Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

What happened to Nasrallah’s shrewdness? - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
Select Page

By all standards, Gaddafi final statements were more dignified than the threats issued by Hassan Nasrallah last Saturday. Gaddafi threatened that he would take the war deep into NATO states, which is a logical reaction given that this alliance dealt him his final blow and demolished his rule with its military technology. Thus it was reasonable for Gaddafi to threaten the states that had attacked him, yet in his recent statement, Hassan Nasrallah menacingly threatened that any war against Syria would escalate, not with regards to the NATO states alone – where Nasrallah can call upon active and sleeper cells – but with regards to the entire Middle East region as well. The statement seemed to lack Nasrallah’s customary, sly political nature, usually threatening to shower Israel with missiles if either Syria or Iran encountered any NATO attack. Of course, if he had done so, people would have gathered behind him as they did with Saddam Hussein when he threatened Israel with his firework-like missiles, or when they applauded Hassan Nasrallah when he waged a war against Israel based purely on political rhetoric.

Nasrallah’s craft and guile seems to have disappeared from his recent statement, after the Syrian revolution intensified to the extent that it is threatening the Bashar al-Assad regime and its political and military presence. The most recent statement seems more dangerous, and also exposes the sectarian nature of the Hezbollah leader. Of the 22 Arab states, Nasrallah is only interested in the two that share the same sect and ideology with him; the Iranian and the Syrian regimes. He has the right to be this selective, yet he has no right to threaten the entire region of escalating a war upon them, as no Arab state has threatened to wage a war against him. Rather, they have strived to ensure a way out for his ally Bashar al-Assad, in a manner that can allow him to save face after being stained with the innocent blood of thousands of Syrians.

In the past, we used to feel inhibited when discussing any topic relating to sectarianism, for we were conscious of its sensitivity. Yet President Bashar al-Assad and his ally Hassan Nasrallah, alongside Iran, have prompted us to engage in this thorny issue head on. When we talk of the sectarian nature of these two regimes, this is not merely an allegation, or else why would Nasrallah threaten to escalate matters in the region if Syria encountered any attack, whilst Nasrallah himself has not been threatened by any Arab country in the region? It was the NATO states that threatened to launch an attack, and we can interpret Nasrallah’s brazen sectarian statement as a threat to mobilize the Shiite cells in our region. Here I would like to stress that I am referring to specific cells, and not the Shiites in general. I’m conscious that the majority of Shiites our region are citizens who love their countries, and who do not want to be used as a tool in a dirty sectarian war.

I began my piece by drawing a comparison between Gaddafi and Hassan Nasrallah, and now I will conclude it with the same comparison. It is certain that the Arab masses now consider Hassan Nasrallah, in view of the his shameful position towards the massacres which the Syrian regime is committing against its own people, and following his recent coercive statement, as a “turbaned Gaddafi”. It is also certain that Bashar al-Assad, his ally Nasrallah and Gaddafi share one attribute in common – alongside their despotism, tyranny and appetite for bloodshed. This is an attribute which became clear in Hassan Nasrallah’s recent speech; namely his political blindness and the loss of a logical compass. We can understand why Nasrallah is confused after the Syrian people rose up against their regime. Any harm done to the pregnant mother will also harm the unborn child. In short, we can say that Nasrallah is no longer a sly, cunning politician. Because of his explicit, shameful stances towards the Syrian regime’s massacres, the Arab masses will now rejoice at his misfortune and reject his statements.

Dr. Hamad Al-Majid

Dr. Hamad Al-Majid

Dr. Hamad Al-Majid is a journalist and former member of the official Saudi National Organization for Human Rights. Dr. Al-Majid is a graduate of Imam Muhammad bin Saud Islamic University in Riyadh and holds an MA from the University of California and a doctorate from the University of Hull in the United Kingdom.

More Posts