Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Hezbollah opens South American branch

In yet another example of how Iraq isn't helping stop the spread of terrorism, Hezbollah (who we're not fighting at the moment) now has a cell in South America.

From its Western base in a remote region divided by the borders of Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina known as the Tri-border, or the Triple Frontier, Hezbollah has mined the frustrations of many Muslims among about 25,000 Arab residents whose families immigrated mainly from Lebanon in two waves, after the 1948 Arab-Israeli war and after the 1985 Lebanese civil war.

An investigation by Telemundo and NBC News has uncovered details of an extensive smuggling network run by Hezbollah, a Shiite Muslim group founded in Lebanon in 1982 that the United States has labeled an international terrorist organization. The operation funnels large sums of money to militia leaders in the Middle East and finances training camps, propaganda operations and bomb attacks in South America, according to U.S. and South American officials.

There's a lot of reliance on anonymous sources in this report, and it's a big step from operating in a lawless region of South America to being able to mount attacks on the United States. So the warnings and predictions should be taken with large grains of salt. Plus there simply aren't that many radical Muslims (or Muslims, period) in the region. Hezbollah's presence seems to be more of a smuggling and finance operation than a serious military effort.

But such spin-off operations are exactly what we should be confronting in our war on terror, and demonstrate why Iraq is an expensive drain on resources better used elsewhere. We should go where the terrorists are and confront them there, not invade an unrelated country and then find ourselves battling a smattering of jihadists amid a much larger native insurgency and a brewing civil war. All the latter approach does is waste mind-blowing amounts of money and create unnecessary enemies.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A good solution will be to open a new "we fight them there so that we dont fight them at home" front in South America.
Note that the important qualifying word is "them" , the policies of this administration have given a new slogan to all of "them" - terrorists of the world unite.
The evidence of all those bad guys ganging up is so obvious. India is reaping its benefit. Those islamic radicals have forgotten about sending people fight Indian forces in kashmir, as a result the province is has become relatively peaceful
GK

5/09/2007 3:45 PM  
Blogger Sean Aqui said...

I'd actually be fine with sending some people down there to deal with this particular infestation if it's an active, terroristic one. My criteria is that we be going after actual terrorist groups that threaten us or our allies -- as in, "terrorists are there first, we follow" rather than the Iraq model of "invade and hope the terrorists come to us."

Of course, in keeping with the point of your comment, I'm being quite careless in my use of the word terrorist.

5/09/2007 3:50 PM  

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