UN Indicts Hezbollah

August 17th, 2011 at 8:56 am David Frum | 20 Comments |

| Print

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.

Recent Posts by David Frum

20 Comments so far ↓

  • Smargalicious

    Islam is a ‘religion’ that glorifies death, violence, and the subjugation of women.

    • Graychin

      The same charge can be made against Christianity. Both charges are half-true, at best.

    • medinnus

      Christianity has been doing all three for hundreds of years longer. It makes Islam look like a religion of peace.

      • Smargalicious

        I KNEW meddy would chime in with his anti-God, pro-homosexual self!

        Howzit, bruddah!

        • Demosthenes

          Smarg, you need to understand that just because someone disagrees with you does not make him a leftist. There are many ways to understand this, a good way to begin is that nobody ever descended from the heavens in a chariot of fire to designate you the ultimate arbiter of what is and is not good, Godly, or conservative.

          Your overt racism and homophobia makes conservatives and conservatism look bad by association. You do your own cause great disservice.

        • Graychin

          He’s making Christians look bad as well.

        • Smargalicious

          Condescending, and wrong.

          Next November we will certainly have another POTUS who will erase the endeavors of the previous one.

        • baw1064

          “Next November we will certainly have another POTUS who will erase the endeavors of the previous one.”

          They’ll bring Osama bin Laden back to life? :-o

        • medinnus

          Y’know, I keep quoting how Christ’s teachings are worthy of respect and attention, and you keep posting hatred; which one of is is anti-God?

          Note at no point does Smeggy actually deny that Christianity glorifies death, violence, and the subjugation of women…

          As for being pro-Gay, I am actually pro-Human, and find it hard to understand how the consensual love-lives of other people should engender such hatred and condemnation; of course, I’m not a “lets take over the government and pass laws to criminalize the private lives of our citizens” Christianist fascist, either…

          I’d much rather worry about improving lives than burning them down… its called compassion. Maybe you’ve heard of it? Or is it strictly a liberal thing… *snickers*?

        • Smargalicious

          meddy, being a pro-homosexual, anti-God liberal is no way to go through life.

        • Demosthenes


          Seriously, what the hell is wrong with you? Please, for your own sake, get help.

        • Smargalicious

          medinnus // Aug 18, 2011 at 9:09 am

          You deluded little shithead of a bigot. I hope the GOP lays Perry over a truck tailgate and fucks him in the ass; he’s been a target for three days, and the facts of his Texas fantasy have already made sure if he’s the GOP nominee that Obama will easily win 2012.

          And once he doesn’t have to worry about the politics of re-election, he’s going to shove his “reparationist” agenda up YOUR ass.

          WHO needs help??

  • Graychin

    “…the next time somebody urges Israel to rely on international forces to protect its borders and its people.”

    Straw man alert! When was the last time?

    Besides, reasonable people can and do disagree about the location of Israel’s borders. And about some of the means used by Israel in its defense. Political murder, for example.

  • El Shawno

    The declaration doesn’t carry much weight now, but I could see it being used as an excuse to act against Hezbollah at some point in the near future (say, the next 6-24 montsh). Assuming that the Assad family is done in Syria (which is still far from certain), some parties could still benefit from this in the long term. Of course, there’s also the strong probability that Iran would try to fill that void, but even then I can’t help but think this will be a small but effective tool for any factions or regional powers looking to isolate Hezbollah.

    Or is this just wishful thinking?

    • Demosthenes

      The sense I have is that this is a way to appease certain elements of the Israeli and American bodies politic, ahead of the upcoming vote. It may be too little too late for the hardliners, but they will never accept a UN mandate creating a separate nation of Palestine regardless of the circumstances. However, moderate elements might be more favorably disposed to compromise after the UN’s public condemnation of Hezbollah (and, by implicit extension, Hamas).

    • baw1064

      How well established is it that Hezbollah is really behind the 1983 bombings? If we’re really 100% sure, then I don’t see any reason not to start some drone attacks. Certainly this is a moment of vulnerability, as the Syrians and Iranians have their own issues to deal with. We may have stumbled upon a successful way of dealing with the Middle East: remember who wronged you, wait a few decades for them to fall upon hard times, and then stab them in the back. It’s worked surprisingly well with Qaddhafi…

      Admittedly, a completely Macchiavellian approach won’t ever bring peace to the Middle East, but I’m pretty much convinced that nothing else will, either.

  • Smargalicious

    Islam is a ‘religion’ that glorifies death, violence, and the subjugation of women.

    (Reuters) – A Muslim militant has urged American followers to assassinate talk show host David Letterman, saying his tongue deserved to be cut out, a U.S. intelligence monitoring group said on Wednesday.


  • blowtorch_bob

    UN Indicts Hezbollah…?

    Is this the same gang that indicted Saddam for his alleged WMD’s which -ironically (or not) enough- turned out to be non-existent.