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Destruction and Games - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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With the bloody and tragic scenes of destruction that are currently taking place in Lebanon as a result of the brutal and barbaric bombardment at the hands of Israel, many pivotal questions come to mind as we observe recent events. Why didn’t demonstrators pour out onto the Arab streets in support of Hezbollah in its battle with Israel? Why did the preachers at Friday prayers in mosques all over the Arab world abstain from praising Hezbollah or even pray that the movement would be victorious? Why were there no advertisements published in newspapers calling for relief, aid and support for Hezbollah? Have the Arab nations begun to differentiate between real “wars” and the battles found on the “PlayStation”? During these electronic battles, opponents are controlled by remote controls and targets are accurately attacked in a timely manner. People in the Arab region, may have begun to ask about this “new game,” trying to identify the real beneficiaries. Have the Arabs begun to wake up and realize that Lebanon is not an occupied country, and that half the Lebanese people do not know where Chebaa Farms are located, whilst the other half have not even heard of these farms? Have the Arab nations begun to question why the Lebanese territories are the only ones eligible for Jihad and confrontation with Israel? Why are the Chebaa farms more important than other territories and similarly why Hezbollah prisoners are considered more important than other captives? The answers may lie in identifying the “dual” media policies that are deployed in the countries that call for these kinds of battles.

Arabs still remember the former Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein and his reckless adventures, in which he would raise his country’s flag in one hand and in the other, the Baath Party flag, calling for the destructive and dividing ideologies that were similar to Nazism. Saddam had always endorsed the policy that, “Whoever is not with us…must be eliminated.”

Today, Hezbollah raises its yellow flags (that differ completely to the Lebanese flag) and declares that whoever is not with them will not be with the “victorious”. To play with the destiny of a state is to cause the state painful losses as long as efforts are individualistic; therefore, we shift from Jihad to suicide. Away from sectarian partisanship of one movement or another, it is clear that a sense of alertness and consciousness has tainted the Arab nations, whereby those who applaud and cheer the current events in Lebanon are those who glorify death and destruction.

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi is a businessman and prominent columnist. Mr. Shobokshi hosts the weekly current affairs program Al-Takreer on Al-Arabiya, and in 1995 he was chosen as one of the "Global Leaders for Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum. He received his BA in Political Science and Management from the University of Tulsa.

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