A response/parody to the article on paint-balling with Hezbollah
We figured they’d throw-up from the alcohol: they were Hezbollah, after all. But none of us – a posse of Western journalists – thought we’d be dancing on tables by the end of the night when we proposed this ‘friendly’ soiree in Lebanon.
We chose somewhere relatively inconspicuous – Ma’ameltein – as we weren’t sure if they would even show up, considering the Islamic militant fundamentalist terrorist group would have to cross into Christian unfamiliar territory to meet us.
I was stunned when they showed up wearing jeans and shirts, as their uniform tends to consist of camouflage fatigues. They explained to me, however, that they adapt their clothing to their environment. One was even sporting what I could only describe as a hipster haircut.
“Dude, this guy isn’t Hezbollah!” I exclaimed, after finding out his nickname; Chaz.
“Don’t worry my friend, it’s all a ruse to trick white people,” said Abu Ali, my Hezbollah contact who helped facilitate this evening.
I know Abu Ali to be a reliable source on dispensing information regarding military strategies of the militant group; I found him running a dekken on the outskirts of Dahiyeh.
As a matter of fact, he confided to me that he is the head of G Unit, a top secret special forces team.
When I cross-referenced this information with a CIA buddy, he told me he’d never heard of G Unit. This, of course, only confirms just how elite they are.
“Since the end of the 2006 war, Hezbollah has been more lax on appearance, keen to blend in with the local fashion trends,” Abu Ali said as he poured himself a generous helping of Jack Daniels. He drank his bourbon neat, but asked for a full glass of ice. As the evening progressed, he’d steal glances at the glass, watching as the ice steadily melted. I wondered if this was how the terrorist group had been trained to view their enemy.
Meanwhile, Eastern European girls were dancing suggestively all around us in one of Jounieh’s many ‘super-nightclubs’. As their glittering hips swung in the dim light, we took the opportunity to observe our new drinking buddies.
Chaz clearly had a penchant for tequila shots, which he pounded as if it was apple juice. A chill ran up my spine as he ordered more Patron, when I realised he was discreetly hinting at the Iran/Mexican connection.
I gave him a knowing nod.
As he drank, he revealed that he was, in fact, Hassan Nasrallah’s personal bodyguard; a position achieved only after six years of intense training in Iran, followed by two years at a finishing school in Switzerland. He was forced to shave his beard for that.
Then there was Hussein, who challenged me to a game of Beer Pong (also aptly named Beirut) but completely disregarded the rules and launched grenades at my cups instead of ping pong balls. Which I thought was a little excessive.
But what can you expect from a group whose entire essence is based on defending their land from Israeli aggression and occupation destroying Israel.
Late to the table was The Godfather. A silence descended upon the room as he walked in, dressed in black with tinted sunglasses, hair slicked back, shirt open until his navel.
At first glance he looks like any other clubber in Beirut, but close up, his kill tattoos, depicting the number of innocent Israeli IDF soldiers he has shot, demonstrate he is a man of importance. There are rumours that he committed his first terrorist act when he was 11 years old, bruising the cheek of an Israeli soldier with a sling shot as they dragged his mother away.
Without even looking at the menu, he ordered a Stolichnaya, neat. It was obvious he had done this many times before.
With us was my secular Muslim girlfriend who agreed to be our translator. Muttering prayers for Allah to save her soul under their breath when they found out she was dating a foreigner, the Hezbollah boys were uncomfortable at first.
It is taboo (haram) for a Muslim woman to date foreigners (kufaris), otherwise she will stop being pure (harem).
Suddenly, they seemed more intent on bringing me down. Before I knew what was happening, I found a bottle of Grey Goose shoved down my throat.
Well into our seventh bottle of Jack, both Hussein and Chaz were slurring their words. Abu Ali and The Godfather, however, seemed to be matching us, drink for drink.
Staring hard at my drink, I focused on the end-game: demonstrating to the world that we, as Westerners, were just as hardcore as Israel’s most feared enemy. Yet it felt so wrong, to be sitting there, sharing drinks and intimate stories with these fundamentalists. My mind was confused. I was drunk, yes, but still coherent enough to realise that this midnight liaison would be interpreted as cavorting with terrorists.
I made a mental note to email my embassy the next day.
In between stuffing $100 bills into one of the girls’ g-strings – “It’s ok, she’s Jewish,” said The Godfather – the boys confided in us that evening. They told us about how they killed Rafic Hariri, the reasons behind Lebanon’s slow internet, and their views on Lebanon’s current prime minister, Najib Mikati.
“Mikati,” said Abu Ali, “is such a douchebag.”
Hussein confessed that he had, in fact, watched a pirated version of the Israeli film, Waltz with Bashir, and it tugged at his heart-strings. I was shocked a Hezbollah terrorist would ever admit to recognizing Israel.
Towards the end of the night out, the evening took a chilling turn. The Godfather lined up a series of shots, and in between each one, he shouted out “Death to Israel!”
I felt the need to inform these misguided young men why this is a fundamentally anti-Semitic statement to make.
The Godfather then pointed out that as Arabs, they, too, are Semites.
Almost a month after the night out, I found myself in an unmarked Hummer driving along Lebanon’s southern border with Israel – yes! This was exactly what I wanted to get out of our alcohol-fuelled rendezvous.
At the wheel was The Godfather, who, in the weeks following our drunken debauchery, had learned to trust me, despite the fact that I’m foreign, don’t speak his language, and my publications on the group have tended to depict them as a terrorist organization that is holding the country hostage.
My impression is that although he knew this sort of thing is strictly banned, he really liked my smile.
In the south, which is overrun with Hezbollah militants hiding in the bushes (I swear I saw one twitching militantly in the breeze), I came to the realization that I was being given access to something every no other Western journalist has ever seen: Hezbollah strongholds.
After removing the batteries from our phones – to ensure that the CIA, Mossad, MI6, and the local KFC delivery guy couldn’t track us – I decided now would be the appropriate moment to ask him how he really feels – like really really feels – about his Israeli enemies.
“I really like their hummus,” he confided. I was shocked a senior Hezbollah leader would ever admit that Israeli hummus did, in fact, exist.
As we continued our tour of the border, he gave away tactical secrets, explaining how to execute an ambush. “With Hariri, for example, we stayed hidden and let his convoy drive past five times before we took action,” he said.
After some time, he stopped at what seemed to be just another tree. On closer inspection, I realized that it was actually a highly sophisticated rocket launcher with the capability of releasing nuclear water balloons through tiny slits on its leaves.
Still, as the tour went on, I was curious to know more about Semitic Arabs, and to find out whether Hezbollah’s goal was to fight occupation or to actually push all the Israelis into the sea?
To do this, I humoured him by playing along that Israel still occupied some insignificant portions of Lebanese land, inventing a scenario to fit my hypothetical situation.
“What if the Palestinians,” I asked him, “made a deal and Israel withdrew from those ‘occupied’ areas of Lebanon?”
He pondered this for a while, clearly struggling with what he believed as an individual and what he had been forced to regurgitate through the indoctrination of the militant fundamentalist terrorist Islamist extremist party.
“I would want peace with Israel,” he said.