What Does Hezbollah Want from our People in the South?
By: Colonel Charbel Barakat

Three years have passed since the forced displacement of the people of the South and its heroes who stood up, without ally or weapons, to the Palestinian onslaught. At the time, the Lebanese government ran away after its army split, thanks to the help of brotherly Arabs, Qaddhafi¹s money, and orders from Abu Ammar (Arafat). Those events made Israel extend its hand to them across the barbed wire, stop the hunger, quench the thirst, heal the wounds and comfort the children, and turn the border which once was a symbol of oppression into a fence of friendship and cooperation.

Some say that Israel took advantage of the naivete or the need of the Southerners at the time in order to protect its borders. To those people we ask: What is Hezbollah doing today, after everyone¹s families have been killed in the South with its explosives and missiles, its artillery which it set up next to the UN compound in Qana resulting in a hundred casualties and making Hezbollah the hero of the South instead of the true criminal that it is (and we do not want to exculpate Israel either)?

What is Hezbollah doing by preventing the Lebanese Army from deploying in the South to secure the borders using the pretext of not wanting to protect Israel? What is this party doing other than protecting Israel? According to Israeli newspapers, if it wasn¹t for a 1996 agreement that was reached in a European country between the party (Hizbollah) and Israel's Labor party leaders, Hezbollah would have never been able to become the border's guardian, and we do not envy it for that at all.

What does Hezbollah want today from the people of the South after displacing their children and humiliating those who did not leave?  After transforming the Lebanese regime's security services into one of its own, executing its and its master's orders, arresting this and imprisoning that, torturing, fining, and taking revenge on those who were forced to flee through Tel Aviv as if they were the criminals because they could not flee through Beirut? When more than seven hundred thousand Lebanese entered Israel within a three month period in the summer of 1982 for pleasure or travel, and travel agencies in Sidon and Beirut were reserving tickets through Tel Aviv and Israeli Egged buses were the ones transporting travelers to Ben Gurion airport?  When none of these people, nor parliament members or government officials who did take off from Israeli cities, were ever prosecuted?

Walid Jumblatt himself, chairman of the Progressive Socialist Party in Lebanon, had a coordination office with Israel. Kariem Pakradoni, chairman of the Phalangist Party in Lebanon, (Current minister in Hariri's government) spoke publicly on television about his adventures in Tel Aviv. And didn¹t Hezbollah's parallel militia, the Amal Movement, receive arms from Israel, train in its camps, and had all ships entering its ports obtain Israeli clearance? But the citizens of the South, like La Fontaine's donkey among the animals infected with the plague, must be prosecuted because they were forbidden to be part of Lebanon for twenty-three years on account of an absentee government. And when they dreamed of the return of the government, Hezbollah and its masters stopped it under the pretext of not wanting to protect Israel.

Is this party (Hizbollah) more deserving of protection by the government or it is afraid that the government will have to protect the people from both it or from Israel? The truth is there is no government since it is still a hostage of terrorism and its masters!!!

Strange is the case of those who were raised on terrorism and who have come to believe that things can be achieved only by terrorism. And even when they want to justify terrorism or give it another face, they do that with terrorism itself. The use in the Christian Science Monitor interview of Dr. Bassem Sidawi, who was forbidden by Hezbollah to practice for two years in the Bent Jbeil hospital where he honestly practiced with other physicians when the Israelis were there, is nothing but a component of that terrorism. The good doctor knows very well the meaning of suffering and need since he lived them, thanks to Hezbollah, and that is why he is vehemently defending the party exactly like those who defended Saddam before his fall.

The terrorism that is practiced on people and is choreographed like in a movie, Hezbollah knows very well how to exploit it for propaganda purposes. Hezbollah's imposition on the border town of Ein Ebil to celebrate Liberation Day, when it is still missing eighty families that were displaced by the presence of Hezbollah, those who fled the depressing economic times caused by the arrival and control of Hezbollah, and those who are still serving unjust prison sentences, exactly like during the last days of Saddam. That town is still reeling under the heavy burden of poverty and lack of vision, waiting for the sword of arrests, detentions, and investigations to be lifted off the necks of its remaining citizens in the hopes of the return of some dignity and stability like all the borders towns from Hasbaya to Naqoura, is nothing but another form of that terrorism.

Can what Hezbollah is doing today be overlooked by the seasoned observers and politicians?

It is highly unlikely, and we hope that, like the last days of Saddam, these are the last days of Hezbollah and its masters in Lebanon, where their crooked ways and propaganda methods will not misguide those responsible or will not buy them time till conditions change on the international arena, such as used to happen with President Assad Sr. He used to bend and go along to gain some time, then sell off some of his terrorism products or sacrifice some of his stands, as the decision-makers became occupied with someone else.

We believe this time there will be no time for change. The decision has been taken, and the magician will fall victim to his own magic, and terrorism will be gone forever. Even Iran and its moderate side (President Khatami) will not be able to help the tarnished reputation of Hezbollah with its numerous crimes, while the blood of the innocent still cries for mercy on those who have not yet been killed. Please stop this tragic masquerade. Like Saddam, all tyrants will eventually fall no matter how long it may take and no matter whether they hide under a turban or the most fashionable clothes.  For they are examples for history, and their time has come as it has for Lebanon, the pearl of the East, to rid itself of misery.

(N.B: Translated from Arabic by: Nabil Khoury & Dr. Joseph Hitti)