By Ali Hussein,
Ya Libnan Volunteer
Noam Chomsky visited Hezbollah's Headquarters and met with their Secretary General, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah in the Southern suburb of Beirut. After the meeting he defended Hezbollah's rights to hold onto their arms.
Chomsky, a critic of US foreign policy said after meeting Hezbollah's chief "I think Nasrallah has a reasoned argument and persuasive argument that they should be in the hands of Hezbollah (the arms) as a deterrent to potential aggression, and there is plenty of background reasons for that. So until, I think his position reporting it correctly and it seems to me reasonable position, is that until there is a general political settlement in the region, the threat of aggression and violence is reduced or eliminated there has to be a deterrent, and the Lebanese army can't be a deterrent."
Chomsky later in the day visited the famous al Khiam prison in south Lebanon
Where Israel kept most of the Lebanese prisoners during the occupation of south Lebanon. Israel pulled out from Lebanon in 2000 and Hezbollah was credited with liberating the south of Lebanon.
Chomsky also visited the famous Sabra and Shatila camps of the Palestinian refugees, the scene of the Israeli-led massacre in 1982.
One of Chomsky's stated objectives in visiting Lebanon is to learn about the country. Many political observers feel that if all Chomsky learnt was for Hezbollah to keep its arms, then he didnít learn much during his short trip.
One political observer said the issue of the arms is not "America versus Hezbollah", the issue of the arms is the Lebanese sovereignty and independence. "Obviously Chomsky didnít get it this time," one observer commented. He added "Chomsky needs to live here for a while to understand what happened during the past 30 years and why most Lebanese are against the Hezbollah arms."
Another third observer said "Chomsky showed poor judgment in jumping to this quick conclusion about the Hezbollah arms. Chomsky he added "does not know that the Hezbollah arms scare the Lebanese people more than the Israelis." He went on to say "If Hezbollah is not disarmed this could trigger a civil war ... is this what Chomsky wants? Did Chomsky learn what is happening at the Lebanese national dialogue talks?"
Chomsky tried to visit Lebanon when the country was occupied by Syria, but he was not allowed to get in. The reason he was able to get in this time is because of the Cedar Revolution that kicked Syria out. The government of Lebanon now is the product of the Cedar revolution. Chomsky obviously doesnít know that Hezbollah and its allies fought the Cedar Revolution by aligning themselves with the Syrian regime.
Like Chomsky, most Lebanese are also against what happened in Iraq, but these same Lebanese are grateful for US help in driving Syria out of Lebanon after the former PM Rafik Hariri was assassinated. Even till this date Syria does not recognize Lebanon as an independent and sovereign country and refuses to establish an embassy in Beirut.
Chomsky should learn that PM Siniora 's visits to Washington, New York and London was to pressure Israel to pull out of the Shebaa farms peacefully. This is the remaining territory that was occupied by Israel in 1967 when Syrian forces were stationed there. Both Syria and Lebanon say this area is Lebanese but Syria so far has refused to put this in writing. Once Israel pulls out, there will no longer be a need for Hezbollah to hold onto its arms.
Chomsky needs to learn a lot, especially before jumping to such a conclusion.
Sources: Ya Libnan editorial, Al Manar TV
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