As I noted before in a previous post of mine, Finland’s “gadfly” armchair ME analyst, Hannu Juusola, has a penchant for describing the politics of the Middle East in the manner of someone who has a limited capacity for rational thought.
In spite of all the evidence available, he chooses to dismiss the obvious while believing in the absurd. The fact that the crisis raging in the Middle-East has its roots in a religious intransigence that refuses to consider a Jewish state within its region, (though some moderate regimes have come to terms with it, but never openly) can be overlooked by the likes of Juusola.
In an op-ed rebuttal in today’s Helsinginsanomat(HS 7.8.06), Helsinki University lecturer in Semitic languages and cultures, Hannu Juusola, takes issue with one of the best minds on international politics, Former Finnish ambassador to the UN, senior diplomat, Max Jakobson. In what could be termed as an attempted “ankle biting”, Juusola starts out with an accusing tone by labeling Minister Jakobson’s (which was published in the same paper a few days ago(HS 4.8.06) column as being;
“dangerously simple” and “in many places too close to viewpoints of the Bush administration’s and Ehud Olmert’s government, over the fundamental characteristics of the Lebanese conflict.”
Juusola chooses to dismess Jakobson’s analysis, by insisting that the reality is actually different, that Hezbollah is “much, much more” than just a lackey of Iran, “its an integral part of Lebanese society, not an outside force. Its the country’s biggest ethnic group (Shii’a Muslim) and an important political representative that has finds support across the ethnic spectrum”
What Minister Jakobson described in his column, is a well known fact, that Hezbollah has been the constituent of Iranian largesse for more than 25 yrs. It has built up an army which owes no allegiance to the state in which it resides, and acts as an existential arm of Iranian foreign politics. It has been stated more than once by various Iranian officials that, “Iran is Hezbollah, and Hezbollah is Iran”.
The fact that the Hezbollah (up until a few days ago) had not fired long-range Iranian-made Fajr missiles at Israel, was due to Teheran’s opposition. Iran does in fact give red and green lights to its proxy in the Lebanon. Iranian foreign policy decisions include the rank and file of its Hezbollah subordinates, in spite of it being an ethnic/religious movement in Lebanese society. That their religious aims and political goals mesh with each others, only serves to enhance their position domestically and in Iran.
That Syria no longer appears to hold much sway over Hezbollah is a matter of opinion, but Syria has always preferred to act in the role of a “weigh station” for Iranian weapons and materials, and manpower. That Hezbollah maintains the myth of ownership of the Shebaa farm lands, to the muted silence of Damascus, only goes to prove that strategic aims are more important to Assad, than the blustering rants of the Hezbollah over a parcel of land that the UN has already declared Syria the rightful owner…not Lebanon. The Syrians still continue to funnel weapons into the Bekaa valley.
Hannu Juusola then wonders; “what will happen to the Shii’a in the south, if the Hezbollah welfare/infrastructure system is destroyed?”
I would guess that responsibility would rest with the sovereign government of Lebanon, whose primary concern should be about all of its citizens, including those who live along its southern border. When it comes to ending the conflict, the only negotiations with Iran and Syria, are in terms of making it clear that their machinations in the region, has only caused instability, (as was their aim in the first place) and that it must now end.
He ends his screed with a few parting thoughts, that for the most part, are so naive and infantile, it begs the question of why does a lecturer of Semitic languages think he is smarter than the brilliant diplomat? I’ll tell you, arrogance and a gross naivete.
“Israel’s withdrawal from its southern border shows just how important it is to be the result of a peace agreement like the withdrawal from Sinai. A unilateral withdrawal like in 2000 or from Gaza, did not bring peace. This has to be understood”
What utter nonsense. Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon was a fulfillment of UNSC resolution 425, not dependent upon any peace agreement whatsoever. Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza was the result of serious deliberations by the Sharon government, that no longer saw in their Arab counterparts a willing partner for peace. This time around, Israeli security, achieved through Israel’s disengagement policy, would be put first. This contrasted greatly from prior Israeli policies during the OSLO years, which saw the international community place more demands on Israel for even more concessions after each Palestinian atrocity. That terrorism only accelerated after the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, is due to Arab intransigence and shows that they still have the ability to miss every golden opportunity that comes their way for building peace.
Violence coming from Hezbollahstan is due to Iranian foreign policy, and anything said to the contrary does reflect reality
Advice for Juusola, stop blaming all the ills in the Middle-East on Jerusalem and Washington, the correct addresses for your ‘ire’, will be found in Tehran, Damascus, Bint Jebeil and Ramallah and Gaza City. KGS