Hezbollah's Propaganda War (Part 2/2)

Uploaded by vice on Aug 13, 2012


RYAN DUFFY: Behind me is a memorial to prime minister
Rafic Hariri, who was assassinated
at this exact spot.
Today is the anniversary of that assassination, and we're
going to a rally down the road where people are a bit
frustrated with the pace of justice.
And we're slowly coming to learn that not everyone here
loves Hezbollah.

explosion today, and it's a very heavy explosive
And it went off while the car of ex-prime minister Hariri
was passing by.
RYAN DUFFY: Syria, the country which basically controlled
Lebanon at that point, was initially blamed for the
But in 2011, a UN body set up to find Hariri's murderer
issued warrants for four senior members of Hezbollah.
LOCHMAN SLIM: Everybody knows who killed whom, but we never
wanted to point out this person to make him assume his
or her responsibilities.
RYAN DUFFY: In the immediate aftermath of the
assassination, a wave of demonstrations, dubbed the
Cedar Revolution, led to Syria's withdrawal from
Lebanon and to the birth of a new anti-Syrian and
anti-Hezbollah political coalition called
the March 14 Alliance.
Given the very murdery style of politics in Lebanon,
security was very high for the March 14 rally, and Lebanese
soldiers didn't take very kindly to our cameras.
MALE SPEAKER: Don't film the Army.
MALE SPEAKER: Please erase this film.
RYAN DUFFY: Inside, it's a crowd of predominantly Sunni
Muslim and Christian, well-behaved aside from the
peanut gallery of rioting youth in the back that can't
control their enthusiasm.

After Rafic Hariri's assassination, his son Saad
inherited $4 billion and became the heir to his
father's political legacy.
He was prime minister until his government collapsed in
2011 when Hezbollah-aligned political parties withdrew
from the coalition government.
He took the anniversary of his father's death to deliver a
stern message to Hezbollah via satellite from Paris where he
was recovering from a skiing accident.

RYAN DUFFY: The next day, we hit the streets to see what
people thought of Hariri's demand for
Hezbollah to disarm.
Thanks, anyway.
No time?
You're sure?
It would be real quick.
Two minutes.
Why won't anyone talk to me?
I thought we'd come down here by the university and at least
get some opinionated people, some people who had a lot of
thoughts on what Hariri said yesterday.
Even if they do stop and talk to you, once they find out
what you want to talk about, they're gone.
What is what?

Who's name?
That's Mo.
He works with us.
He's from here.

Very suspicious of everyone, right?
Mo is standing over there, smoking a cigarette, and she
thought he was a spy.
We got the same reception from Hezbollah's PR lady.
But eventually Hezbollah formulated their official
response to Hariri's words at the March 14 rally, a massive
rally of their own.
In the neighborhood known as Dahieh, Hezbollah's stronghold
in Beirut's southern suburbs, the Party of God is God.
RYAN DUFFY: And when Hezbollah's leader, Hassan
Nasrallah, speaks, which he does from a secret, remote
location for fear of being assassinated, people listen.
The rally was straight out of Orwell's "1984," with
Nasrallah as Big Brother and the folks who wanted to take
Hezbollah's guns away as an alliance of Goldsteins.

LOCHMAN SLIM: I don't understand the obsession that
I observe among a lot of people regarding Hezbollah.
Imagine you are Iranian, and I offer you to rent a country,
which has a balcony on the Mediterranean, a border with
Syria, a border with Israel for, I don't know, $1 billion.
Will you take it or not?

And, you know, the Iranians, they're the same.
Good for them.
MALE SPEAKER: Will this be airing on Arab television?
No, no.
This is US only.
MALE SPEAKER: All right.
So, basically, the thing is they have a lot of money.
They fund their people, period.
You don't see them doing anything for anyone else.
I don't blame them.
That's the way it works here.
But at the same time, if you want to be accepted, as an
Islamic movement, they call themselves the [ARABIC], "the
revolution people." What are they revolting against?

MALE SPEAKER: Like, Hariri should not force Hezbollah to
do stuff, and Hezbollah shouldn't do
vice versa, you know?

MALE SPEAKER: I don't like the way they
play internal politics.
They believe that with arms, we can do anything.
LOCHMAN SLIM: Yes, it's powerful.
Yes, they have 100,000 rockets.
Yes, but can they use these rockets?
Why don't they go and liberate the last occupied kilometers?

RYAN DUFFY: In a way, Hezbollah is
the most modern militia.
They know that all the guns and foot soldiers mean nothing
without support, and they've embraced a good PR strategy in
an almost Hollywood-type way.
By packaging their actions under the banner of
resistance, Hezbollah has gone from being a small and wily
militia in southern Lebanon to becoming one of the most
recognized brands in the world.
It's a brand that some associate with pride and
dignity and that others associate
with murder and mayhem.
But until Iran goes bankrupt, or Israel decides that being a
country just isn't worth it anymore, Hezbollah will
continue to be a media-savvy wild card in the future of the
Middle East.