Beards, morality

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’.


  1. I guess we will disagree to the end of time. I think the above always applies if you are a westerner reading the western press. The thing about outfits like Hizbollah is that they are rooted in the locality and can only survive with the support of that locality. So it’s no good just being rude about them, that gets us nowhere. It’s worth asking why people join them etc. i.e. south Lebanon is not Iran and even the Iranians are a sophisticated ancient country, not just a bunch of fascists, although it is convenient for our leaders to want us to believe that.
    Personally I think Hizbollah are a mixture of religious nutters and local social activists, but most of all they are people and people tend to act in their own perceived self interest. Let’s think a bit deeper than stinky islamofascists.

  2. What fascinates me is the collision of morality and politics. I understand (I guess) the context to Hizbollah’s actions (decades of humiliation and brutalisation, multiple invasions, collective punishments and grossly asymmetrical economics) but I remain contemptuous of Hizbollah’s actual words and actions. Should I take account of all this history when I try to understand the region? Yes. Should I be more forgiving of Nasrallah’s ignorant racism because he is a product of Israeli oppression? Don’t think so. He’s a stinky ultrabeard all right.

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