Wednesday, August 17, 2011

David Frum: Hezbollah thumbs its nose at Hariri murder indictment

  Aug 17, 2011 – 1:39 PM ET | Last Updated: Aug 17, 2011 1:57 PM ET

Nasrallah, the smiling terrorist

The indictment for the murder of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri was handed down June 30, but only published today.
The tribunal delivered indictments on June 30 against four men that Hezbollah has acknowledged as members of the organization. Nearly no one here expected the warrants to be served or the men to be arrested, and Hezbollah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, almost taunted officials who might think of trying to detain them.
“No Lebanese government will be able to carry out any arrests, whether in 30 days, 60 days, 1 year, 2 years, 30 years or even 300 years,” he said in July.
He called it a trial in absentia, whose verdict “has already been reached.”
The most prominent of the four members is Moustapha Badreddine, a brother-in-law of Imad Moughnieh, a shadowy Hezbollah commander killed in 2007 and blamed for some of the group’s most spectacular acts of violence. Among them was the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marines barracks in Beirut, which killed 241 American service members.
First thoughts:
1) The Assad family got a pass. Few in Lebanon believe that Hezbollah would have carried out this crime without approval in Damascus.
2) I remember when governments in Europe and North America hesitated to act against Hezbollah on grounds that terrorism represented only a portion of its activities; it also supposedly carried on important social welfare work. The indictment drives home the point: political murder is the essence of Hezbollah.
3) As the New York Times reports, nobody in Lebanon expects the UN indictment to mean very much. Let’s recall this expectation of international futility the next time somebody urges Israel to rely on international forces to protect its borders and its people.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Men who gave their lives in Beirut, Scream out to all Americans!!

The Tenth Anniversary of 9/11 is right around the corner.  Almost 3,000 of our fellow citizens were murdered by the terrorists from the Arab World.  Since 1983, (maybe before, who knows?) and the truck bombing of the BLT Headquarters of my Brother Marines, Arab terrorists have conspired to kill American Citizens, Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines.  During the remembrance that will be held, speeches will be made, passion will be felt, and images will be flashed around the Country.

As Veterans of the Beirut War, it is commonly known, that this terrorism started with the the murderous, cowardly attack on our Brothers.

At the 10th anniversary of the attack on the BLT Headquarters, I felt the same emotion as the next of kin at the 9/11 will feel this year.

My sympathy and my hope is that the years, and the love of God will heal their hearts.  We share the same pain, the suffering, and the frustration of the justice that seems to be denied.  In the end, God decides the justice, but as humans we show our anger towards a world that often forgets the injustice done.  In our pain, we are hurt more by the country for which we fought to protect, forgetting our friends, our brothers, our fathers, our husbands, and our servicemen who gave their lives in the pursuit of freedom and most of all peace.

Suffering and pain carries on through almost 30 years now.  Men relive these days in Lebanon on a daily basis, and the forgetfullness of a Nation brings more hurt and anguish.

So, as we Americans gather this September 11 to remember those innocent Men and Women who died in this act of War, and we remember the utmost bravery of Firemen, Policemen, and everyday people who perished doing what they knew was right, let us not forget the Men of our Armed Forces who also gave their lives to protect our freedom and preserve the peace that every human being desperately wants.

Remember the Beirut Heroes this September, along with all the other heroes from then to now.  But most of all, keep sight of the real enemy.  Don't be fooled by slick politicians, who play to the needs of Nations who killed our young men and women.  Keep our historic identity of a Nation made from a Judeo-Christian idea.  An group of men who were flawed, but still through their flawed human nature; planned and put forward the idea that One Nation Under God, indivisible, with justice for all, would stand the test of time.

Thanks for listening, and May the grace of God continue to be with you.


Hezbollah Indicted

Old Article, maybe some of you know this already, but just so it's reinforced in your brain, that even now the World Court has more indictments against Hezbollah.    The real question is "When will the U.S. wake up and join the rest of the world?"

BEIRUT -- In a country with a history of scores left unsettled, Hezbollah is in a strong position to ride out an indictment accusing a high-ranking member of one of the most dramatic political assassinations in the Middle East.
The Shiite militant group has spent the past year laying the groundwork for thwarting any move to implement the all-but-inevitable indictment in the 2005 murder of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. It has warned to "cut off the hand" of anyone who tries to arrest its members and repeatedly cast doubt on the tribunal's investigation.
The work appears to have paid off.
Since the Netherlands-based court released the indictments Thursday, there has been no real sign that Lebanese authorities are willing to arrest the four suspects, including Hezbollah militant Mustafa Badreddine. To do so, they would have to directly confront the Iran- and Syria-backed militant group that is firmly in control of the Lebanese state.
Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah planned a speech Saturday to address the indictment.
The most prominent of the four people named in the indictment is Badreddine, who appears to have a storied history of militancy. He is suspected of building the powerful bomb that blew up the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983, killing 241 Americans, mostly Marines, according to a federal law enforcement official and a book "Jawbreaker," by Gary Berntsen, a former official who ran the Hezbollah task force at the CIA.
He also is the brother-in-law of the late Hezbollah military commander Imad Mughniyeh and is suspected of involvement in the 1983 bombings of the U.S. and French embassies in Kuwait that killed five people.
Hezbollah has always had serious muscle, boasting a guerrilla force that is better armed and stronger than the national army.
But the group has amassed unprecedented political clout in the government, having toppled the previous administration in January when then-Prime Minister Saad Hariri -- the slain man's son -- refused to renounce the tribunal investigating his father's death.
The new premier, Najib Mikati, was Hezbollah's pick for the post. He issued a vague promise Thursday that Lebanon would respect international resolutions as long as they did not threaten the civil peace.
The ambiguous wording leaves ample room to brush aside the arrest warrants if street battles are looming. The Cabinet is packed with Hezbollah allies, so there is little enthusiasm within the current leadership to press forward with the case.
And the indictments do indeed threaten to ignite fresh violence in Lebanon. In the six years since Hariri's death, the investigation has sharpened the country's sectarian divisions -- Rafik Hariri was one of Lebanon's most powerful Sunni leaders, while Hezbollah is a Shiite group. It has also heightened other intractable debates, including the question of the role of Hezbollah -- and its vast arsenal, which opponents want dismantled.
Walid Jumblatt, a Hezbollah ally and leader of the tiny Druse sect, warned Friday that the indictments could lead to new civil strife in Lebanon and painted the case as a matter of justice versus stability.
"As much as justice is important for the martyrs and the wounded, so too civil peace and stability is the hoped-for future," said Jumblatt, whose own father was a victim of a political assassination in Lebanon and who was once an ardent supporter of the tribunal before switching alliances. "Civil peace is more important than anything else."
He pointed to widespread fears that the case could further divide the country, which has been recovering from decades of bloodshed, including a 15-year civil war that ended in 1990 and more recent sectarian battles.
The younger Hariri and his allies, now relegated to the opposition, and the international court will likely push for action against the four. But there is little they can do to force the government to do so.
Lebanese authorities have until the end of July to serve the indictments on suspects or execute arrest warrants. If they fail, the court's recourse is to publish the indictment. Details in the indictment about the investigation into the killing -- so far kept under wraps -- might in theory prove embarrassing to Hezbollah, but the group is unlikely to be severely hurt by them.
While Jumblatt appeared to be offering a stark choice -- either turn a blind eye to a dastardly crime, or run the risk of chaos -- Hezbollah's leader has taken another tack.
Nasrallah has worked tirelessly to convince the Lebanese that the tribunal is not fit to deliver justice. For more than a year, he has gone on a media offensive against the tribunal, taking nearly every opportunity to call it biased, politicized and a tool of archenemy Israel.
He also said early on that he knew Hezbollah would be accused of the crime, a pre-emptive strike that dampened the impact of Thursday's indictment and bolstered his credentials as the man in charge in Lebanon.
(This article was written by Elizabeth A. Kennedy, Associated Press chief of bureau for Syria and Lebanon).