After claiming they won the war against Israel, Hizbollah is now bidding to win the peace in southern Beirut. On Thursday volunteer architects and engineers were fanning out in the mainly Shi’ite suburbs wearing the Party of God’s traditional yellow and flying its flag, providing visual evidence it will try to make good its promises to rebuild and refund civilian losses. It is estimated at least 15000 homes were destroyed here and in the south of Lebanon.
People were queuing to get their names down on lists claiming compensation: “We are deploying two engineers per zone, and 70 in all. We get an overall view of the biggest jobs and scale of damage, then tomorrow we’ll be going from home to home” said one Hizbollah man. Not all the victims are muslims. This Christian doctor’s surgery in the suburbs was destroyed: “We trust Hizbollah because when they promise something they deliver”.
How to pay for all this massive rebuilding? This Hizbollah activist needs no translation: Il n’y pas de probleme, on a de l’argent”
“From where?” “Hizbollah a de l’argent”
Hizbollah reportedly gets at least 300 million dollars a year from Iran, and this lead in reconstruction is worrying America, where the Bush administration is reportedly trying to speed up its aid effort.