Yes, shocked I tell you to find that the Arab street has wholeheartedly embraced Hizbollah as the battle between the well-armed militia/terrorist group within Lebanon and the Israeli state continues into its third week.
For its part, Israel has evidently decided against expanding the conflict beyond its current (pretty damned wide) parameters. Hundreds of Lebanese (and dozens of Israelis) have been killed in the fighting, with many times that wounded. It appears that Israel has recognized that it is unlikely to eliminate Hizbollah, with its thousands of rockets and millions (well, over a million, anyway) likely supporters in Lebanon, and the ability to melt in and out of civilian areas where it hides its fighters and weapons; so Israel is settling for “degrading”, “disrupting”, or perhaps, “annoying” Hizbollah. In short, Israel responded disproportionately, and targeted the Lebanese state writ large, instead of simply trading tit for tat, and keeping this appropriately small… it failed to manage its own expectations, really. It thought it could do military what it can’t seem to do politically (or of course, what it previously couldn’t do… militarily.) I had believed Israel’s escalation to be a mistake; as this progresses, I’m becoming more sure of it.
BTW, out of nowhere, al Qaeda’s leadership has also endorsed Hizbollah and its fight against the Zionists, though, of course, Sunni A.Q. may largely be reduced to having to try to get some p.r. in the Arab street, as the Shia Hizbollah seems to be getting all the Arab street creds for itself… for his part, our American President seems oblivious to the whole thing, promising Israel all the time it needs to finish off Hizbollah, apparently unaware that Israel once occupied Southern Lebanon for eighteen years and was no closer to eliminating Hizbollah at that time than now. But there you go.
No, Hizbollah, despite, at this point, being stronger than the Lebanese state it infests, will nonetheless claim that it survived overwhelming odds by surviving the onslaught from the mightly Israeli army and air force, and will, once again, claim victory, which will be proclaimed on the Arab street. And other guerrilla movements (a/k/a “terrorists”) will be duly heartened by it.
And any goodwill the United States once claimed in the Middle East when Lebanon and Iraq “got democracy” will be gone. And we’ll be pretty much back where we started. Except that a lot of people will be dead or wounded.