Mideast Daily News

Hizbullah’s “Political” and “Military” Fiction Cracks Further with US Reward on Terrorists’ Heads

By Michael Friedson | The Media Line

October 11, 2017

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The crescendo of criticism for governments – including the United States – that blindly accept the fictional premise that the Lebanon-based, Iranian-backed Hizbullah terrorist organization has separate “political” and “military” personas is strengthened with word that the American government is offering rewards of $5 million and $7 million, respectively, for the capture of Hizbullah operatives believed to be planning a major terrorist operation in the United States. Critics of US military aid to the Lebanese army argue such weaponry and equipment ends up in the hands of Hizbullah, a reality confirmed by the Israeli defense minister who said on Tuesday that, “The Lebanese army has become an integral part of Hezbollah’s campaign under its command. The Lebanese army has lost its independence, and has become inextricably linked to Hezbollah.” One of the wanted men was instrumental in the 1983 attack on the Marines barrack in Beirut that killed 241 US military personnel. But since that time, rather than following US law which prohibits aid to entities on the State Department terrorism list, US policy has been to ignore the chokehold Hizbullah holds over the Lebanese government and its creeping military strength which has now surpassed that of the Lebanese army. United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701 which ended the 2006 war between Israel and Hizbullah and explicitly forbids an armed force other than the army or Hizbullah activity in south Lebanon, both of which are explicitly flouted by the government of Lebanon. Addressing the issue of the Hizbullah armed force, President Michel Aoun recently told interviewers that “Hezbollah weapons are not contradictory to the state, but are an essential part in defending the country. As long as a part of the territory is occupied by Israel, and as long as the army is not powerful enough to fight Israel, we feel the need to maintain the weapons of the ‘resistance’ to complement the army.” Nevertheless, Hizbullah’s move to front-and-center on the US terror watch – with an apparent accompanying and unambiguous identification of Hizbullah as a terrorist organization – comes as part of President Trump’s new Iranian strategy of pursuing Tehran’s proxies in the region. The White House has not indicated whether it will continue to provide military aid to the Lebanese army – a move critics argue would undermine the administration’s own counterterrorism policy.

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