There Are No Moderates Within Hizbullah

(Commentary) Michael J. Totten - John Brennan, deputy national security adviser for homeland security, has come up with a new way to waste the foreign-policy establishment's time - locate the so-called "moderate elements" within Hizbullah and somehow promote them. There are no moderates within Hizbullah, at least not any who stand a chance of changing Hizbullah's behavior. If you want to catch a glimpse of Hizbullah's organizational chart, just rent a car in Beirut and drive south. You'll see billboards and posters all over the place in the areas Hizbullah controls. Some show Hizbullah's leadership, most prominently Nasrallah. You'll also see Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the two "supreme guides" of the Islamic Republic regime in Iran. It's obvious that Hizbullah is still subservient to Khamenei. His face is almost as ubiquitous as that of Nasrallah. Hizbullah's state-within-a-state doesn't even look like it's in Lebanon. It looks like, and effectively is, an Iranian satellite. Iran's heads of state appear everywhere, while Lebanon's heads of state are personae non grata. I've met those you might call moderate supporters of Hizbullah, Lebanese citizens who believe Hizbullah is there to defend Lebanon from Israel rather than to attack - which is not at all what anyone at the top thinks. The organization takes its orders from Tehran. Hizbullah won't change until its masters change in Iran. The U.S. is no more able to "build up" any imagined moderates within its ranks than it is able to replace Khamenei's hated dictatorship with the Green Revolution.

2010-05-21 09:34:48

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