A couple of days ago, Khaled Saghiyah’s article in al-Akhbar questioned — very politely and very tactfully — Hassan Nasrallah’s description of the 7th of May (2008) as a “glorious day for the resistance.” Saghiyah does not split hairs on the by now well-rehearsed argument that Hizballah and its allies’ swooping down on Beirut was a necessary evil. Instead, he appeals to the politician in Nasrallah — rather than the military strategist — asking whether calling May 7th a glorious day might be a tad insensitive in a country such as Lebanon:
Not everything can be measured in terms of military cost. May 7th may have cut short a road to a longer civil war and even more victims, but the politician who wants to affirm his ability to rule the country cannot justify civic violence (even if he regards it as necessary) by gloating and glorifying. He does it, rather, with sadness and pain.
Saghiyah has hit the nail on the head with this one. He pin-points the indefensible in Nasrallah’s logic — i.e. indefensible in the terms and rhetoric that Nasrallah has set for himself. At a time of extreme polarization, he also manages to frame what amounts to a “criticism from within,” a very rare creature these days.
Saghiyah points explicitly to the polarization generated by the discourse on both sides and suggests that it might have been a factor in the increased spying activity for Israel. A friend of mine recently remarked on the effect this polarization has had over the past few years on the attitude of some Amal members/friends. It used to be, according to this friend, that these individuals took great care to differentiate themselves from what they viewed as Hizballah’s silly Islamism. Their worn-out mantel of “secularism” has been cast. Identifying today proudly as “matawilah” and drunk on the spoils of that glorious day, they proclaim their readiness to “take over” Beirut once and for all.