The Small Fish Gone, Time to Deal with the MPs Now
*UPDATE* Borys has resigned his post. Anybody care to wager whether or not the NDP MP will face any consequences for her statements?
I'm sure that everybody knows by now that Thomas has been made to take a long walk off a short pier regarding his position with the YLCBC. Good first step. Now for the big fish, Peggy Nash of the NDP and Borys Wrzesnewskyj of the Liberals. These two members of Canada's Parliament are on the record as supporting the removal of Hezbollah from the list of terrorist organizations that are illegal in Canada, and thus not to be negotiated with or coddled, financed or supported.
This little ditty comes from Borys: “Hezbollah has a political wing. They have members of parliament. They have two Cabinet ministers. You want to encourage politicians in this military organization so that the centre of gravity shifts to them.” For her part, Ms. Nash feels “that it is just not helpful to label them a terrorist organization.”
OK, everybody's allowed to have an opinion and express it. Beauty of living in a great country such as Canada and all. But try to reconcile the above two statements with the following ones from a terrorism expert who knows much more about Hezbollah than these two MPs combined:
The Lebanon-based group has cells on every continent, and its highly skilled operatives have committed horrifying attacks as far away as Argentina. Before September 11, 2001, it was responsible for more American deaths than any other terrorist organization. Hassan Nasrallah, the group's secretary-general, recently proclaimed, "Death to America was, is, and will stay our slogan."
Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage has warned of Hezbollah's lethality, noting that "Hezbollah may be the A team of terrorists," while "al Qaeda is actually the B team."
Both Hezbollah's terrorist actions and its guerrilla warfare are facilitated by the group's extensive international network. Hezbollah operatives have been found in France, Spain, Cyprus, Singapore, the "triborder" region of South America, and the Philippines, as well as in more familiar operational theaters in Europe and the Middle East. The movement draws on these cells to raise money, prepare the logistic infrastructure for attacks, disseminate propaganda, and otherwise ensure that the organization remains robust and ready to strike.
There are also reports that Hezbollah is trying to establish its own Palestinian proxy, the Return Brigades. Such support for Palestinian terrorists has helped disrupt the peace process at little cost to Hezbollah itself.
In marked contrast to the Lebanese government, it offers relatively efficient public services and runs effective schools and hospitals. Although such social and political involvement does not indicate a fundamental reversal in the movement, as some apologists suggest, it does reflect a broadening of Hezbollah's functions beyond political violence.
So that's Hezbollah in a nutshell. If you'd like more of what I've put up above, head over to the Foreign Affairs website and check Daniel Byman's excellent article, "Should Hezbollah Be Next?" Why are Canadian MPs becoming apologists for Hezbollah's ongoing existence as a terrorist network that does some social work as a side project? I'm sure that a lot of folks have heard about Hezbollah handing out wads of cash to Lebanese civilians who had their houses bombed during the recent conflict that Hezbollah started and bears sole responsibility for. Where do they suspect this cash is coming from? Terrorist fundraising, Syria, and Iran. I'm very disappointed to see Canadian MPs get distracted from the real problem in this situation and go so far as to suggest that we shouldn't be calling terrorist organizations terrorist organizations. I guess they're just taking their cue from the CBC, but let's not be afraid to call it like it is, folks.