Sunday, July 30, 2006

Hezbollah: Our Enemy Too

In the Sunday Boston Globe Jeff Jacoby reminds us that "Hezbollah is Our Enemy Too.
Here is a sample:
For years Osama bin Laden had preached that it was ``the duty of Muslims to confront, fight, and kill" Americans. His adherents had responded by blowing up the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and slamming a boat laden with explosives into the USS Cole. Yet most Americans paid no attention to Al Qaeda and its threats -- until 3,000 people lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001.

Has nothing been learned from that experience?

Hezbollah's barbaric assault on Israel -- kidnapping soldiers who weren't engaged in hostilities, firing waves of missiles into cities and towns, packing rockets with ball bearings designed to maximize suffering by shredding human flesh -- is part and parcel of the radical Islamist jihad against the free world. Nothing to do with the United States? It has everything to do with the United States. Hezbollah hates Americans at least as implacably as Al Qaeda does, and rarely misses an opportunity to say so.

Read the whole thing. I'm usually not a huge Jacoby fan, but on this question he gets it right more than he gets it wrong.


montana urban legend said...

Snow's incredible reply: ``Why would it be our war? I mean, it's not on our territory. This is a war in which the United States -- it's not even a war. What you have are hostilities, at this point, between Israel and Hezbollah. I would not characterize it as a war."

Well, in some ways it could be our proxy war.

I think the point of criticism I would make here is that the administration is still, as always, testing the waters. Are we in some state of confrontation with Iran or are we not? Do we need to understand better what is occuring in these cultures first, and then progress to their implications politically, or is the time right to emphasize their current incompatibility with the modernizing and increasingly globalized norms (and demands) of liberal democracy? Most importantly, are too many voices focusing - to an irreducibly simplistic degree - on a semblance of "stability" in the Middle East that unrealistically conforms to Western expectations; expectations which we have no reason to take for granted as a given, natural state of affairs in the region?

Questions, questions, questions. When things seem cloudy and nonsensical we should avoid both the temptation to see things through exclusively either our eyes or their eyes, take a step back and ask broader questions for finding a workable focus through which to then proceed further.

All of which accepts what you've stated; that as it currently stands, Hizbullah opposes everything for which we do and should stand.

dcat said...

It's just shocking to me that Snow could say it all with a straight face. Plus, is this argument even the ongoing party line? It sounds very realipolitik to me.

It is obvious that the administration is, as you say "testing the waters," which may not necessarily be a bad thing -- surely being doctrinaire has not worked for them.

As for cultural understanding, I'm with you. In fact, I'm going to blog today on an issue related to this question (obliquely anyway).