Lebanon can learn from Nepal

The ceasefire mandated by the United Nations resolution 1701 has bought the cessation of hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah. The ceasefire also calls also upon the government of Lebanon and UNIFIL to deploy their troops to South Lebanon and make sure that there will be no weapons without the consent of the government of Lebanon and no authority other than that of the government of Lebanon. The Lebanese interpretation of this rule is that the Hezbollah can keep the arms so long as it does not display it in public. A Hezbollah leader said that they would just hide the weapons and melt into the local population which is a bad idea for the people of Israel as we know from the whole Soviet Union-Afghanistan-Pakistan episode.

After the Soviet Union left Afghanistan, the weapons supplied to the Mujahideen stayed with them. Many weapons were left unaccounted for. Later any terrorist groups wishing to inflict damage to the world could find the weapons in the open markets of Pakistan and these terrorists have been creating trouble for India and Afghanistan. Even now graduates from the center of the Jihadi universe are involved in every terrorist plot from 9/11 to the trans-Atlantic terror plot. Instead of waiting for the next Hezbollah attack on Israel, the United Nations should have worked towards disarming them like what they did in Nepal.

On June 16th, in Nepal, Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala and Maoist leader Prachanda reached an agreement in which the Maoists would join an interim government. The question then was if the Maoists would disarm before it. Though some Indian columnists (you know the more Catholic than the Pope types) wanted the world to accept the reality that the Maoists would not disarm, the Maoists agreed to have their arms counted and deposited under the supervision of the United Nations.

Now that the Israel-Hezbollah is over, Hezbollah has declared victory and the celebrations are going on. At the same time the Lebanese are roasting them for all the damage they caused. The leaders of the March 14th movement have demanded an investigation into the circumstances that led to the war. Prominent Hezbollah supporters like Michel Aoun has called for the Shiite militia to disband.

Hezbollah is also criticized from within the Lebanese Shiite community, which accounts for some 40% of the population. Sayyed Ali al-Amin, the grand old man of Lebanese Shiism, has broken years of silence to criticize Hezbollah for provoking the war, and called for its disarmament. In an interview granted to the Beirut An-Nahar, he rejected the claim that Hezbollah represented the whole of the Shiite community. “I don’t believe Hezbollah asked the Shiite community what they thought about [starting the] war,” Mr. al-Amin said. “The fact that the masses [of Shiites] fled from the south is proof that they rejected the war. The Shiite community never gave anyone the right to wage war in its name.”


There were even sharper attacks. Mona Fayed, a prominent Shiite academic in Beirut, wrote an article also published by An-Nahar last week. She asks: Who is a Shiite in Lebanon today? She provides a sarcastic answer: A Shiite is he who takes his instructions from Iran, terrorizes fellow believers into silence, and leads the nation into catastrophe without consulting anyone. Another academic, Zubair Abboud, writing in Elaph, a popular Arabic-language online newspaper, attacks Hezbollah as “one of the worst things to happen to Arabs in a long time.” He accuses Mr. Nasrallah of risking Lebanon’s existence in the service of Iran’s regional ambitions.[Hezbollah Didn’t Win (WSJ: subscription reqd)]

The problem  is that Nasrallah doesn’t care much about Lebanese opinion. Known for his dictatorial style of working, the kidnapping of the Israeli soldiers was ordered by him without informing the two Hezbollah ministers in the Siniora cabinet or the 12 Hezbollah members of the Lebanese parliament. He is accountable only to the Mullahs in Iran.

Now with an armed militia still around, what is to prevent him from conducting another attack against Israel?

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