Hezbollah: Champion of Lebanese Shiites…And Drug Dealer?
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  • Jbird

    I am shocked — shocked— to find that gambling is going on in here! And here I was under the impression that Hezbollah was just a chummy social group for the overly devout.

  • WigWag

    “In the meantime, people puzzled by widespread American popular support for Israel need to take a long hard look at Hezbollah. Over and over again, the most vitriolic enemies of Israel turn out to be hypocritical slimeballs…” (Walter Russell Mead)

    Yes; and speaking of slimeballs there’s the author of this ridiculous column,

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/14/opinion/friedman-newt-mitt-bibi-and-vladimir.html?hp

  • Tyler

    Great article. the drug business has become Hezbollah’s primary funding source.

    But you should read how intricate this web really has become:

    http://cognitionemission.wordpress.com/2011/04/15/cartels-%e2%99%a5-terrorists/

  • Luke Lea

    Can’t US intelligence monitor the bank and brokerage accounts of such organizations courtesy of the international banking system?

    I assumed we had access to this information as part of our anti-terrorism defense strategy.

    If not, then I suggest we get the necessary cooperation from our allies and trading partners to register all bank and brokerage accounts around the world which are plugged in to the international banking system.

    A side benefit would be shutting down overseas tax havens in places like Switzerland and the Cayman Islands.

    Whatever moral purpose secret bank accounts may have served in the past (hiding assets from the Nazis most notably) they are a net negative in the world today.

    Just a thought.

  • elisa

    Makes you wonder whether DEA was laundering just drug cartel profits, or helpfully laundering hezbollah monies as well. As if the first was not bad enough. What is our DEA doing exactly? Shouldn’t OFAC object?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/04/world/americas/us-drug-agents-launder-profits-of-mexican-cartels.html

  • Y. Elkin

    @Luke Lea, we *did* have just such a program in place, until it was exposed by… wait, hang on… Oh! right, the New York Times!

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/23/washington/23intel.html?pagewanted=all

    Plus ça change…

  • JJ

    The opium trade out of the Bekaa (Valley of the Lebanon) has been run by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard in combination with Hezbollah for many years. It is only natural that they are going international.

  • Kris

    Hezbollah — the champion of Shia Muslims, the perennial underdog in the everlasting fight against the West, the savior as it claims of so many poor Lebanese, ostensibly a devoutly religious organization with an enormous social welfare program, to say nothing of course of leading the noble cause of resistance to the “Zionist entity” to its south — is nothing more than an international criminal and terrorist organization with its dirty fingers in the global trade in weapons, drugs, conflict minerals, and illegal diamonds. Ill-gotten money is often spent in Lebanon for the good of Lebanon’s Shiite community and supporters, yet this money also fills the pockets of the cartels in South America, cocaine dealers in Africa, weapons smugglers, illegal diamond dealers — the scum of the earth, in every way.

    In Lebanon we hope that one day Hezbollah’s admirers will see the organization for what it really is

    There is nothing inconsistent in Hezbollah’s strategy. Within the House of Islam, one must promote virtue. Without, i.e. in the House of War, all tactics are permissible in order to further the interests of Islam.

    Less coherent are Westerners marching under the banner of “We are all Hezbollah.”

  • Luke Lea

    @ Y. Elkin’s link: “Because of privacy concerns and the potential for abuse, the government sought the data only for terrorism investigations and prohibited its use for tax fraud, drug trafficking or other inquiries . . .”

    Nice. At least we know the capability is there.

  • Y. Elkin

    @Luke Lea, we had the capability pre-9/11 to understand and identify the threat, but poor political decision-making – plagued by ideology and petty politicking – prevented it by erecting institutional obstacles that prevented effective inter-agency communication.

    We have the tools today, as well. But does this administration have the will to anger some unsavory people and put the screws to the bad guys?

  • andrew r

    “Its power in Lebanon is unrivaled. Its wealth is enormous. Its global illicit operations largely unknown and uncontested.”

    Woah – Next thing you know Hezbollah might start invading countries from overseas bases. They’ll really be a threat to world peace then. Really, anything that invades other nations from an overseas base is a threat to world peace. Good thing we don’t know any countries like that.

    “In the meantime, people puzzled by widespread American popular support for Israel need to take a long hard look at Hezbollah.”

    It’s not really puzzling – Legalized racism was widely defeated in the United States, yet Israel was formed so colonial-settlers could chase out the natives and keep them out. There’s still nostalgia for when darkies were under the jackboot, hence support of Israel.

  • Mahmoud Hanefi

    Every Kid in Beirut knew this.
    Mahmoud Hanefi

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