Norton's Hezbollah: From Evolution to Devolution?

In his excellent book on the Hizbullah, Hezbollah(2007) , Augustus Richard Norton writes:

“Over the last fifteen years, Hezbollah has evolved from an Iranian influenced conspiratorial terrorist group rejecting participation in Lebanese politics, to a party with considerable autonomy and a talent for playing politics and winning elections.” (p. 6).

True until???

The 2006 July operation to capture Israeli soldiers in Israel provoked the July War or “Harb Tammuz.” The Hezbollah admitted miscalculating then and Israel unleashed a massive attack on Lebanon.

Did the Hizbullah miscalculate again by using their weapons in the ongoing May War "Harb Ayyar" against other Lebanese- regardless of the reasons?

Norton writes that the 1975-1990 Civil War in Lebanon resulted in 150,000 dead- in a country of a little more than 3 million people at the time.

What now?

Will the new version of Norton’s book have the same conclusion about the group’s evolution or is it going to write about a devolution?

Comments

Marion said…
"The 2006 July operation to capture Israeli soldiers in Israel provoked the July War or “Harb Tammuz.” The Hezbollah admitted miscalculating then and Israel unleashed a massive attack on Lebanon."-- Mr. Al Khatib


When an action is taken it cannot always be calculated as to what will be the other side's response. For example when the U.S. attacked and invaded Iraq they miscalculated what was going to happen down the road and U.S. troops in large numbers are still mired in Iraq. Even the same can be said about Afghanistan. And when Israel viciously attacked and tried to invade Lebanon in 2006 they miscalculated because they thought they would be able to accomplish wiping out the Lebanese resistance movement and proceed to do what they pleased with Lebanon, they failed miserably while they managed to popularize the Lebanese resistance even more in the eyes of the Arab people..

At least Sayed Hassan had the courage to say that if he had known Israel was going to react in the way that it did, he would have never agreed to the operation to take Israeli soldiers as prisoners to be swapped with Lebanese war prisoners who have been languishing for years in Israeli prisons. Hezbollah had succeeded in exchanging prisoners with Israel in the past by having Israeli prisoners to swap.

In contrast, Bush, Olmert, and their allies in the region have yet to show any courage and personally admit their mistakes.

To the Arab world and its people, Israel has always been a war criminal state that sadly, for American’s with any sense of decency, has been strongly supported and backed by our U.S. government to the detriment of the Arab people in the region.

"Did the Hizbullah miscalculate again by using their weapons in the ongoing May War "Harb Ayyar" against other Lebanese- regardless of the reasons?"--Mr. Al Khatib

They may have, but this is a question that only time will eventually tell.

Another question we should be asking ourselves, looking back at history, is has those groups who are a part of the present Seniora government such as the Future movement lead by Saad Hariri miscalculated when it decided to align itself so closely with the U.S./Israel axis? If the martyr Rafic Hariri were alive today would he have aligned his movement so closely and so obviously to the U.S./Israel axis? The last time a Lebanese government tried aligning itself with the U.S./Israel axis during the past Lebanese Civil War, were they able to succeed?

I think the question is and continues to be what are the intentions of the actions being taken? If they are necessary and just to begin with they will hopefully succeed in the end.

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