Jacobin runs absurd piece on Lebanon by pro-Syrian rebel, anti-Hezbollah writer

In an article on Saad Hariri and the political situation Lebanon for the world’s premier neo-Kautskyite magazine Jacobin, Elia El Khazen, a proud self-declared Trotskyite who despises Hezbollah, ludicrously claims that it is collaborating with the US.

Even more preposterously, El Khazen’s Jacobin essay tries to link Hezbollah to the US-led so-called “war on terror,” despite the US government’s avowed commitment to crushing the group, and despite the fact that the US government has used the bogeyman of the “war on terror” to attack Hezbollah.

For context, El Khazen has outlandishly referred to Hezbollah as a “fascist reactionary party,” part of Syrian government-allied forces, which he called “the most reactionary factions history has ever seen.”

He wrote this in a 2016 screed condemning “pseudo-leftists” for not supporting (CIA-backed) Syrian rebels, published on the blog of Joey Ayoub, another fanatically pro-opposition troll who has relentlessly lobbied for regime change in Syria.

Sectarians who portray Hezbollah as evil extremists conveniently fail to mention that Christians joined Hezbollah to fight ISIS and al-Qaeda. A Catholic Lebanese leader said, “The only people who are protecting us are the resistance of Hezbollah. The only one standing with the army is Hezbollah. Let’s not hide it anymore. … They accept us as we are. They do not impose on us anything. When there’s an occasion, they come to our children’s birthdays. The people here accept that Hezbollah comes and helps.”

Professor Asad AbuKhalil, who is himself Lebanese, dismissed Elia El Khazen’s anti-Hezbollah Jacobin article with laughter on Twitter, writing:

This is hilarious. The article talks about Hizbullah’s “occupation” of Beirut in 2008 (Shi’ites don’t belong to Beirut?). They are talking about one day in 2008 when allies of Israel conspired against resistance-not only against Hizbullah.

While El Khazen’s Jacobin piece has some insightful economic analysis of Lebanon and Saudi Arabia, politically one of its goals is clearly to “both sides” the socialist analysis of Lebanese politics, portraying Syria as a solely malignant influence and Hezbollah and its allies as equally bad as the Gulf-backed genocidal Salafi death squads they are fighting.

To do so, El Khazen tries to ludicrously lump Hezbollah into the US-led so-called “war on terror.” He uses the term “war on terror” in reference to Hezbollah four times in the piece, writing:

In Lebanon, the alliance between the resistance, the army, and the people that carried out the war on terror has become almost completely hegemonic, forcing Hariri to bend to Hezbollah’s will and allow it to use its own weapons inside Lebanon a second time. Hezbollah’s occupation of Beirut in 2008 sparked a local debate over the role of its military force in Lebanon, one that has now been silenced through the war on terror discourse.

Saudi Arabia’s ultimate goal is to destabilize the newly hegemonic forces within Lebanon: the war on terror alliance (the Hezbollah-Lebanese Armed Forces-Aoun presidency trifecta).

This “both sides” rhetoric is also clear in his claim, “The region, then, seems mired in a new cold war between Iran on the one hand and the Gulf states with Israel on the other. Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen are possible platforms for confrontation or escalation.”

The intention of this “cold war” talking point — which is an actual CIA talking point spread by former analysts like Kenneth Pollack at Vox and elsewhere — is to create a false equivalence between Iran and the US-Israel-Gulf axis that is escalating aggression against it.