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Lebanon: Hassan Nassrallah

The secretary general of Hezbollah S H Nassrallah and his speech that was directed to the demonstrators partaking in the sit-in protest in Beirut was the subject of many posts in the Lebanese blogs this week. And as usual, the opinions are as diverse as the political point of views of the writers. The selections here are from the diverse spectrum of opinions. They are stated at random with no particular order or grouping.

Let us start with Perpetual Refugee who returned after a long break with a post about a conversation with a gay friend and supporter of Nassrallah and Perpetual Refugee’s unsuccessful attempt to convince him of his mistake:

This was what freaked me out. An educated man. My friend. Openly gay (except to his mother). Supporting Nasrallah. All because they belong to the same ‘sect’. Nothing else.
He seemed to have forgotten that his fundamental rights as a gay man. A gay Lebanese man. His rights were also being besieged by the demonstrations. The very rights that were struggling to flourish into something real. Starting with the most basic of rights. The right to live. As oneself.

Savonaroll at Remarkz uses wit, sarcasm, and ridicule, to criticize the faults in PM Sanyoura’s reply to Nassarallah’s address to the protestors.

Mustapha at Beirut Spring forsees the failure of the opposition because of what he sees as a misreading by Nassrallah of the Sunni public opinion:

When it comes to the Sunnis, Hassan Nassrallah seems pathetically clueless. By his calculation, the anti American, anti zionist rhetoric should at least have split the Sunnis. It worked with Aljazeera's Sunni Arab readers, why isn't it working with the Lebanese?

Bech at Remarkz explains why it is not in Hezbollah’s interest to destablize Lebanon and criticizes western media for its bias coverage of the protests:

…this party has no interest whatsoever in creating dissensions in Lebanon that would destabilize the country. It always worked in a way to create compromise.
Even while looking at it from the mostly realist-cunning perspective they stand to lose by all counts if they try to either monopolize decision making or impede on the power of other groups. Lock it in your heads for good this time: The weak destabilizes and looks for refuge in fragmentation, the strong is more prone towards unity. That's the strategic advantage of each.

But what’s very shocking is western media coverage of the issue. Only today I ran across an article in some American newspaper, which mentions in the last paragraph that there are “some Christian group” that is allied with Hizbullah.

Marxist From Lebanon wrote an analysis of the events in Lebanon from an economical perspective. In this analysis he mentions the role of leaders like Hariri, Aoun and Nasrallah:

The Shiites from a political – economical perspective have been dedicated (most of them) to Hassan Nasrallah due to the welfare system he provided to the rural areas which are mostly Shiite. Furthermore, he became a powerful voice to represent their demands. Thirdly, the growth of the Shiite community, in comparison to other sects required gave the Shiites incentive to abide with Nasrallah to protect their interests which was forgotten by Lebanese governments from 1943 till 1992. They still are the least to benefit from governmental plans and budgeting.

Sietske in Beiroet has a post and a picture of the extremely large billboard of Hassan Nassrallah on the Airport road:

It’s is one of the biggest billboards I have seen. In Lebanon, size matters. It’s next to the Airport Rd, and can be seen from both sides. Actually, if you look carefully, you can see the left hand going up, and on the other side it goes up as well, so when you see it from a specific angle, the two hands meet, and he looks like a ballerina doing a pirouette.

Nassrallah’s speech is also part of a multi-subject post at Anecdotes from a Banana Republic:

In his speech this evening, which broadcast live on all the major networks except Future TV, Nasrallah commanded his followers not to shoot in the air after he speaks and to stop hurling insults at those hunkered down in Saniora's bunker. He spoke of unity and forgiveness, and swore that Hezbollah would never ever respond to any provocation by turnings its weapons against the Lebanese. He also unleashed hefty accusations, claiming that Saniora ordered the army to cut off Hezbollah's supply lines, while they were under Israeli attack.

Finally, let’s end with Raja at the Lebanese Bloggers who states:

Nasrallah articulated to the Lebanese people what he wanted. He asked all Lebanese, “across sectarian lines,” for support. Why? Because, 1) He wants war against Israel 2) And he wants a “fair, representative and clean national-unity government” with at least a third of the ministers to wage his war against Israel. Period. Everything else he said (and I mean everything), somehow found their way back to those two points.

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