Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Hunting for Hezbollah

So tonight, I was channel surfing. I caught a mix of NCIS, an SBS show about the iraq war (and the US long term plans); and topped it all off with the first story on Foreign Correspondent.

It was a piece from BBC2, called "Hunting for Hezbollah". All in all, it was a little bit of your standard fare for a bit there: Hezbollah, bombed buildings, pissed off people, religious fervor, and so and so forth.

However, what did catch my attention was the fact Hezbollah have a number of underground bunker complexes. We aren't talking primitive either - these things, built in secrecy, with running water, electricity, showers; and half a mountain to protect the occupants from bombing & shelling.

I've included here a number of snippets - I only started watching about where part 2 kicks in.

The other thing which kind of did shock me also was when the local guide pulled out an M4/M203 - here's a snippet from the Foreign Correspondent page on this.
That's a pretty pricey piece of high tech weaponry, which has been taken from a dead US solider in Iraq. Supposedly, some of the groups over in Iraq are simply killing because the value of the equipment the US soliders have makes the risk worthwhile - there is no other underpinning for their actions, of a religious nature or otherwise.

Here's the picture of the weapon and the guide (Dawoud):
M4/M203

To give you a clearer idea of what it looks like, take a look at wikipedia's article on the M4 Carbine:



Have a watch:

Synopsis

Hezbollah, the powerful political, military and welfare organisation of Shia Muslims in Lebanon, has been linked to a string of bombings, attacks and kidnappings, mainly against Israel and the western world, for over 20 years.

Originally conceived by a group of clerics after the 1982 Israeli invasion of southern Lebanon – Hezbollah, or Party of God, was formed primarily to resist the occupation.


BBC reporter Darius Bazargan went to Beirut to investigate claims that Hezbollah is again gearing up for battle.

But to get to know Hezbollah you need a way in to their secret world. He found it in former Shia militiaman, Dawoud, who agreed to act as guide.

Dawoud is a staunch Hezbollah supporter – although not an official member of the party – with all the right connections to the city’s dark underbelly. He describes how ordinary people worried about security, are buying guns and preparing for war.

The guide takes Bazargan to an arms dealer where for a price, high-powered weapons are readily available; they travel to areas where Hezbollah is gaining support by rebuilding private houses destroyed in the conflict; and in the Shia heartlands they talk to the mother of a martyred soldier, proud and victorious that her son died fighting for his country.

In southern Lebanon the guide discovers the entrance to a secret military bunker, and closer inspection reveals an elaborate network of tunnels complete with running water and electricity.

But further into Hezbollah territory the atmosphere becomes tense as they drive through restricted countryside past warning signs prohibiting entry, and come across a Hezbollah military base.

Turning back, they are too late to avoid being detained and interrogated by a Hezbollah patrol.

Part 1


Part 2


Part 3
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