There is no love lost between Hezbollah and me. I’ve always thought of them as a terrorist organization, which is exactly how many nations have designated them. The European Union, however, has not designated the group as a terrorist organization.
But recent events might change that:
“Bulgaria urged European governments on Monday to take a harder stance towards Hezbollah after blaming the Lebanese Islamist movement for a bus bombing that killed five Israelis at a Bulgarian Black Sea resort last year…Bulgaria’s implication of Hezbollah in the attack in the city of Burgas has reignited a debate over Europe’s approach to the Shi’ite Muslim group.”
While Bulgaria’s Foreign Minister Nikolai Mladenov is cautious about changing Hezbollah’s designation for strategic regions, he is certainly saying things about Hezbollah that would make it easier for the EU to consider them a terrorist group.
“On his way into the meeting, Mladenov told reporters Europe should take collective measures against Hezbollah. Asked whether that meant the EU should blacklist the movement, he replied: ‘Given the fact that we’ve already made quite firm statements about where we believe the responsibility for that attack lies, I think the answer is quite obvious.’”
But that’s where it gets confusing. Why is Madenov making “quite firm statements” about Hezbollah when the investigation of the terrorist attack is not yet complete?
“But he said it could take weeks or months before Bulgaria completes its investigation of the attack and shares all necessary information with other EU capitals to build the case for any moves against Hezbollah. ‘I don’t think we need to rush into this debate, before all the information we have is shared,’ he told Reuters.”
The problem with the evidence against Hezbollah is that there isn’t any. The people making the case for them claim that it is a “reasonable assumption” to declare Hezbollah to be the perpetrator. That’s it. The only piece of hard evidence that was discovered at the bombing was a mobile phone SIM card.
“[I]nvestigators had found a SIM card at the scene of the bombing and had hoped it would provide data on the suspect’s contacts before they had arrived at the scene of the bombing. But the telecom company in question was Maroc Telecom, and the Moroccan firm had not responded to requests for that information. That provenance of the SIM Card is damaging to the Hezbollah “hypothesis”, because Maroc Telecom sells its cards throughout North Africa – a region in which Hezbollah is not known to have any operational bases but where Al-Qaeda has a number of large organizations.”
Yes it does! For example, the terrorist group that killed our ambassador, Ansar al-Sharia, is back in business in Benghazi, setting up road check points and providing hospitals and other groups with security. Because of the chaos unleashed on all Libya thanks to NATO interference, it is reported that the group is being “held up as heroes of the Libyan uprising by some locals who say they are doing a better job of the protecting them than the government in distant Tripoli.” We made these people heroes. Was that a wise decision?
So who is to say that the Hezbollah of Iran is responsible for the murder of those Israelis, and not the Al Qaeda affiliates that we used to overthrow Libya and that we are now using in Syria? Basically, Hezbollah is Shiite (like Iran) while US policy, since Bush’s “redirection” in 2007, has been to support Sunni groups despite the fact that we had declared war on such groups in our “war on terror.” Obama’s decision to arm “rebels” in Libya, and to have others do so (while claiming to oppose it himself) in Syria, means we are going to have many crimes to try to deny our involvement in. Pinning the crimes on Shiites is one possible strategy. If this particular attack was somehow done by Hezbollah and not by an Al Qaeda group out of North Africa, then we just got lucky. The Sunni rebels we are aiding in Syria are also committing atrocities, as they will do elsewhere.
We need to stop playing with fire. Stop using terrorists.