In P. J. O’Rourke’s classic treatise on the American government, “Parliament Of Whores,” he briefly considers abolishing the State Department, but relents — he says, as I recall (my copy’s on loan right now), “it gives us a place to stick our overeducated Ivy League twits.”
I think I’m starting to reconsider the utility of that particular agency.
In Lebanon, Hezbollah — a duly certified terrorist group that has killed literally hundreds of Americans, among many, many other victims — recently staged a brief insurrection against the Lebanese government. They didn’t overthrow it, but they weren’t trying to — just to send a message that they could if they weren’t left alone. And in response, the Lebanese government made all sorts of concessions in exchange for being allowed to continue to rule in name (and, for that matter, live).
Among the concessions:
- Hezbollah can continue to utterly ignore UN Security Council Resolution 1701 and not only remain armed, but build up its weapons stockpiles even higher and retain effective control of southern Lebanon.
- Hezbollah will have veto power over the Lebanese government.
- Hezbollah’s communications infrastructure — including its own phone system and spy cameras monitoring Lebanon’s airport.
So, how does the State Department react to this news that a terrorist group will not only be granted an autonomous “state within a state” in Lebanon, but also be made an essential part of the government?
“A necessary and positive step.”
Lucky, lucky Israel. Three of its neighbors are now at least partially governed by terrorist organizations. On the West Bank, Fatah (the heirs to the PLO) are the quasi-legitimate government. In Gaza, Hamas holds legitimate political power. And now southern Lebanon can effectively be called “Hezbollahstan,” as the Lebanese government has no authority over that territory. Indeed, it can be argued that Hezbollah holds more power than the Lebanese government; they will control enough of a voting bloc to veto any action by the government, anywhere in the nation, but the government can’t do a damned thing in southern Lebanon without Hezbollah’s consent.
In other cases, terrorist groups have won legitimacy and achieved their goals by giving up on terrorism and working through politics. But here, another lesson is being learned:
You don’t have to give up on terrorism to achieve political legitimacy. Instead, you can try both approaches at the same time. They have discovered that if you work through both bullets and ballots, you can win legitimacy through brute force.
For those who need such things spelled out for them, this is A Bad Thing. After all, “nothing succeeds like success,” and granting legitimacy to terrorist organizations who win it from the barrel of a gun simply encourages others to emulate them.
And won’t that be just ducky?
This is what the State Department calls “a necessary and positive step.”
Perhaps. But positive for who?
The side of civilization? I think not.
It’s time for the State Department to get a thorough purging. I had hoped that Condoleezza Rice could do some good, but apparently she’s either unable to pull it off or has been captured by the system. If this “Assistant Secretary of State David Welch” thinks that enshrining Hezbollah into the formal legal government is “a necessary and positive step,” and that is left to stand as the official State Department’s official position, then that’s all the proof I need that we need to fire every one of them, raze the building, and start from scratch.