You know how they keep calling Hizbullah a small militia with a few hundred fighters?

In an interview with reformist Iranian newspaper Sharq published on Thursday, Ali Akbar Mohtashemi-Pur, who served as Iran ‘s ambassador in Damascus during the 1980s, said Hizbullah has additional weapons in addition to missiles, as well as the courage to use them.

“There are countries that have weapons but don’t have the courage to use them,” he said.

According to Mohtashemi-Pur, Hizbullah constructed a series of underground bunkers, which allow it to maintain its missile-firing capability despite ongoing Israeli air raids.

No, no, that’s not my point yet. That’s just to tell you what happens if Iran gets nukes, since presumably the Iranian ambassador is signaling that brave countries have the courage to use weapons at their disposal.

Here’s the point:

While I was in Syria and Lebanon , about 30 training courses took place, with 300 Lebanese being trained in each one of them, and it continued later on,” he said. “Until now, Hizbullah trained more than 100,000 people directly or indirectly, most of them volunteers, yet Hizbullah’s regular forces are fewer.”

Mohtashemi-Pur also took the opportunity to praise Hizbullah, saying that “it’s true that at first the (Iranian) Revolutionary Guard trained Hizbullah in Lebanon and Iran, yet they’re the type of students who do better than their teachers, and today there’s no room for comparison.”

The article is here, for your enjoyment.

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  • Oh, yeah, I really believe everything that’s said between a Hizbullah functionary and an Iranian journalist.


    Middle, you’d better eat something – you seem to be getting dizzy.

  • Why hasn’t Israel bombed their nuke sites? That’s what the whole world is waiting for.

  • Ben David, I don’t think this guy realized he’d be quoted on Ynet. He was being interviewed in Iran by a reformist publication. Besides, it is a known fact that along with their fighters, they also have quite a few civilians who are trained in some basic acts of war like being part of a rocket launching crew.

  • TM, the Wall Street Journal today front-paged an extensive piece on hezbollah’s military and political structure that in the main makes your point. One example about H’s capabilities and underreported sophistication, from the top of the article:

    “As Israel ended its 18-year occupation of southern Lebanon in 2000, its army left behind part of a strategic outpost known as Karqom. Concerned they might damage an ancient synagogue nearby, soldiers hesitated to level the outpost, as they did the rest of their military infrastructure. When Israel’s military returned to Karqom during the fighting in recent weeks, what was left of the outpost was gone. In its place was a fortified, 5,000-square-foot Hezbollah military base with a radio tower, secure satellite communications and a unit of more than a dozen guards. The Israelis ordered an airstrike, which detonated a huge cache of what they say were explosives and other weapons. The explosion, said a senior Israeli military official who was involved, “was like Independence Day in America.””

    (I posted the full piece here… )

  • Consider the following:

    1) People who are winning don’t ask for cease-fires. Iran has now publicly embarrassed itself by asking for a cease-fire.

    2) Hezbollah has been whupped soundly in every ground engagement with Israeli infantry. They have now retreated to forested areas and hilltops, from which they launch anti-tank missiles at Israeli convoys. As I write this, Israeli forces are calmly screwing infrared scopes onto their rifles and equipment – allowing them to spot Hezzies in their jungle habitat. Expect more night-time ground raids, which further tilt the advantage towards the better trained Israelis.

    3) For over a week now (as most Tel-Avivis and Haifa residents will tell you) there has been nothing but Katyusha fire – which is all-but-impossible to prevent until the whole area is cleared out. The long-range bomb that landed near Jenin is evidence that Israel has successfully taken out most of the long-range missiles, that the more experienced Hezzie artillery folks are already eating their 72 raisins – and that their remaining bruthas are panicking.

    Hezbollah made the momentous mistake of provoking a ground war with a standing army. As a terror group, it was able to sow a pervasive uncertainty and fear of violence that cast a large shadow across the Israeli psyche. Now that it’s actually fighting a well-equipped army, it’s f*cked.

    We already see the change in the Israeli mentality. It’s a cold calculation to make, but Israel’s civilian casualties so far don’t even add up to one big terror strike – and the people in the bunkers are among the strongest voices supporting the action. A complete reversal of the defeatist attitude that was Hizbullah’s major weapon.

    4) Thinking people and politicians around the world are not kept up at night – not by the horrific photos of dead Lebanese children, but by the hundred-times-more-horrific notion that a sloppily-imposed cease fire just means this whole episode repeats a year from now – with a “nuke-YOU-lar” Iran. This vision has European politicians waking up at night gasping “while I’m still in office! While I’m still in office!”

    That is why Germany bestirred themselves to sidetrack a UN resolution, and is breaking 50 years of NATO pacificism to offer its military.

    This is why Tony Blair has started talking openly about a larger global, moral battle – and put a blackout on news reports of arms shipments to Israel via UK ports.

    It is why Condi’s shuttle diplomacy is a distracting side show – the diplomatic version of the Hopi rain dance performed for the tourists, and about as effective in bringing the desired result.

    In other words – wars are planned, played out, and won by people whose strategic/political vision is longer, broader, and more patient than the induced attention-deficit disorder of the media news cycle.

    The Israeli army is proceeding just as any army should: first an aerial cleansing of the theater of operations – and information gathering. Then direct attacks at the crucial logistical points and leadership (in this case, supply lines and long-range missile sites, and the bigwigs scooped up at Baalbeck hospital – a mission that demonstrates Israel already dominates the area of operations).

    This is being followed by a ground invasion – which is so far very successful thank G-d.

  • Well, there’s a positive comment. I sure hope you are right about the above – I sure ain’t gonna jinx it by arguing.

  • I’m so tired of this warmongering country. Will there ever be a time when there isn’t a ratio of 10 Arab lives to 1 Israeli life?

  • Commentator – you may be a troll, but your error is so common that I’ll take the time to correct it.

    It’s, simple really: in war, bodycounts do not correspond in any way to virtue, or even to victimhood.

    You are representative of many people, raised on political correctness, whose first impulse is to identify the proper place to deposit their pity – and it follows according to some PC feng-shui that moral outrage is then placed on the other side of the conflict.

    This is simply not true – if it were, EVERY party losing a war would automatically be virtuous – and as the Allies closed in on Berlin and Tokyo, the Nazis and Japanese would automatically become the righteous party in the conflict.

    And we all can see that THAT is patently false.

    Intent and first aggression count in an honest moral calculation of justification and “proportionality” in war – not just body counts and tunnel-visioned, emotional appeals to pity people who may very well be the brutes and aggressors of the story.

    Attacked parties win defensive wars by visiting upon their attackers 3,4, and 10 times the destruction of their enemy’s attack on them. The damage wreaked on the aggressor nation doesn’t change the fact that the aggressor in the conflict is The Wrong One to anyone who seeks peace.

    Again, an example untainted by Mideast prejudices may clarify this – the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. The Americans burned down Tokyo and several other cities, until their ATTACKERS surrendered.

    Nothing disproportional about any of THAT story. It’s what wars – and military deterrence – are all about.

    The only difference is that now the Jews have all those tools of sovereignty – and war – with which to defend themselves.

    Does that bother you, commentator? That the Jews can now defend themselves?

  • Ben-David, one hopes and trusts you’re correct, but you’ve got more testosterone in your bloodstream than Floyd Landis. Condi’s road trip isn’t a “distracting side show”, you goof. It’s a conscious US policy initiative to give the IDF time to do its job. Obviously. Right?

    It’s great that the “Jews can now defend themselves,” but the Jews cannot defend themselves alone. It turns out that Israel, like every other state, like the United States, subsists within a community of nations which, on the one hand, constrains it, but on the other, can be led to assist it from time to time– e.g., Israel’s hope for an international peacekeeping/making force to accomplish what Israel couldn’t in the generation after ’82.

    Oh, and no need to thank us, but remember– that exploding ordinance in Lebanon you’re getting off on? My tax dollars at work, pal. Shalom.

  • Alas, CNN is reporting that Christians seem to be hopping on the Hizbollah bandwagon. If it’s inaccurate, it frightens me that people would spread dangerous nonsense. If it’s true… words fail me. I just want to scream.

  • Christians in lebanon or Christians overall? There are some evangelical groups that are in supports of Hizbollah…which makes no sense. Generally, these people look at the New Testament and ignore the parts about the Jews still being chosen.

    However, I assure you, there is not a single conservative evangelical group that is in support of Hizbollah.

  • From the fragment of the story that I got, it would be at least Lebanese Christians, but with other Christian groups. I’m trying to track down the full story on
    And trust me, when it comes to restricting personal freedom, some Christians can get as Old Testament as your worst nightmares.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if there were both neo-Nazis and Jew-bashers disguised as liberals boosting the Hezbollah camp. Me, I’m in the “everybody, put down your guns” camp, which doesn’t seem terribly popular of late.