Friday, March 13, 2009

13-Mar-09: On lying down with dogs

The New York Times is reporting today that the Obama administration is "puzzled" that Britain is "re-establishing contact with the political wing of the militant group Hizbullah".
"The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the delicacy of the matter, said the British government had informed the “previous administration” of its diplomatic overture, suggesting that the Obama administration felt somewhat blindsided by the initiative. The United States, the official said, wanted Britain to explain “the difference between the political, social and military wings of Hezbollah because we don’t see the difference between the integrated leadership that they see.”
The trouble with having an inconsistent policy in relation to terror organizations - like Hamas and Fatah - that get involved in conventional politics is that you end up confusing your citizens and your allies and, no less, yourself.

The issues that arise are unpleasant to the point of being deeply offensive. In the case of Hezbollah, for instance, the American official:
objected to the glorification in the Hezbollah stronghold of south Beirut of Imad Mugnieh, a Hezbollah commander who was killed in a car bombing in February 2008 that the movement blamed on Israel. "For years Hezbollah denied having any knowledge of Imad Mugnieh, for years Hezbollah pretended that Imad Mugnieh and that whole era of Hezbollah was not really Hezbollah, it was something else," the official said. "And now all over south Beirut are all these posters extolling the virtues of Imad Mugnieh," said the official of the man who made America's most wanted list for his role in anti-US and anti-Israeli attacks in the 1980s and 1990s. When a journalist suggested he did not sound happy with the British decision, he replied: "No."
The threat posed by the terrorists to civilized societies all over the globe demands that people in power get this right. Getting it consistently wrong, as for instance the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has done in its six year-long "intensive investigation" of Iran is not a more politically-motivated error. It's an existential disaster in the making.

Ongoing glorification of barbarism, and of the savages (like the man who murdered our child and his numerous accomplices) and jihadists who perpetrate it, are part and parcel of the process of pretending that groups like Hamas and Fatah have conventional, civilized legitimacy. We allow this to continue to happen at our mortal peril. The British government owes an explanation for its moral blindness to more than just its own citizens, but at least to them.

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