I will not easily forget the images of the gunman prepared to kill on the “frontline” of Lebanese Future News television channel in Rawcheh as he opened fire on the channel’s old building. Bullets were fired from the offices and rooms in which I spent fourteen years over the span of which various incidents occurred; however it was the attack carried out against the empty building, riddled only by bullets, which destroyed everything inside.
The images of the armed men trampling over archives of videos and cassettes, setting fire to rooms without fear and full of hatred and hostility and abusing anything that they could get their hands on, is a decisive moment for any Lebanese journalist, or at least it should be.
Colleagues at Al Mustaqbal Newspaper were held under fire by Hezbollah militants, and what is still referred to as Lebanese opposition, who claimed that they were fighting armed men in the building but this has emerged to be lies. Workers complained about the authority of the armed men regarding their affairs and the angle of representation since only what they permitted would be transmitted.
The Lebanese have hesitated in expressing their objection to disorder, the onslaught and being taken from their homes at the hands of gunmen; crying women pleaded as their sons were snatched, people were forced out of their homes and areas for fear of being targeted for sectarian reasons and media employees received calls from unknown sources criticizing their media coverage because it is critical of the opposition. There have been many other forms of suffering that leave no doubt that a comprehensive plan had been set in motion by Hezbollah when it ventured, through its actions, upon seizing Beirut and the rest of Lebanon in the manner that has been adopted.
What has happened in Beirut and in Lebanon and what the media has been exposed to was no mistake or act of defiance by the lawless elements. What Hezbollah has ventured upon is the essence and formation of this party and its ideology based on individualism, purity, affiliation and the rejection, and stifling of, difference.
It seems that Hezbollah’s gloating over what happened to its opponent’s media is a strong indication of the party’s numerous writings over many years that sought to consolidate its position in the minds of its followers. These writings are based on selective information and the glorification of its leader so the central authority obscures what it considers necessary to obscure, falsifies what it deems false and promotes what it thinks should be promoted. For example, there has been the claim that it was not Hezbollah that closed down the Future television channel and it was not Hezbollah that bombarded the channel’s building and so on and so forth…
Lebanese media as a whole is not free from political bias and sectarian errors and disorder; however what Hezbollah embarked upon via its military, security and media capabilities has forced all Lebanese, and primarily the Shia, to face a real test, the outcome of which will determine the fate of the country in its entirety.
Hezbollah was not misleading regarding its agenda and methods and the response of Hezbollah’s Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah was clear when he said that whoever reached for the weapons of the resistance would be cast into the sea.
Fear that the resistance will remain and Lebanon will cease to exist has become a more likely reality.