The thing to remember about Hezbollah is that they’re not heroes, saviours or defenders, just stinky ultra-beards, fascists (‘Islamofascists‘ Hitchens would call them), contemptible, opportunistic, morally vaccuous. They’re organised, effective and modern in their operations but incoherent, Ignorant and mediaeval in their ideology. What they really remind me of is an earlier generation of witless fascists: Generalisimo Franco’s Falange, beetling off to Berlin to collect brown bags of money and weapons and promises of assistance from the Führer just as the beards run off to collect their rolls of used US dollars and truckloads of rockets from Tehran and Damascus.
The irony of the Western response to the Israeli attack on Lebanon is that no one expects anything of Hezbollah: not compromise, not compassion, not wisdom nor a readiness to talk. Of Hezbollah we only expect gut-wrenching terror, a total absence of mercy and the kind of perfect nihilism that marks the group’s most loyal adherents with a big ‘X’ that says ‘I am of no value. Blow me up any time’.