Defining Hezbollah

As part of a superb article about Hezbollah, the war with Israel, and the larger ramifications of that war and its outcome, Dan Gordon properly identifies Hezbollah and its goals:

Hezb’allah is not your father’s terrorist organization. This is not a group of loosely affiliated cells of would-be hijackers or suicide bombers. Hezb’allah is a terrorist army, trained like an army, organized like an army, funded and equipped like an army, with one glaring difference. The main use of its arsenal was terror aimed at Israel’s civilian population while hiding behind Lebanon’s civilian population. Its intent was to cause maximum civilian casualties amongst both. This was not by accident. This was by design.

This was Hezb’allah’s war, planned and prepared for six years, funded by close to a billion dollars by Iran, aided by Syria. One of the great benefits to the West to come out of this war (if they choose not to turn a blind eye to it) is the certain knowledge that Hezb’allah is Iran’s terrorist operational arm. It is the terrorist extension of Iran’s expressed foreign policy.

It is not a coincidence that Hezb’allah launched its totally unprovoked attack across Israel’s internationally recognized border, killing and kidnapping Israeli soldiers and dragging Lebanon and Israel into a war which neither one wanted at exactly the moment when the international community had issued its ultimatum to Iran. That ultimatum was: “Cease your efforts to develop nuclear weapons or face the sanctions of the International Community.” Iran’s response was Hezb’allah’s war.

Even a cursory examination of Hezb’allah’s statements, captured documents, the weapons it procured over six years and instantly deployed, provides an insight into their war aims and the battle plan to achieve those aims. Hezb’allah announced in the clearest possible way that it was its intent to turn Southern Lebanon into a graveyard for the IDF. This was not mere rhetoric. It was their plan.

By the way, I’m well aware that the quotation above gives a much more accurate rendition of the way in which to spell “Hezb’allah.”  That spelling emphasizes the army’s Islamic cast — that is, it’s a religious army intended to spread a radical view of Allah, not a national army.  I have enough problem with apostrophes at the best of times, though, so really have no interest in embarking on more typographical nightmares.