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Britain, and the EU, Must End the Appeasement of Hizballah

Jan. 25 2018

Today the British parliament debates a motion to do away with the fictitious distinction, also embraced by the EU, between Hizballah’s “military wing” and its “political wing” and a concomitant law that, while sanctioning the former, allows the latter to operate freely. Although he is not hopeful, Richard Kemp urges both London and Brussels to change course and outlaw Hizballah outright:

Hizballah, a creation of Iran, emerged onto the world stage in Beirut in 1983, killing 241 U.S. Marines and 58 French paratroopers in the most devastating terrorist attack before 9/11. Since then it has attacked in Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East and planned strikes from Cyprus to Singapore. Last summer, U.S. authorities charged two Hizballah terrorists with planning attacks in New York and Panama. Hizballah is fighting to keep Bashar al-Assad in power in Syria and maintains an arsenal of 100,000 rockets in Lebanon, pointed at Israel.

During the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, Hizballah was involved in Iranian-directed bombings that killed well over 1,000 British and U.S. servicemen. Despite this, in Britain and elsewhere in Europe, Hizballah can freely raise funds for terrorism. Its supporters flaunt their assault-rifle emblazoned flags on [British] streets. They maintain sleeper cells in [the UK]: planning, preparing, and lying in wait for orders to attack.

When I worked for [Britain’s] Joint Intelligence Committee I monitored Hizballah’s activities. I knew there was no division into peaceful and warlike elements. . . . In 2009, its deputy secretary-general confirmed that it was one unified organization. British intelligence knows this, and so do the prime minister and home secretary. So why maintain this dangerous fiction? The Foreign Office deludes itself that by appeasing Hizballah it can influence the organization and that it will do its killing elsewhere. Instead this gives legitimacy to Hizballah. . . .

What would EU-wide proscription do to Hizballah? We know the answer from the words of its secretary-general, Hassan Nasrallah: “The sources of our funding will dry up and the sources of moral, political, and material support will be destroyed.”

Read more at Colonel Richard Kemp

More about: European Union, Hizballah, Iran, Politics & Current Affairs, United Kingdom

 

The Trump Administration Has Said the Right Things about Syria, but Words Are Not Enough

Jan. 30 2018

While praising the White House for recognizing that Iran poses a major threat to American interests in Syria, Jennifer Cafarella argues that Washington still needs a strategy for countering the Islamic Republic and its allies:

The Trump White House identifies Iran as a primary threat. It has verbally committed to the departure from power of Bashar al-Assad. It claims to prioritize repairing relations with Turkey, seeks to destroy al-Qaeda, and wants to refocus the U.S. on Syria’s humanitarian catastrophe. These are the correct goals toward which American policy should strive. . . . The problem is that the strategy Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has outlined [in a January 17 speech] will not accomplish these goals. . . .

American policy in Syria, regardless of any tough administration statements, is to accept Assad and his regime de-facto. . . . The “de-escalation” agreement that President Trump signed in November 2017 with Russia is a surrender not only to Russia, but also to Iran. It heavily favors Assad. In that deal, Russia promised to compel Iran to withdraw its forces from southern Syria. It never happened. Pro-regime forces violate the de-escalation zone with impunity. . . .

Tillerson uses vague terms like “deny their dreams” to describe our strategy against Iran in Syria. He identifies no clear goal against which the U.S. can measure success. He states that the U.S. must deliver an “enduring defeat” to al-Qaeda—and we certainly must. Yet the U.S. Defense Department has offered no vision of how to do that. The strategy Tillerson outlines—and that the U.S. is pursuing—amounts to outsourcing the problem to Turkey, which is actually working with al-Qaeda in Syria. . . .

Two administrations have sought to substitute rhetoric for action and to outsource American interests to local partners. The U.S. must abandon this approach and recognize Syria’s importance to American security.

Read more at Fox News

More about: Al Qaeda, Donald Trump, Iran, Politics & Current Affairs, Rex Tillerson, Syrian civil war, U.S. Foreign policy