LEBANON: Hezbollah: its origins and aims
The United States and Israel claim the horrific attack on Lebanese civilians is necessary to destroy the “terrorist” organisation Hezbollah, which is also routinely referred to as an “Islamic fundamentalist” movement.
Some such assertions are quite fantastic. An article in the July 24 Australian reported that “some US government officials now share Israel’s assessment that [Sheik Hassan] Nasrallah is a bigger danger than Osama bin Laden” — comparing Hezbollah’s leader and the head of the “Islamist” terrorist organisation al Qaeda.
The comparison of a group that allegedly “provoked” this Israeli massacre by abducting two soldiers and one that has killed thousands of people in actions like the destruction of the World Trade Center is self-evidently nonsense. Is there anything in Hezbollah’s history that justifies such comparisons?
Several pro-Iranian groups appeared in 1982 among the poverty-stricken Shiite masses of southern Lebanon to fight the Israeli invasion that year. In 1985 Hezbollah emerged as an umbrella organisation of these groups.
The great majority of military actions Hezbollah has undertaken since then were against the 22-year Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon. Fundamentally, therefore, Hezbollah is a national liberation movement, rather than an “Islamist” or “terrorist” organisation.
The largest “terrorist” attack attributed to Hezbollah is the killing of 241 US occupation troops in Lebanon in 1983. However, this was clearly a guerrilla attack on a military target, not the wanton killing of civilians. In any case, Hezbollah denies responsibility for these actions…………..
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