Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah,
To tell you the truth, this is not really addressed to you. I know you don’t intend to listen, and you will not take anything I say into consideration. It is rather addressed to people who still think you matter as much as you did five years ago. The thing is, you don’t have the same impact.
Most people stopped listening to your speeches and interviews. They are not news anymore, because you have nothing new to say. Redundant and repetitive; that’s what you have become. Yes, we got it, the Syrian regime is your friend, and that’s why you cannot support the revolution in Syria. But you know what, that sounds more and more like word vomit.
You know that innocent people, not armed gang members, are being brutally killed every day by the Syrian regime’s forces and Shabiha. You know that women are being raped and children massacred, but you cannot acknowledge it even if you want to. You are helpless. Probably for the first time in your life, you are helpless.
You probably think about these innocent people, and they might even be haunting you in your dreams, but you are incapable of shaking them off your conscience because you are helpless.
Yes, you know Bashar al-Assad is a murderer. You know that he will not survive the revolution, but do you have any idea how you are going to deal with the consequences? What would you do if the sectarian tension created by Assad spills into Lebanon and causes serious Sunni-Shia hostility?
What about your popularity in the region? You were the brave hero who vanquished the Israeli army in 2006 and brought dignity back to the Arabs. But you know what? These glorious days are over, and the word “dignity” has now gained a new definition. It has nothing to do with your sacred arms and glorious victory. It is now about the power of the people on the street and their fight against their dictators.
Your rhetoric is outdated, and your sacredness lost its meaning to a lot of people in the region. The “umma” you’ve always prided yourself with is now against you.
Let us imagine this farfetched scenario. When the uprising broke out in Syria, let’s say you came out in full support of freedom, or at least clearly asked the Syrian regime to refrain from using violence against the protesters. Can you imagine how popular and loved you would have been today? The Syrian people, from all sects, had photos of you hanging in their shops and homes after 2006. Today they burn your pictures on the streets.
They hate you. The Syrian people hate you. The Egyptians, Tunisians, Libyans and many other Arabs hate you, because you support a tyrant who is killing his own people. The only ones who still like you are your insignificant Lebanese allies and Iran, who might easily sell you out if needed, and you know it.
Every time I ask a Syrian activist how he or she thinks of Lebanon vis-à-vis Syria, they speak with deep resentment of how they stood by you back in 2006 and opened their houses in Syria for the refugees coming from South Lebanon.
Your own supporters do not look up to you the same way anymore, not because they do not like your stances or policies, but simply because they do not sense the same motivation or power they used to sense from you. Many are worried you have lost your charisma. Many feel that you have lost control over your own people because of the corruption and crime that have infiltrated your strongholds. No matter what you say or do, your people are not feeling safe and are constantly trying to emigrate from Lebanon.
Admit it. You are not divine. It is only human to acknowledge one’s mistakes and weaknesses. Do you know about the disappointments many of the “Resistance” supporters feel today? Your position on Syria has alienated a huge number of people who defended you and your party only because you held the banner of resistance. This meant for them that you would do anything anytime to defend the oppressed against injustice. The Syrian revolution has exposed your real face and showed that your real concern is your power, your party and your arms.
No matter how long it lasts, the Syrian revolution will get rid of Assad and his regime, and you will not be able to stay in denial. The government you formed in Lebanon is fragile. Your supporters are already terrified of the future. Your political allies are going to be marginalized.
The only thing you will have left is your weapons. The question is: Are you going to use them to buy your ticket back into Lebanon’s political scene and help stabilize the country, or will you use them against everyone and cause both Lebanon’s and your own demise?
Think about it before it’s too late, but please, keep in mind that you are human, not divine.
Hanin Ghaddar is the managing editor of NOW Lebanon