Tue, Jan 23, 2007 at 9:24:15 am
After the Lebanon War, Hizballah’s propagandists staged a giant show, turning up in bombed neighborhoods with wads of American cash (dutifully photographed hundreds of times by mainstream media), and promising to rebuild homes and businesses.
But now that the media heat is off, the propaganda is shown to be empty theatrics: Vision of Rebuilding Lebanon Wanes.
BINT JBAIL, Lebanon, Jan. 16 — In August, Mohammed al-Seyed watched with some pride as tractors driven by Hezbollah men rolled in to begin scooping away the rubble and debris of a month of war with Israel, while engineers and others set to work.
This Hezbollah stronghold would soon rise again, the leaders of both the town and the militant group’s building arm, Construction Jihad, said defiantly.
More than five months later, however, with winter here and Lebanon’s government enmeshed in political crisis, the tractors are gone, the army of men has disappeared and Bint Jbail’s town center still resembles Dresden after World War II.
“They told us everything was going to be rebuilt soon,” Mr. Seyed said Tuesday, speaking of town leaders. “They’re not doing anything now. We want to build but they won’t let us. They promise to pay us, but they don’t. All we want is our homes back and they won’t even let us have them!”