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The Courage of Nasrallah - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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While many Arab politicians and intellectuals have praised the war in Lebanon, which followed the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, the party’s Secretary General, said the operation was a miscalculation. He openly and unequivocally stated that he would not have sanctioned such an operation if he had foreseen the magnitude of the disaster to follow.

This display of courage ought to be recognized, as it signals a reply to all those who criticized those who warned against such mistakes. They accused a large segment of the Arab world of treason because they warned of the grave mistake being committed. It could have been possible to rein in the Israelis in the beginning, by correcting what had happened, for example by releasing the two soldiers, thereby not giving any party the chance to destroy Lebanon.

As much as we salute the leader of the resistance for his courage and honesty, we must blame those who sought to falsify facts and considered the recent conflict a heroic act, strategic choice and a war for freedom and liberation. The painful truth is that the kidnapping of the two soldiers was a golden opportunity for Israel, as it gave it a “legal” pretext to invade, bomb and kill, as the great powers stood in favor of the attack or disregarded the aggression. For their part, Russia and China remained silent until the last days of the conflict.

We do not want to hold anyone accountable, despite the tragic consequences. It is important that Arab citizens become aware of the difference between political fraud and facts on the ground. Those who cheered the war and attacked those who sought to discuss it are leading the nation to more destruction. They have supported past calamities during which Arabs were displaced and lost their land, forcing them to become refugees and live in makeshift camps.

Unfortunately, these same voices want to see heroism occur at the expense of others, whether Palestinian, Lebanese or Iraqi, Sunni or Shiaa, civilian or combatants. What matters to them is to keep the fire burning, irrespective of the loss of life and property or even political failure. This is the difference between those cheering for more destruction and those warning against uncalculated adventures. The first group wants more victims while the second seeks to help and halt the bloodshed.

The kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers did not call for such an overwhelming Israeli response. However, it was a calculated Israeli aggression and a mistaken adventure by Hezbollah. Whether the party fell into the trap out of haste or instigation by others, the price was very high and the results are occupation, hegemony and additional loss of life.

In spite of all this, it has to be said that Nasrallah is a brave man who admitted his mistake instead of jumping on the wagon of victory. Throughout the war, he adopted a balanced political discourse, in a manner never seen before with politicians during times of conflict. He saved Lebanon from a dangerous strife, on the first day of the war. If only Arab demagogues would stop falsifying facts, feelings and heroics, and follow the example of the war leader!

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed is the former general manager of Al-Arabiya television. He is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine Al-Majalla. He is also a senior columnist in the daily newspapers Al-Madina and Al-Bilad. He has a US post-graduate degree in mass communications, and has been a guest on many TV current affairs programs. He is currently based in Dubai.

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