Down With the New Contractors
Written by the mother of one of the young men Hezbollah sent to Syria.
Translated by Omar Abbas
As if it weren’t enough that Hezbollah colludes with the Lebanese authorities against our right to fair wages, health care, water, electricity and quality education. Apparently, it isn’t enough that they actively participate in the corruption deals in all matters of our daily lives, from waste management to ill-conceived dams and oil extraction projects. And it isn’t enough at all that they engage in the systematic elimination of public life in all its details in villages, in favor of receding into religious and sectarian extremism, suppressing freedom and persecuting women.
The series of violations certainly does not end there, as the party’s record is filled with depriving people of their decisions through “road roller elections”; it doesn’t stop at confiscating their right to decide and their right to public life and to individual liberties but also confiscates public spaces such as valleys, mountains and hills, under the pretense of continuous militarization. The party continues to address us on a daily basis as the most honorable of people, telling us that we amaze the world, but simultaneously it does not hesitate to participate in the suppression of our public outcry, to the extent of accusing us of being infiltrators and of being the fifth column, bought off by embassies, if we so much as defend our livelihoods from the authority’s actions, as is happening in the Hay as-Sullom, Mar Mikhael and Raml al-Aly neighborhoods. The same party, that hasn’t stopped claiming piety and faith, is also not ashamed to turn a blind eye to the manufacturers and importers of Captagon.
As if all of that weren’t enough, it is clear that the abuse and the presumptuousness have reached the point where the party is opposed to people and their interests and has been sending our youth, families, relatives and loved ones, who’ve only ever dreamed of a better life, to the war in Syria, secretly as mercenaries in the beginning, then publicly under the pretense of defending what is holy and later in the form of George Bush’s preemptive wars (“if we don’t go, they’ll come”). Hezbollah has dedicated thousands of young, unemployed men to this war, it has adorned them with helmets and rifles and sent them off to the trenches to face people of the same class - jobless people suspended from life and freedom.
The party did not hesitate, in its rush of madness and militarization over the last five years, to send children under the age of 18 to battle. It did not hesitate to exercise its oppressive role towards Syrians in Syria as well as in Lebanon, encouraging aggressions and violations while hiding behind the banner of “locals” to reinforce division, destroying all remaining forms of solidarity between people and tearing at the very social fabric.
In addition to all of this, the leaders of the internal councils repeatedly say that we are in a state of war that necessitates we treat every Syrian present in the South as a time-bomb. Of course the wealthy and powerful are exempt from this racism, just like diplomatic cars and luxury cars are exempt from the curfew and the right to enter the country, according to the procedures of the General Security, is reserved for those who carry large financial sums and denied to children fleeing bombing and clashes.
We see all of this every day. We close our mouths and allow our hearts to turn to stone.
Are we really convinced that they who steal our daily work are refugees? Do we really think that they are the reason why water, electricity, sewage and transportation services are not provided? Moreover, do we really believe that our security and our lives are dependent on the besieging of cities and the bombing of houses, markets, bakeries and hospitals and on the committing of massacres?
Have we not, since the Israeli invasions of 1993, 1996 and 2006, stood shocked by the world’s silence in the face of Israel’s continuous massacre of our people? Have we not chanted and yelled and called upon the world to take action, be it only to stop the bombs?
Have we really forgotten our fear of the bunker-buster bombs dropped by Israeli planes and are we really cheering for the barrel bombs now, dropped indiscriminately on the heads of civilians?
Are we really cheering for the besieging of cities? Are we really celebrating the looting and torturing of their people?
Do we really believe that we are waging a holy war when we defend tyrants? Do we really believe that the Imam Hussein is visiting the Assad and Makhlouf families in their sleep embracing them and thanking them for maintaining his grandfather’s nation?
It is a secret to no one that the developments in Syria change and transform continuously, but the prolongation of the war is only in the interest of the main regressive forces. No matter how much Nasser Kandil and Amin Hutait try to convince us – and I don’t trust the latter as long as he doesn’t tell me why locals cut off the Barja Coastal Road – that the victory in the “cosmic war” is but an hour away, that every year is going to be the transformative one in which all of our wishes are fulfilled.
Well, ask those returning from the battles and they will tell you, that they no longer recognize friend from foe. It is true, for no one stands with us, while we fight amongst ourselves. This is nothing but a farce, and we are its sole losers. Yes, it is we the people who pay with our security, our lives and our loved ones, nothing but disposable bodies benefitting the international weapons industry and the interests of regional and global tyrannical regimes, from Washington to Moscow, from Riyadh to Tehran.