“We’ll sort that out later,” he said.
That sentence has kept me laughing all morning. I am sure many of you do not find this funny at all. Especially since it comes from Lebanon’s most controversial man. It's probably not very humorous, but still, it makes me laugh.
Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah’s leader, tends to “heat the emotions” as we say in Dutch. While his followers would gladly give their lives for him, there’s a large contingency of Lebanese that would just as gladly drink his blood. I do not know of anyone who feels neutral towards him. (And I promise, this post will draw many insulting comments in both directions).
I feel ambiguous about the man. Although I do not share his political views, I find his wit and intelligence a breath of fresh air in Lebanese politics. If only others politicians were as quick and nimble of the mind as he, we’d be in a different place. Unfortunately, much leaves to be desired in that department.
Some of my friends liken him to Goebbels or Hitler, both charming (although that may be difficult to comprehend in retrospect, but just look at the pictures of rallies when these men spoke; all admiring faces in the crowd), and seemingly smart, but demagogic in the end. I guess time will tell.
Last Friday he gave a 90 minute speech. Occasion for much ‘shooting-in-the-air’, because this was a speech we had been waiting for. Could we breath, or not? You see, Israel blew up – inadvertently, it seems – a Hezbollah commando in the Golan on January 18th. And everyone here held its breath momentarily.
After all, it was a pretty big catch. Not only did they kill 6 Hezbollah members, but also an Iranian commander. And what was probably the biggest catch was that one of the Hebzollah members was Jihad Mougnieh, the son of Imad Moughniye. Imad Moughniye had been on the American radar for many many years, for attacks such as the American Embassy in Beirut (now the site of million dollar sea-front apartments) and the Beirut Marine Barracks. For years, Hezbollah had denied that Imad Moughniye was a member, and wouldn’t even confirm whether the man was alive or not, until his death in a car bomb in 2008 in Damascus, when it turned out he’d been running part of Hezbollah for years. And now Israel had killed his son.
Everyone knew Hezbollah couldn’t let this one slide, but how to retaliate? Too big a loss for the Israelis, and we’d be in a bigger trouble than 2006. Too little a loss for Israel, and Hezbollah would be the laughing stock.
So when they did retaliate, as expected, on Wednesday, January the 28th, we held our breath again. The news was a little confusing at first. There was talk about 17 dead Israelis. That would be too big a loss. Then there was talk of one Israeli soldier kidnapped as well. Way too big a loss. However, clarity soon solved our fears.
Only 2 Israeli dead.
No need to worry, the Israelis couldn’t possibly start a bombing campaign over two dead soldiers.
And then came his 90 minute speech (part of it graciously translated by a blogger here)
This passage starts at 58:12, for those that comprehend Arabic)
“What was the result of the operation? First of all, they killed us in the light of day, and so we killed them in the light of day. Their operation was at half past eleven, or a quarter to twelve… Our operation was at half past eleven, give or take five minutes. Two cars destroyed in exchange for two cars, and a grain of musk. Casualties in exchange for martyrs; as for the mismatch in numbers, we’ll sort that out in the future. Rockets in exchange for rockets. We didn’t go bury a bomb… No, in the broad light of day, the boys went into the field with rockets on their shoulders, and executed the operation.”
And there is that one remark: “As for the mismatch in numbers, we’ll sort that out in the future.” (at 58:47)
I do not know why, but what a power in a sentence.
Maybe I should disable the comment section on this post.