A hero or a martyr?


Imagine you are a mechanic’s wife whose only purpose for living is her family. As you’re cooking lunch one day in your kitchen, waiting for your husband and son to come home, an explosion shatters your living room windows. You run and turn on the TV, like all Lebanese have grown accustomed to doing with the frequent bombings and assassinations that had been taking place.

But on the news you see footage of what looks like your son’s car, shattered, with a dead body inside. You spend hours in agony searching for your family members. To your immeasurable relief, you find out that your son is alive, only to learn later that the decapitated body you saw in his car on television was your husband.

And that is only the beginning of the agony. Your daughter starts having nightmares, your son goes into therapy after having seen his father die in front of his own eyes, and you can’t afford to cry because you have to be strong for both of them.

Now imagine you’re a father who spent his life educating his only son. You are proud of what he has accomplished and are looking forward to years of joy with him and his young family. And then you hear an explosion one morning. You get a phone call, somebody asks your name and then, after an awkward silence, you’re told your son is gone. Now you have to spend the rest of your days coping with the anguish of losing a child.

Imagine that you’ve already had threats on your life. That, after surviving two assassination attempts, spending months in a hospital after being shot, you just happen to pass by when a bomb meant for some other politician goes off. And you die, but you don’t die a hero or a martyr—you’re just an unintended victim.

Imagine that you’re not an important politician, that your name only means the world to your family. Imagine that the only hope for justice you have is the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. Not because it is a perfect independent international organization, but because it is the only institution that actually asks about you, is willing to take you into consideration and give you the answers you seek.

Imagine that after six years of investigations, procedures and political bickering, this institution charges four people in the first case and promises to bring to justice a long line of assassins who killed scores in Lebanon between 2004 and 2008. After the prosecutor announces he gathered 20,000 pages of evidence, here comes Hezbollah’s leader, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, saying everything is false and that his party is going to protect the four people indicted on the basis of that evidence.

Fight fair this time, Mr. Nasrallah. Look into the eyes of the mothers, the wives, the children, the fathers who lost their loved ones. Then think if it is fair that you just give your speech on television, say it was an Israeli conspiracy to attack Hezbollah and dismiss the indictment. Maybe it’s not just about you this time. If you’re the head of the Resistance who fights for Lebanon and its people, fight for these people who lost their loved ones. They are Lebanese too, just like those Lebanese who died in South Lebanon in 2006.

Rockets and long, animated speeches can’t clear the names of the four people indicted in the Rafik Hariri assassination. Let justice do its job. If Salim Ayyash, Mustafa Badreddine, Hussein Anaissi and Assad Sabra were indicted by the STL with evidence fabricated by an international conspiracy, just prove it.

Let the four “brothers in resistance” prove they are four honest people who never hurt anybody and who were defending Lebanon from Israeli aggression in South Lebanon when Rafik Hariri’s convoy blew up in 2005, leaving 22 people dead and over 200 wounded. Let the four “brothers in resistance” go to court and show they didn’t do it.

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