by Dan Lieberman
When the rhetoric starts to ratchet; the bombs are ready to explode. Before the assault the attacking nation unleashes a propaganda offensive that shapes the public mind to regard the soon to be attacked nation as wanton killers, which must be eliminated before they eradicate every woman, child and baby seal in the universe.
Commentators smirk at U.S. administration accusations against Hezbollah, but don't seem to realize these accusations predict the preparation of a combined U.S./Israeli attack against the Party of God. Why? Because these nations expect Hezbollah to react militarily to the attack on Iran. It's doubtful that Hezbollah will respond - why fight a losing war - but the saviors of peace in the Middle East are prepared to take another aggressive step in the arena they safeguard and complete their task - total elimination of Israel's adversaries. Jordan, Egypt and Libya are defenseless; Iraq has tumbled; Syria will soon be gone; Iran awaits its fate - Hezbollah is the last man standing and will be the last man walking.
A bus with Israeli tourists is attacked in Bulgaria and immediately, without a single bit of evidence, U.S. and Israeli intelligence accuse Hezbollah - reason being the terrorist attack had the marks of a Hezbollah operation - a triple piece of propaganda.
(1) With no more proof than could be attributed to Paraguay, Hezbollah is accused of the crime.
(2) Although none of the few foreign attacks attributed to Hezbollah have been definitely proven (only two, back in the 1990s, have some credible evidence), and no attacks had been noted in twenty years, we are led to believe that Hezbollah is an active foreign terrorist organization.
(3) Although Hezbollah has never been linked to an attack on a bus with tourists, we are told this is a familiar Hezbollah operation.
As if reality and truth have no place in conversation, U.S. government sources inform us that Hezbollah is responsible for terrorism in South America and Europe, where it is expanding its activities. Too bad, the Latinos and Euros don't know about this, or do they know the opposite - Hezbollah is not disturbing their sleep during these moments.
All this not so subtle preparation leads to the August 10 coup de grace from the U.S. Treasury and State Departments - unverified and undocumented accusations that "the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah is deeply involved in the Syrian government's violent campaign to crush the uprising there. Hezbollah has trained and advised government forces inside Syria and has helped to expel opposition fighters from areas within the country. Hezbollah secretary general, Hassan Nasrallah, has overseen those activities, which is part of the Syria government's increasingly ruthless efforts to fight against the opposition."
When pressed to supply proof, the government spokespersons retreated to conclusions from press reports, without specifying the press reports (a Google search does not reveal any press reports of this type) and classified intelligence; not plain vanilla intelligence but classified intelligence, which, of course, cannot be revealed - in other words, no proof.
The opposite has been noted. Despite Hezbollah's close attachment to the Assad regime and dependence on its moral and military support, Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah has been unusually quiet in expressing support for Assad. His comments have been scarce and only reflect those of anyone who relies on another for assistance. One comment:
Nasrallah Renews Support for Assad, July 19, Hussein Dakroub, Daily Star
BEIRUT: Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah renewed his support Wednesday for the regime of embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad and praised the three generals killed in a bombing in Damascus, describing them as comrades-in-arms to the resistance party.
He also reiterated his call for dialogue between the Syrian regime and opposition to end the 16-month unrest.
Hezbollah's website is milder in its contempt for the Syrian rebels and more informative on the situation than the New York Times. Trust, but verify.
The decades of Hezbollah's questionable terrorist activities have been summarized by Israel "can do no wrong" Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, affectionately known as CAMERA. Although it is possible that some Hezbollah members have ties with other organizations and Hezbollah may approve of and assist in actions that retaliate against attacks upon its persona, there is scarce proof that Hezbollah has terrorism as an agenda. Hezbollah has issues with Israel and can be provoked, but its aggressive tactics don't seem to extend beyond that issue, which is an important consideration. Nevertheless, any Hezbollah relation to terrorist activities is inexcusable and should be condemned.
Starting with its year of formation in 1985 (everything before that date has nothing to do with the Hezbollah organization nor has been verified), CAMERA lists violence, other than in the tit-for-tat war with Israel, it attributes to Hezbollah.
Feb. 16, 1985: Hezbollah publicizes its manifesto. It notes that the group's struggle will continue until Israel is destroyed and rejects any cease-fire or peace treaty with Israel. The document also attacks the U.S. and France.
June 14, 1985: Hezbollah terrorists hijack TWA flight 847. The hijackers severely beat Passenger Robert Stethem, a U.S. Navy diver, before killing him and dumping his body onto the tarmac at the Beirut airport. Other passengers are held as hostages before being released on June 30.
According to a Time Magazine June 24, 2001 summary of the story, "the hijackers were identified by an accomplice as members of Islamic Jihad (or Holy War), the shadowy Shi'ite Muslim organization that is regarded as a sort of umbrella for various fundamentalist terror groups operating in Lebanon and other Middle East countries."
Dec. 31, 1986: Under the alias Organization of the Oppressed on Earth, Hezbollah announces it had kidnapped and murdered three Lebanese Jews. The organization previously had taken responsibility for killing four other Jews since 1984.
The alias is only speculation. There is no evidence that the Organization of the Oppressed on Earth is other than a group of extremists who call themselves Organization of the Oppressed on Earth.
Feb. 17, 1988: The group kidnaps Col. William Higgins, a U.S. Marine serving with a United Nations truce monitoring group in Lebanon, and later murders him.
Same doubt as above.
March 17, 1992: With the help of Iranian intelligence, Hezbollah bombs the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, killing 29 and injuring over 200.
July 18, 1994: Hezbollah bombs the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires-again with Iranian help-killing 86 and injuring over 200.
These charges have legs, but not sufficient proof. The responsibility for these atrocities have had contradictory conclusions.
The Los Angeles Times headline reads: Islamic Jihad Says It Bombed Embassy.
March 19, 1992|WILLIAM R. LONG | TIMES STAFF WRITER
BUENOS AIRES - Workers uncovered more bodies Wednesday in the bomb-wrecked rubble of the Israeli Embassy, while a terrorist group in the Middle East claimed responsibility for the devastating attack.
In Beirut, a statement bearing the name of the pro-Iranian group Islamic Jihad (Islamic holy war) claimed responsibility for the bombing, which it said was a suicide attack carried out by an Argentine who had converted to Islam.
The Islamic Jihad statement said a Muslim convert called "Abu Yasser" carried out the bombing to avenge the deaths of Sheik Abbas Moussawi and his family in an Israeli air raid Feb. 16 in southern Lebanon. Moussawi, a Shiite Muslim leader, was believed to head Hezbollah, or Party of God, a pro-Iranian terrorist organization linked by experts to Islamic Jihad.
According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), "The Argentinean Intelligence Service (AIS) completed a comprehensive report on the international aspects of the terrorism. The main conclusions of the report are as follows:
The Iranian Government instigated the attack. Its implementation was the responsibility of then-Iranian Intelligence Minister Ali Fallahian.
Iranian Intelligence charged Hezbollah with mounting the attack.
Hezbollah's operational unit abroad led by Imad Mughniya perpetrated the attack. Syria was also in the know.”
Four arrest warrants of Iranians, but no indictments of Hezbollah, came from the AIS report. Note that the bombings in Argentina, although unjustified, were assumed to be retaliation to killings of Lebanese citizens by Israeli military and its intelligence agency. The latter obvious terrorist attacks have not been condemned by the western nations.
Despite no entries after 1994 by CAMERA of foreign terrorism by Hezbollah, Hezbollah is labeled an international terrorist organization.
Arriving at year 2011, after a pause of seventeen years in accusations of terrorist actions by Hezbollah, the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, an Israeli based and pro-Israel group, restarts the accusations with new charges against the Lebanese organization.
1) Turkey: On May 26, 2011, there was an attempted attack on the life of David Kimchi, the Israeli consul in the heart of Istanbul. The attack failed but wounded eight Turkish civilians, and might have been a so-called "work accident." According to the Italian Corriere della Sera, July 2011, the Turkish authorities concluded that the attempted assassination had been carried out by three Hezbollah operatives who had arrived from Beirut. They followed the consul's daily routine, in our assessment intending to attack him on his way to the consulate.
Intelligence sources in Ankara denied the report in the Italian daily, calling it Israeli propaganda. "Israel releases false information once in a while for disinformation purposes," the source said.
2) Thailand: In the middle of January, 2012, an attack against an Israeli target in Bangkok was prevented, apparently a venue customarily frequented by Israelis. On January 12, Thai police at the Bangkok airport arrested Hussein Atris, a Shi'ite Hezbollah operative from south Lebanon, as he was trying to flee the country. In his possession were a Lebanese and an expired Swedish passport. During the investigation the Thai police uncovered a supply of chemicals for manufacturing explosives for the attack/attacks.
According to National Police Chief Priewpan Damapong, Atris insisted that the materials seized were not intended for attacks in Thailand but were going to be transported to a yet-to-be-named third country (a Stratfor source has cited the Philippines as a logical destination). He also allegedly told authorities that, although he was a member of Hezbollah, he was not a member of the group's militant arm - a big difference. (Several terrorists in the United States have been members of a U.S. political Party. Did they operate from Party orders?)
3) India: At 15:00 hours on February 13, 2012, a day after the anniversary of the death of Hezbollah's senior terrorist operative Imad Mughniyeh, a motorcyclist attached an explosive device to the car of an Israeli Ministry of Defense representative in New Delhi. In the car were the local driver and the wife of the Israeli Ministry of Defense representative, who was seriously wounded. Of the series of six attempted attacks initiated by Iran and Hezbollah, it was the only one which was carried out and harmed an Israeli. The Indian media reported that the police had detained five men for interrogation who had been detected by security cameras as they examined the Israeli car. The Indian media also reported that the motorcycle had been found abandoned near the site of the attack.
Where is a documented Hezbollah link to any of the six attempted attacks?
4) Georgia: On February 13, 2012, the same day as the attack in New Delhi, an explosive device was attached to an Israeli embassy car in the capital city of Tbilisi. A Georgian employee of the Israeli embassy driving an embassy car felt the car was dragging something behind it. He alerted the police, whose demolition experts neutralized the bomb. The Israeli prime minister accused Iran and Hezbollah of responsibility for the attacks in Tbilisi and New Delhi, following those in Azerbaijan and Thailand. The Iranians, however, denied any and all involvement in the attacks in India and Georgia, and accused Israel of planning the attacks itself to incite world public opinion against Iran.
Except for the political Israeli PM's unverified statement, where is a documented link to Hezbollah?
Similar to the bombings in Argentina, these atrocities were provoked by the killings of Iranian citizens, and assumed to have been done by Israel's Mossad.
The Europeans are not in sync with U.S. characterization.
NYT, Aug 15 Despite Alarm by U.S., Europe Lets Hezbollah Operate Openly
Hezbollah has maintained a low profile in Europe since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, quietly holding meetings and raising money that goes to Lebanon, where officials use it for an array of activities - building schools and clinics, delivering social services and, Western intelligence agencies say, carrying out terrorist attacks.
Although no Hezbollah attacks have been reported since 1994, and the Lebanese political Party has no relation to the 9/11 attack, the NYT prints: "Hezbollah has maintained a low profile in Europe since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2000," and "Western intelligence agencies say, (Hezbollah is) carrying out terrorist attacks (in Europe)."
Nor is it probable that Hezbollah is quietly holding meetings and raising money that goes to Lebanon. Lebanese Shiites have scattered throughout the world for generations, working and sending money back to Party of God agencies and to support their families in Lebanon.
The militarist/nationalist regimes of the post World War II era dispatched the rulers appointed by the Post World War I British-French alliance, which arranged the Middle East to satisfy its interests. Unable to rearrange the nations' borders in accord with ethnic persuasions, the Arab regimes suppressed ethnic rivalries. Soon, the Middle East will contain only nationalist regimes without the militarist bite and with renewed ethnic conflicts. With Hezbollah pulverized, the Palestinians will lose their last defense and face a catastrophic fate. Because challenging the Israel-United States alliance by conventional means will not be possible, we can expect decades of severe terrorism. Getting rid of the one-sided terrorist will open an expanded era of multi-minded terrorists.
Will the United States government ever learn?
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|Timothy V. Gatto|