Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The Sahhaf Mentality!

The former Iraqi Minister of Information, Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf, who was the last such minister to serve under Saddam Hussein, has long gone down in history as the man who kept on denying the reality of what was actually taking place in the country with regard to the unfolding battle and kept on issuing defiant statements as he had clearly been instructed to do right until the moment US troops stormed into Saddam's palace in Baghdad.

Albeit far less comical, Nasrallah's own televised pronouncements and assurances appear to reflect the same Sahhaf mentality, an inability to accept reality driven in part by ideology, in part by self-interest, and in part by the natural necessities of propaganda.

Indeed, no one can deny the fact that Israel has incurred more losses than it had anticipated due to the resilience and preparedeness of Hezbollah's fighters. These are clearly not some beaten down Iraqi soldiers who had been defeated long before the battle had begun. These are ideologically-motivated fighters who have been engaged in active combat of sorts for many years, and some of them have even conducted a number of operations over the years behind "enemy lines."

Still, resilience is not victory, and the destruction that Lebanon had suffered is not easily reversible, and, for all its losses, Israel seems bent on continuing with its current campaign for at least another month, so where is this redefined victory that Nasrallah is promising? Nasrallah said that the victory that his fighters can deliver will be defined in their continued ability to inflect heavy casualties on the Israelis. Indeed, his fighters and his rockets are doing just that to the surprise and enchantment of many. But, if this is not going to be enough to stop the Israelis from pushing forward with their campaign, what is the point behind such "victory?"

The nationalists have given us the moral victory of '73 and the political victory of '82, and now the Islamists seem on the verge of achieving another moral victory, albeit coupled with a good propaganda coup this time, after all, the world is jeering Israel, so will that suffice?

Well, if the endgame is to preserve the status quo in certain countries and shore up the ruling regimes there, then, indeed such victories could suffice (if they were achieved that is, after all, we are still in mid-combat). But they will come at the expense of our freedom and our living standards. Indeed, we, the people, are the ultimate losers of our imagined victories and all too real defeats. Yet, most of us are cheering this on!? Thank Heaven I am a heretic.