THERE will be those who wonder why the GCC did not declare Hezbollah a terrorist organization long ago. Hezbollah rode high in the opinion of some after it threw back the 2006 Israeli assault on southern Lebanon. However, the reality has always been that this is a group that is entirely preoccupied with its own agenda and has no interest in promoting the unity and reconstruction of Lebanon.
Indeed, in order to protect its mini-state within the country, the Hezbollah leadership has been prepared to act as an agent for Iran and its Syrian ally Bashar Al-Assad. In return for dancing to Tehran’s tune and seeking to carry out the disruptive interventions desired by the Iranian leadership, its militiamen have been armed and trained and the movement as a whole has seen many millions of Iranian dollars poured into its coffers.
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah may, however, have now overreached himself. Some wonder if he has not become a victim of his own propaganda about a militant and victorious organization and really believes that his forces are actually capable of turning the tide of defeat that is engulfing the Assad regime. Not only this, but he clearly had little idea of how, by throwing in its lot with the hated Assad, Hezbollah would unmask itself in the Arab world as an Iranian cipher. Even the leadership of Hamas, with which Hezbollah once had close relations, recoiled in disgust when it threw in its lot with the Assad dictatorship.
In recognizing that Hezbollah, for all its attempts to portray itself as a responsible political movement, is in fact simply a terror group, the GCC member states have taken a bold and decisive step. No longer will Hezbollah be able to present itself convincingly as a champion of any Arab cause. No longer will it be able to pretend that its men are dying for the rest of the Arab world.
Indeed, by rushing to fight alongside Assad’s faltering army and Shabiha militiamen, this terror group has allied itself with a government that has sought and failed to terrorize its own people into obedience.
It must be wondered if some Hezbollah leaders do not already appreciate the considerable risks of rushing to the aid of a doomed regime. Once Assad is gone, there will be no easy supply line to Hezbollah-occupied areas of Lebanon. Nasrallah might have argued that it was for this very reason, plus the need to keep Iranian support, that its commanders simply had to send young Lebanese to Syria to fight and die alongside Assad’s forces. But it will prove to be a desperate move.
When Syria is free, Hezbollah will be alone and isolated in its south Lebanon territory. Its murderous and malign influence in the country will be challenged by moderate Lebanese, who are fed up with its strutting thugs and the obstruction of its leaders in the country’s delicate political process. The time is past when the Hezbollah leadership can pose as a champion of the Arab cause. Thanks to its slavish support for Iran and Syria, it has actually defined itself as an enemy of the Arab world in general and the Palestinian cause in particular.
Hezbollah needs to be seen for the ruthless terrorist organization that it really is and the GCC’s decision to call it such is surely a crucial nail in the terror group’s coffin.