Husayn al-Musawi, a member of a contingent of the Hizbollah party, said that "Even if we, the people of Islamic Amal, do not have relations with those who committed these attacks, we are nevertheless on the side of those who defend themselves, by whatever means they have chosen." (Kramer 1990) Additionally, Musawi stated that "I supported their glorious attacks against the U.S. And France," (ibid.). This more-than-tacit support of terrorist actions such as suicide bombings and other clandestine attacks on peacekeeping or other troops is more than enough to define the organization as one which supports terrorist actions and condones their use against innocent soldiers, peacekeeping troops, and civilians.
After this condoned attack, Hizbollah terror has not achieved such a marked event in one act of terrorism; however, they have supported terrorist actions that have grown in number each year since the Israeli pullout of Lebanon and which have, as stated earlier, been responsible for more American deaths than any other organization aside from al-Qaeda. Three members of Hizbollah are wanted by the FBI for the 1985 hijacking of TWA flight 847. Other attacks include the kidnapping of U.S. And other Western hostages in Lebanon and the attack of the Israeli Embassy in Argentina in 1992, along with the attack on the Israeli Cultural Center in Buenos Aires the following year (Dept. Of State 2004).
RESPONSE OF THE GOVERNMENT AND COUNTERACTION
Faced with such a severe threat by this organization, the international community has attempted various methods to deal with this threat. One primary method of responding has been the United Nations resolutions regarding the activities of Hizbollah; specifically, UN Resolution 1559, which called for the disarmament of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias in the country; this would have included Hizbollah (UN 2004). This resolution, which passed the general assembly, called for the peaceful disbanding of all militias and organizations which perpetrated military actions in the nation. As a sovereign nation, Lebanon does hold the power to regulate which organizations are permitted to operate under its aegis, and which organizations hold limited powers and ability to perpetuate themselves as a military or quasi-military organization. In regulating the actions of Hizbollah and the terrorist groups it supports, the Lebanese government could prevent many of the actions of the group. By refusing to do so and allowing Hizbollah to operate as an unrestricted "political organization," the government of Lebanon is at the very least tacitly condoning these actions and the continued terrorist actions of the organization.
The effectiveness of these legal measures taken by the international community in light of the Lebanese government's unwillingness to restrict the quasi-military and terrorist actions undertaken by Hizbollah has been limited at best. Without the potential for military enforcement or other sanctions to "encourage" compliance with such resolutions as 1559, there is no real enforcement mechanism to be pursued by the United Nations, the international community, or by individual nations with an interest in reducing or completely eliminating the terrorist actions of Hizbollah, such as the United States and Israel, among others. This lack of international options effectively handicaps the international community with regard to preventing the attacks perpetrated by Hizbollah and its members, as well as those attacks which are condoned and even praised by the organization.
This limit on international control over a foreign terrorist organization can be seen in many separate examples and has become a significant national security issue for the United States and the west as a whole in the war on terror. Without state sponsorship, such as in the case of al-Qaeda, combating terrorists and their organizations is difficult enough. With at least tacit approval and protection by a sovereign state, such as that provided for Hizbollah by the political party label which it possesses in Lebanon, fighting the terrorist actions of such an organization becomes nearly impossible. In order to effectively reduce these actions and the capability of an organization to carry them out, the United States must take a hard line against providing any type of support for the nation (in this case, Lebanon) which allows these types of organizations to operate inside its borders. Financial support cuts and other sanctions-i.e. cutting supplies and even ending all diplomatic relations-should be imposed on Lebanon for as long as it continues to endorse Hizbollah and its terrorist actions (whether implicit or explicit) by allowing the organization to operate within its borders. Otherwise, future attacks are inevitable and the security of the United States and it allies will continually be at risk from this organization.
Diaz, T., and Newman, B., 2005. Lightning out of Lebanon: Hezbollah Terrorists on American Soil, Presidio Press.
Y., 1989. Israel's Fateful Hour. New York, NY: Harper & Row
Information Division article of Israel Foreign Ministry, published online at http://www.ict.org.il/inter_ter/orgdet.cfm?orgid=15#documentsand accessed 10/29/05.
Kramer, M., 1990."The Moral Logic of Hizballah." In Origins of Terrorism: Psychologies, Ideologies, Theologies, States of Mind, ed. W. Reich (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990), pp. 131-57.
Saad-Ghoreyeb, A., 2002.. Hizbollah: Politics and Religion, Pluto Press.
Shafer, J., 2004. "Who's Afraid of Hezbollah TV? Not Me," MSN Slate, 12/29/04. Available online at http://www.slate.com/id/2111527/.
Shatz, A., 2004. "In Search of Hezbollah" The New York Review of Books, 51:7.
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1559, 2004.
United States Department of State, 2004. "Terrorist Group Profiles, Hizbollah," Country Reports on Terrorism, available online at http://library.nps.navy.mil/home/tgp/hizbalah.htm