Christopher Hurtado —  December 22, 2008
Hizbollah | Christopher Hurtado

Hizbollah was a splinter off of the Amal militia funded by Iran during the Lebanese civil war that attempted to wrestle power from the Maronites who had held it under Lebanon’s Confessional System since 1932. The Maronites had been given this power by the French based on the 1932 census, which was probably cooked to begin with and outdated at the time of the creation of Hizbollah. The confessional system divided up cabinet posts and parliament seats among the Sunnis, Shi’a and Druze, but it gave the Maronites control of the parliament and the presidency. After the PLO’s Black September defeat in Jordan, it moved fighters to Lebanon and sided with the Sunnis, Shi’a and Druze against the Maronites. The Maronites had their own militia, the phalange, which killed a group of PLO fighters setting off the Lebanese civil war. After the 1979 revolution, following the formation of the Islamic Republic, which replaced the Shah with the Ayatollahs, Iran attempted to export the revolution to Lebanon. The Shi’a in Lebanon were most receptive to this. However, the head of the Shi’a militia, Amal, rejected Iran’s offer of funds, weapons, and advisors. Hizbollah splinters off and accepts the aid Iran offered.

Christopher Hurtado

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Christopher Hurtado is President and CEO of Linguistic Solutions and Adjunct Instructor of Philosophy and Political Science at Utah Valley University. He holds a BA in Middle East Studies/Arabic and Philosophy and an MA in Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies. He coauthored Vacation Spanish: A Survival Guide for Mexico, the Caribbean, Central & South America. He is married to children's book author and homeschool mom, Alysia Gonzalez. Together they have nine children. They are active in their church and in their community.