Mlita, the famous Hezbollah museum, far from being a vulgar amusement park with its security dimension and whose mission is to inform the Lebanese public of all faiths of the actions of the Shiite Movement, is located about 1000 meters above sea level in South Lebanon. Open since 2010, this institution has already welcomed more than 300,000 visitors in one year of existence, proof of the interest it arouses.
This is a public relations operation undertaken by the Shiite movement, to put an end to accusations that the organization is opaque by others. On the contrary, with this museum, Hezbollah, through its secretary general, Sayed Hassan Nasrallah, exposes the objectives of its resistance which he describes as being that of all Lebanon and its communities, speech broadcast in a room state-of-the-art conference room.
To understand what Mlita is, it is a forward base of Hezbollah, made of bunkers and undergrounds, as well as defensive positions against Israel from which many attacks against its troops occupying southern Lebanon will start. This site will be the object of numerous aerial bombardments as evidenced by the only ruin of a dwelling at the bottom of the complex, the others being rebuilt almost immediately once the war episode is over, proof of the spirit of resistance and attachment to the land of the local population.
Arrived at the complex of the Museum, direction, a first building where will be screened a film relating the different dates and periods of the Israeli invasion, a film in the form of an epic passing the first operations of Hezbollah against the troops of the Hebrew state , the first Kamikaze attack and the role of the secretary general of the Shiite organization at the time Abbas Moussawi who will play a big role in the establishment of the complex where we are, going so far as to treat them himself. fighters who had just returned from the front line, until his assassination in 1992 by Israeli forces and the speech of his successor Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah during the Israeli withdrawal in 2000 and the famous victory speech delivered at the end of the conflict of July 2006. It is also touching to review the images of the bombing of Lebanese civilians, including the famous massacre of Qana in 1996, with that of a girl barely a few months old, decapitated by a bomb, in the arms of a soldier of the UNIFIL.
The visit continues in a second building where various Israeli military devices and equipment are displayed including missiles, radio, handguns or assault rifles, heavy machine guns, gas masks, boots etc … see even a panel of indication, mixed up in a skilfully studied disorder, the inscriptions of which can still be seen in Hebrew. There were also telemetry sights, necessary for artillery fire.
Then we continue by the central circle where are exposed various vehicles and Israeli artillery pieces including a Merkava tank with a twisted barrel barrel, symbolically stuck as in quicksand, various tanks including an American-made M60 used during the invasion. 1978 and 1982 before being phased out. We will also notice on the side, the rest of a device for dropping cluster bombs, which continue to claim many victims in Lebanon. A message to the various Israeli drones flying over the region is also inscribed in the middle of this square.
After the Israeli military equipment and machines, the arms of the Lebanese Resistance – mainly of Soviet manufacture – used by mannequins along old trenches recounting a heroic struggle, dotted here and there with bouquets in tribute to the missing fighters. We can see nurses treating war wounds in an emergency, setting up the famous Katyuschas and other Stalin organs with remote firing devices, some of which were still deployed during the conflict of July 2006. What is the point of bombing empty places after rockets have been fired when their servants are already far away?
Visitors then take a long tunnel carved into the rock, it will actually show how the famous Hezbollah bunkers are made. It is not in any way narrow tunnels as one might think, with poorly equipped rooms, but indeed devices to be able to stay underground for a long time with weapon stores, kitchen, computerized command room also serving as a room. of cards, prayer room, dormitories, and even a cupboard to store the necessary to clean up or to continue digging. We are therefore far from the popular imagination, conveyed by certain media, of filthy tunnels.
The tunnel leads to the terrace enthroned on the other side of the mountain, which we would never have even imagined overlooking a panoramic view unfortunately cloudy the day we went there to then take a new path and return to the point of arrival, on the other side of the mountain range.
In the end, Mlita as such is not as impressive as the forts in the Verdun region including Douaumont or the Maginot Line. But it is not a device set up by a state against another state in this specific case but a device put in place by the inhabitants of a country themselves struggling with their eyes and beards. of an occupier, the state itself being in full decomposition during the civil war and having no means of protecting – and it is moreover still the case – the civilian population, which leads to see exceptional character.
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The fact remains that despite all the modern means made available to them, the Israeli forces have not succeeded in taking or destroying these installations, which suggests that the disproportionate use of strength is nothing compared to the tenacity and courage of individuals and that a conventional army like the Israeli army can not do much in the face of techniques of harassment of a guerrilla who controls the reality on the ground.
What was impressive then was the willingness of these fighters to face a modern army with the few means at their disposal. What is impressive today is the memory that the places carry, with even the presence of constantly refreshed bouquets of flowers on the places where their comrades fell. There is the memory of a struggle imposed via the events and a tribute to those fallen, to famous people as well as to strangers, while in other regions, the memory did not last long and our martyrs were (well) quickly buried.