by Stephen Lendman
Hezbollah's no terrorist organization. It never was one. It's not one now. It's a legitimate political party. It maintains a military wing. It's for defense, not offense.
EU nations know it. They bowed to pressure. They claimed otherwise. They disgraced themselves in the process. It didn't surprise. It's not the first time. It won't be the last. Rogue states operate that way.
Hezbollah's one of two Lebanese parties representing Shia Muslims. It enjoys broad support. It's for good reason. More on that below.
It's one of the main March 8 Alliance partners. It's targeted for its independence. It's a formidable Israeli opponent.
In 1997, at Israel's behest, Clinton's State Department designated it a Foreign Terrorist Organization. It did so disgracefully.
On July 22, EU countries followed suit. The same ones faking new Israeli behavioral guidelines. The same ones supporting Israel's worst crimes. The same ones partnering with Washington's war on humanity.
Pointing fingers the wrong way is common imperial policy. On July 22, The New York Times headlined "European Union Adds Hezbollah to Terror List."
Other reports were similar. They said the wrong things. They suppressed what readers need to know - the truth and nothing but the truth.
Hezbollah's military wing was targeted. It's a legitimate self-defense force. Netherlands Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans lied. He said it's "good that the EU decided to call Hezbollah what it is: a terrorist organization."
Doing so required unanimous consent. Twenty-eight countries voted. Most supported what's done. Outliers were pressured to go along. Not a single profile in courage objected.
Sources said Austria, Ireland, the Czech Republic, and up to four other EU countries disapproved. It didn't matter. They voted the wrong way. They did so disgracefully. They supported what demands condemnation.
Heavy Israeli Lobby pressure preceded EU's vote. Washington bullied reluctant nations to go along. It did so coincidentally with new EU Israeli guidelines. It came ahead of upcoming Israeli/Palestinian peace talks.
Congress acted as expected. Last September, 75 US Senators pressed EU foreign affairs head Catherine Ashton. They urged her to act. Senators Robert Casey (D. PA) and James Risch (R. RI) spoke for others, saying:
"We believe the evidence and dangers posed by Hezbollah and Iran to all European citizens are serious enough to designate Hezbollah a terrorist organization."
"A terrorist designation from the EU would not only subject Hezbollah to further sanctions, but would also send a message to Hezbollah that Europe and the United States will not tolerate its dangerous and violent tactics."
Cypriot Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis represented the European Council at the time. A bipartisan group of 90 House members wrote him, saying:
"Hezbollah has a long and deadly history of carrying out terrorist attacks against European citizens, soldiers and diplomats and targeting Americans and Israelis living, working and traveling in Europe."
"We hope you will act to build the consensus within the European Union Council that is urgently needed to weaken Hezbollah's terrorist infrastructure - an issue that directly affects us all."
Ahead of Monday's vote, Netanyahu said:
"It's hard to see how you cannot have a consensus on Hezbollah as a terrorist organization."
"If Hezbollah isn't a terrorist organization, I don't know what is a terrorist organization. I mean, they're butchering people left and right across the world and now in the cities of Syria."
After the vote, he welcomed the EU vote. He doesn't distinguish between its armed and political wings.
"As far as the State of Israel is concerned, Hezbollah is one organization, the arms of which are indistinguishable," he said.
He blamed its leaders for Israeli committed crimes. He called "wide sections of Lebanon (an) Iranian protectorate."
He accused Hezbollah of "stockpiling tens of thousands of rockets." They're "designed to be fired at population centers in Israel," he claimed.
Other Israeli officials were euphoric. Unindicted war criminal Shimon Peres called EU's decision a "necessary, wise step."
It's "aimed at preventing the spread of terrorism (beyond) the Middle Eastâ€¦"
Stopping it's as simple as holding Israel and America accountable.
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said "(f)inally (it's) clear to the whole world today that Hezbollah is a terrorist organization."
Her "world" includes America, Canada, Western Europe, and supportive Arab League despots.
They run Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. Last week, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman said they're willing to blacklist Hezbollah.
Perhaps Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, Tunisia, Libya's puppet government, and other regional rogue states will do so.
They march in lockstep with Washington. They largely do with Israel. They betray their own people in the process.
Hezbollah's blamed for defending its Syrian ally. It's doing so responsibly. It's fighting Western-backed death squad invaders.
It's wrongly accused of US/Israeli crimes. Last July's Burgas, Bulgaria Sarafovo airport bomb attack was cited.
A suicide bomber blew up an airport bus. Israeli tourists and others were aboard. Eight deaths were reported. Around 30 others were injured.
The attack came on the anniversary of the 1994 AMIA (Argentine Israelite Mutual Association) Buenos Aires bombing. It wasn't coincidental.
It killed 85 and injured hundreds. Argentina has Latin America's largest Jewish population. It numbers around 200,000. Israel falsely blamed Iran.
Its officials jumped on the latest attack. Defense Minister Ehud Barak pointed fingers the wrong way, saying:
"The immediate executors are Hezbollah people, who of course have constant Iranian sponsorship."
Washington suggested it. Obama and Hillary Clinton issued similar statements. They stopped short of blaming Hezbollah.
The attack was classic Mossad terror. It's typical CIA. They specialize in targeted and larger scale killings. Hezbollah had nothing to do with Burgas. Blaming victims is standard imperial policy.
Blacklisting Hezbollah's largely symbolic. It's political. Its feel-good. It's meaningless. It's ineffective internally. It involves visa bans and other restrictions. What follows remains to be seen. Perhaps Israel has another war in mind. In 2006, Hezbollah embarrassed the IDF.
It's much more formidable now. It attacked, it'll respond vigorously. It can target Israeli cities. It won't attack anywhere except in self-defense.
Hezbollah was established in 1985. Former Lebanese President Emile Lahood called it "an integral part of the Lebanese government. (It's also) part of our military (and) social order."
It emerged from Israel's 1982 invasion. Mass slaughter followed. Thousands were murdered in cold blood. It was typical Israeli lawlessness.
Ruthless occupation continued until May 2000. Lebanese civilians suffered enormously. A 2007 American University of Beirut study documented 6,672 Israeli terrorist acts.
They were launched against Lebanon and Palestine. They occurred from 1967 - 2007. Many more were committed since then. Israel's rap sheet includes horrendous crimes. Responsible officials remain unaccountable.
Popular resistance is vital. Hezbollah deserves credit. It enjoys widespread Lebanese support.
It's well-deserved. It's a legitimate political organization. It military wing is defensive. Resisting US/Israeli terror draws praise. It'll respond if attacked.
It provides vital social services. They include charity, education, healthcare, housing, infrastructure construction, agricultural aid, news dissemination, technical assistance, and training.
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:
"Hezbollah currently operates at least four hospitals, twelve clinics, twelve schools, and two agricultural centres that provide farmers with technical assistance and training."
"It also has an environmental department and an extensive social assistance program. Medical care is also cheaper than in most of the country's private hospitals and free for Hezbollah members."
CNN said it does "everything that a government should do, from collecting the garbage to running hospitals and repairing schools."
These type services win hearts and minds. Hezbollah enjoys broad support. It's for good reason. It resists Israeli aggression.
It's a force to be reckoned with. It's needed. It's vital. It's relied on. It's respected. It's not going away. It's no terrorist organization.
EU foreign ministers shamed themselves. They've got lots to explain. Don't expect forthright responses. It's not their style.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.