunning and courageous weighing of the risks involved. The tip-off here will come from the strong preparations that the deceased Mughnia was preparing for. According to Nasr-Allah these preparations have approached their “final touches” before the ill fated assassination of the former and one should never discount the ability of the general population in Lebanon to seize the moment when they once again will show that it is not always might that makes right. Anyone who believes that the Lebanese will not be able to understand what Nasrullah is driving at is mistaken.

The beautiful display of national cohesion and solidarity when Lebanon fended off the most serious threat to its national well-being during the Summer War of 2006 is strong evidence of the clever sensibility of the Lebanese in standing strongly behind the real effective national leaders of Lebanon, who achieve astounding results and continue to make Lebanon and the Lebanese people a nation to be reckoned with, notwithstanding its rather minute physical attributes.

It is really time for the Lebanese leaders on both sides of the ongoing senseless current political squabbling to remember where their real strengths lie and who are the phony stooges that are continuing to serve the real enemies of Lebanon and the Arab World at large. In Nasr-Allah's well chosen words, maybe it is time for the former to pack up their bags and let the Lebanese people and real Lebanese national leadership, who do not confront the enemy with tears, prove once again that from Lebanon will come the salvation of all the Arab Nation, God willing.

1 Or Nasr-Allah or Nasrallah.

2 Or Hizb-Allah or Hizbillah, etc.

Hassan Al-Haifi has been a Yemeni political economist and journalist for more than 20 years.