Lebanon defeated in Arsal
Hezbollah’s huge propaganda machine is working at full capacity in Lebanon to portray what happened in Juroud Arsal as a victory for the party. For the last fortnight, the Lebanese public has witnessed a huge political marketing campaign, which concluded that the battle ended with the defeat of Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham (JFS) militants and huge victory for Hezbollah.
Media machines have exaggerated the situation in Juroud Arsal by comparing it to what Hezbollah did in the July 2006 war against Israel. All those who question this “victory” in Juroud Arsal are traitors and foreign agents who should be killed, according to the head of a Lebanese pro-Hezbollah newspaper that has been relentlessly threatening all those who disagree with the party.
Hezbollah is weakening the Lebanese army and state. The army was forced to step aside in a battle that it alone was supposed to lead. How can anyone defend the idea of the state and its sovereignty, under the sole security of the army, in a country where people are either praising what Hezbollah is doing or are helplessly silent?
Any Lebanese who dare ask what has been happening in Juroud Arsal for the past six years, why Hezbollah is fighting there alongside the criminal Syrian regime, how JFS militants came to Lebanon, and what this battle means for Iranian influence in Syria and Lebanon, will face threats. Those who threaten are usually those who are defeated and have no other convincing means.
Any Lebanese who dare ask what has been happening in Juroud Arsal for the past six years, why Hezbollah is fighting there alongside the criminal Syrian regime and what this battle means for Iranian influence in Syria and Lebanon, will face threats.
Today, there are those who are rushing to turn Lebanon into a security regime like neighboring countries. Some are actively working to restore Beirut-Damascus ties to what they were in the 1990s. Those allied to regimes, such as Syria’s and Iran’s, cannot be counted among parties that want to rescue Lebanon from JFS, Daesh and other terrorists threatening the security of Lebanon, Syria and other countries.
Their logic is that to defeat those terrorists, we should support regimes that bombard their own people, and kill and torture thousands of opposition members in prisons. The “victor” in Juroud Arsal is even more dangerous and frightening than the defeated.
• Diana Moukalled is a veteran journalist with extensive experience in both traditional and new media. She is also a columnist and freelance documentary producer. She can be reached on Twitter @dianamoukalled.