For those who see Barack Obama as a friend to the state of Israel — a rapidly-diminishing cadre of voters — the White House’s latest outreach effort may shake their confidence. The Obama administration isn’t reaching out to Israel, but to Hezbollah. Reuters reports that the White House hopes to bolster terrorist “moderates” in southern Lebanon (via an incredulous Andy McCarthy):
The Obama administration is looking for ways to build up “moderate elements” within the Lebanese Hezbollahguerrilla movement and to diminish the influence of hard-liners, a topWhite House official said on Tuesday.
John Brennan, assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, met with Lebanese leaders during a recent visit.
“Hezbollah is a very interesting organization,” Brennan told aWashington conference, citing its evolution from “purely a terrorist organization” to a militia to an organization that now has members within the parliament and the cabinet.
“There is certainly the elements of Hezbollah that are truly a concern to us what they’re doing. And what we need to do is to find ways to diminish their influence within the organization and to try to build up the more moderate elements,” Brennan said.
He did not spell out how Washington hoped to promote “moderate elements” given that the organization is branded a “foreign terrorist organization” by the United States.
Oh, that. Surely the Department of Hope and Change can amend that list. After all, if we don’t bother to paint the Pakistani Taliban as a terrorist organization while we’re fighting them, why would we handicap Hezbollah?
Well, maybe because Hezbollah is a terrorist organization, and one that takes its orders from Iran. Maybe Barack Obama was too busy publishing legal opinions at Harvard to recall this (I kid, I kid!), but Hezbollah kidnapped a number of Americans during the 1980s. They also murdered a CIA station chief, and conducted a terrorist attack that killed over 240 Marines when the US attempted to intervene between Lebanon and Israel.
Unlike the Pakistani Taliban, Hezbollah isn’t an indigenous movement. It was created, funded, and directed from Tehran. It does have control over ministerial positions in the Lebanese Cabinet, but only because Iran’s money and guns gives them the power to extort those positions. It exists to conduct war against Israel, and is much more like Hamas in its refusal to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist than Fatah’s prevarications on the subject.
In other words, Hezbollah is exactly the kind of organization we need to stamp out as part of our efforts to curtail Iran’s influence. Instead, Obama’s administration proposes to endorse that influence by legitimizing a terrorist organization and an enemy to our close ally.