We all know the reasons why Hezbollah is keeping its arms in Lebanon, despite the liberation of the South from Israeli occupation (except Sheba’s farms). This is directly related to an Iranian decision facilitated by Syria, so it’s much more than a matter of pure ‘national interest’. We, in Lebanon are too nice that we serve the ‘whole region’s interests’, and we have been doing so for almost centuries.
But it’s different when you hear it from the Speaker Nabih Berri straight to the American Ambassador. Anyway, this is what the US cable 01BEIRUT3057 released by Wikileaks told us. By the way, our politicians don’t tell us this in public, or when they stand for elections, although we know it, but they are proud to admit to the big powers that they are not masters of their own destiny, and they are just pawns for other ‘big powers’. Ironically, Nabih Berri accuse his Lebanese political opponents of being pawns to their American masters (which is true in some examples). Is this some type of schizophrenia?
The cable goes back to 2001, 18 months after the Israeli withdrawal from South Lebanon. In it, Berri said that the path Hizballah chooses (supposedly provocative or passive, or to disarm or not) would depend on the course of US-Iranian relations…then Bla bla bla on Sheba’ farms…then Berri predicated that there would be no end to cross-border attacks until there was a comprehensive peace agreement. Ok, I don’t know, they keep tell us that Hizballah’s arms are there to defend Lebanon (yes, but may be on the way).
Then Berri asserted that “the issue is with the Syrians”, and given Syria’s influence in Lebanon, our “brotherly relations” and the two countries’ rejection of the separate peace agreements, a cessation of attacks was unlikely. This is really fun, too brotherly we are, but always in one way; we just do favours in Lebanon.
Interestingly, Berri said in the same meeting that Israel has inflated Hizballah’s standing by crediting it with acts committed by Amal or other groups. According to the cable, Berri volunteered that Amal was responsible for all “actions” prior to the 1984 Israeli withdrawal from Beirut.
Oops, is he claiming responsibility for the 1983 US Marines bombing? actually, I don’t want to go there…
PS1: You might find it relevant to know that Nabih Berri’s early career was with the CIA.
PS2: the photo (AFP) is NOT from the civil war, but it’s a recent history; from the infamous day of May 7th 2008 when they defended ‘the arms with the arms’.