Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
February 19, 2004
WAR: It's All One Problem

Tacitus has a great series of posts here, here and here on why we should wake up and realize that Hezbollah and other non-Al Qaeda jihadist terror groups are also at war with us. This is very close to the core of what I believe Bush understands, and his critics willfully misunderstand, about the war on terror, and why the fissures over Iraq are so deep. (Among other things, Saddam's open support for suicide bombers in Israel and his known support for other terror groups - together with his invocation of the jihadist ideology in his public pronouncements - was, in my mind, a huge factor in why we were right to go to war with him). We simply can no longer tolerate the existence of groups like this. It's all one problem, and there's really no way to keep suicidal jihadist fanatics from following their anti-American creed to its logical conclusion.

While you're over at Tacitus' place, by the way, don't miss his two-part series here and here on the history and aftermath of the Rwandan genocide, including some first-hand reporting from Tacitus' trip to Rwanda late last year. It's a heart-rending account of a story that I, for one, have never entirely gotten my mind around (the French don't come off too well, although nobody else in the West does either), and is some of the best writing you are likely to see on any blog on any subject.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 7:02 AM | War 2004 | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

I certainly agree about a lot of the other al Qaeda-affiliated groups, such as Jemaah Islamiyah, Ansar al-Islam, Islamic Jihad, etc…but reluctantly disagree about Hezbollah.

My impression from reading about Hezbollah (see http://www.baseballcrank.com/archives/002238.php) is that it has scouted out a number of American targets in the event we ever go after them (i.e. as a deterrent). Though it killed more Americans than any other terrorist group pre-9/11, however, its primary focus is on Israel. It also has more of a "military" character than a lot of the other groups and operates within some norms (see the recent prisoner transfers with Israel). It is also a major political force in Lebanon and has real popular support. In other words, I think Hezbollah is at a crossroads after forcing Israel out of Lebanon and it might be a mistake for us to provoke them if it turns out we don’t have to.

In a perfect world, of course, we would grind Hezbollah into dust, but I think making them a top priority would be messy and counter-productive.

Posted by: The Mad Hibernian at February 19, 2004 10:53 AM
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