Can Hezbollah survive Nasrallah? – The Jerusalem Post

Iran recently posted an interesting photo. It shows Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force leader Qasem Soleimani seated with one of his deputies, named Mohammed Hejazi, and Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. Soleimani was killed by the United States in 2020. Hejazi died in April. Nasrallah seems to be sick now. Rumors have suggested he may die. Even if it doesn’t, it raises questions about a post-Nasrallah Hezbollah. Men like Nasrallah are central to Iran’s role in the region. These men, along with Imad Mughniyeh, a Hezbollah leader who was killed in 2008, and Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, leader of Kataib Hezbollah in Iraq, played a key role in Iran’s domination of the region. Muhandis was killed in 2020 alongside Soleimani. Hejazi played a key role in Iran’s precision-guided munitions project and in building Iran’s network in the region by moving these missiles to Hezbollah. Nasrallah enjoys giving speeches, usually in his bunker where he has been hiding since the 2006 war against Israel. Even in the bunker, it looked impressive and it expresses a growing mastery of the region and Hezbollah’s role in Iran’s worldview. Hezbollah is a powerful terrorist organization with some 150,000 missiles and a state in the parallel state in Lebanon. It has networks from West Africa to South America, from Lebanon to Iran and beyond. She plays a role in Syria and Iraq and now works with the Houthis in Yemen. But Nasrallah’s appearance suggests he may be in decline. Hezbollah supporters say he just has a cold or maybe pneumonia. Other rumors say he had Covid. Nasrallah’s impressive speeches were key to how he is viewed. Professor Eyal Zisser writing to Israel HaYom says that “this whole perception, however, collapsed with the sound of his first cough and the many others that followed. So, Nasrallah’s victory speech became his “cough speech,” and instead of focusing on his threats and bombastic statements, his health grabbed the headlines. Zisser makes an important point: “Unlike Hamas, which has replaced its leadership on several occasions, not least because of several assassinations attributed to Israel, Nasrallah has been the one and only dominant leader of Hezbollah for almost three decades now. As with any typical Middle Eastern dictator, he ensured that a possible successor never emerges, which brings us to the questions currently facing Lebanon in the aftermath of Nasrallah, which, although delayed, are always inevitable. This is important because Hezbollah developed under Nasrallah. It has grown into an organization of phenomenal power, more powerful than Lebanon and more powerful than many small states. He helped save the Syrian regime during the Syrian civil war, intervening in 2012 and helping the Assad regime hold out until the Russian intervention in 2015. Despite the fact that Hezbollah can only recruit from among a Lebanon’s relatively small Shiite population of several hundred thousand military-aged men, Hezbollah was able to recruit thousands, many of whom became victims of the recent war in Syria. Many more have become veterans, increasing their abilities. Nasrallah has played a key role in this and is in many ways the last of the main members of the Iranian axis in the region. With Mughniyeh papa, Hejazi dead, Soleimani dead, Muhandis dead, Nasrallah is the last proverbial of the Mohicans. This question is complicated. Iran’s proxies do not rely on any man. Unlike a regime like Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, the Iranian octopus network is not based solely on young and old. Because the Iranian system breeds like an amoeba throughout the region, it is fundamentally rooted in the abilities of the people it recruits, primarily among the Shiites. It relies on engineers and operators and often trains relatively small units of elite groups, such as Kataib Hezbollah, to carry out large-scale operations. For example, Kataib has been involved in drone attacks against Saudi Arabia. Pro-Iran militias use 107mm and 122mm rockets to target US forces. They do it with such clandestine eagerness that they can set up rockets and vanish into the night and no amount of the CIA, NSA, and US SOCOM can find them, apparently. Of course, sometimes they make mistakes, Soleimani and Muhandis were killed by the United States and Mughniyah died at the hands of professionals, but in general these men rely on smart and strong structures. Hezbollah will need such a structure if it is to survive Nasrallah and prosper. What we know about his health. Not much except rumors. One article says he underwent a direct examination by a specialist doctor and there was no need to use a hospital. Supposedly a doctor who had been to the United States was also consulted, as well as experts in local medicine. He may be taking folk remedies such as “eucalyptus leaves, which are famous for relieving coughs, infections, seasonal allergies and improving lung health,” according to an article by ‘Al-Jumhuriya. “According to the information, Nasrallah continues to work and follow the files concerned, at a measured pace via the internal telephone, and he communicates when necessary with the leaders of the party who form part of the circle which surrounds him.” This is also what was said of Stalin even when he was incapacitated. Hezbollah says Nasrallah has allergies. He will be fine. The region is waiting to find out.

About Dianne Stinson

Check Also

In search of mapping the universe, astrophysicists launch largest study of the sky ever

The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) installed on the Nicholas U. Mayall 4-meter telescope at …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *