The clashes of yesterday and the sectarian rabble-rousing since warrant a comparison between the Future Movement’s thuggish and demagogic response to Sheikh Ahmed Abdul-Wahid’s killing and Hizbullah’s response to a similar incident against its own supporters on January 30, 2008. At the time, the Lebanese Army fired and killed 9 of Hizbullah’s Shiíte supporters who were protesting the government’s electricity cuts. Two army officers and 11 soldiers were later charged with the killings. Here is a 2008 report about the incident:
“LAF commander General Michel Suleiman, along with his intelligence chief Brigadier George Khoury, met with Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah late Monday night to offer their condolences on those killed in Sunday’s riots.
A Hizbullah statement issued Tuesday said the army commander stressed that “serious and comprehensive investigations into Sunday’s events in Mar Mikhael have begun and that the investigation will be transparent and unambiguous and precisely determine culpability.”
The statement said that Nasrallah in turn stressed the need for a rapid, serious and comprehensive investigation away from pressures and politicization.”
In an interview on OTV on February 6, 2008, Nasrallah took the following position:
“We are still following the investigations which have been ongoing in a serious and satisfying way. We do not want people to be randomly held responsible. We want facts and for the responsibilities to be defined. What happened is not permissible and I said that to General Suleiman. There were many similar incidents which were dealt with differently. Therefore, investigations should be conducted to see whether or not there were bad intentions. I cannot make any accusations which is why we need the investigations. Assuming that this action was not spontaneous and that Hezbollah and Amal did send this group to take to the streets, this doesn’t change anything to the facts.”
True to form, Hizbullah did not bring the country to the brink of a civil war. In fact, there was no rioting or even protesting after the killings, no delegitimization of the Army’s authority, no calls to form a Free Lebanon Army, no sectarian agitation, no blame thrown at the Future Movement, no calls for the dethronement of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. Case closed.