“Hezbollah is a military force funded, trained by and answerable to the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Iran that is pledged — as it has been since the Khomeini revolution of 1979 — to the destruction of Israel and the genocide of the Jews, as a prelude to destroying the West and infidels everywhere.” — Melanie Phillips, The Spectator
Hezbollah was founded in 1982 with a manifesto of driving Israel out of Lebanon and creating an Iranian-Style Islamic Republic in the multi-religious nation. The organization receives one hundred million dollars annually from the Iranian government to pursue their religious and social objectives. Besides financial assistance they also receive monumental moral, technical and logistical support from the Islamic Republic's Revolutionary Guards. During the recent conflict with Israel hundreds of Revolutionary Guard forces crossed the border of Iran to enter the battle. As confirmation of their presence Israeli forces discovered tens of Islamic Revolutionary Guards among the dead fighters in Southern Lebanon.
Israeli intelligence forces have confirmed that the Shia militant organization's leader, Sheikh Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, takes direct command from Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. On the streets of Beirut Hezbollah fighters are not just carrying posters of Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, but also of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and the founder of the Islamic Republic Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. In a recent speech on Hezbollah's Al-Manar television, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei resiliently backed their campaign by stating, “Your unprecedented holy war and steadfastness are beyond the limits of my description. It's a divine victory. It is a victory of Islam. With God's help you were able to prove that military superiority is not in the number of soldiers, planes warships and tanks. Rather it depends on the power of faith and holy war.”
Using the democratic institutions of Lebanon to win the favor of the Lebanese people through hospitals, civil service institutions and schools, Hezbollah is successfully seeking and obtaining more authority and legitimacy by waging their own version of 'Holy War'. Encouraged by the 'Holy War' against Israel and emboldened by Iran's support, Hezbollah is now pursuing an extensive propaganda campaign of “social justice” throughout Lebanon. They seek to gain the widespread support of the people so they can establish themselves as a legitimate political and social force. Under their campaign of “social justice” they hope to gain the support of those who were once weary of their intentions and further solidify their support among the 40% of Shias in Southern Lebanon.
After the 34 day war with Israel the Iranian government provided Hezbollah fighters with one hundred fifty million dollars, equaling $12,000 per family, to rebuild their homes. Hezbollah, with the help of Iran, is attempting to take advantage of the crises. Even though President Bush boosted American aid to Lebanon from $50 million to $230 million the charge was taken slowly and the $230 million offered by the US administration is overshadowed by the $500 million currently being offered by the Iranian government.
Hezbollah's agenda also includes further undermining the already weak international community's will to disarm the organization as they have been called to do under both UN Resolution 1559 and the newly established Resolution 1701. The recently enacted UN Resolution 1701 laid out the ceasefire between Israel and the Shia militia, demanded the disarmament of all armed groups, and prohibited any sale and/or supply of weapons to Lebanon except as authorized by the government. But, even before it began, the Resolution has turned out to be a dismal failure as both the 2,000 French and the 15,000 Lebanese troops have dismissed plans to follow through on the plans of disarmament.
Meanwhile Hezbollah's representative in Tehran has not only formally objected to any form of disarmament of the militia but openly encouraged the government to rearm the organization. It's likely that once troops have been fully established Iranian and Syrian weapons will start flowing back into the hands of Hezbollah. The new Hezbollah will be equipped with modern weaponry and backed by the military knowledge they have gained from the thirty four day battle and a further resurgence in support due to their “social justice” programs.
If the US administration and the International community are not vigilant in challenging Hezbollah's social campaign and their military rearmament then the Iranian government will emerge victorious — further plunging an already insecure region into mayhem. Intellectuals should note that fundamentalists tend to take advantage of democratic institutions to gain influence and power, which once achieved will be used to destroy those institutions. This was the type of Islamic dictatorship the original manifesto was established to form in Lebanon. If given the support it needs to achieve victory it will not hesitate to create another Iranian-style regime in the tiny mid-east nation.
Once Hezbollah has achieved their goal of stifling democracy and installing an Iranian-styled dictatorship they will move on to their ultimate objective of eradicating Israel and all of the Jews. In an April 9th, 2000 speech Sheik Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said “Jews are a cancer which is liable to spread again at any moment.. the Jews invented the legend of Nazi atrocities… they can speak of fabricated or exaggerated massacres that occurred during the Second World War, but must forget the massacres they committed against us which are documented and proven.” In another speech on October 22nd, 2002 he said that “if the Jews all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide.'
The threat of the rise of radical Iran and the terrorist organization Hezbollah should be taken seriously by moderate Muslims and Western powers. Moderate Muslims need to understand that the ultimate objective of Hezbollah is to secure fundamentalist governments similar to Iran's within their region. They need only ask the Iranian people about the misery, torture and brutality to which this form of government gives birth.
The West must pursue a more extensive campaign of funding to pro-American movements within the region and work to counter the influence the Hezbollah. If ignored, the world could be facing a region ruled by radical fundamentalists with an eye for 'Holy War' and with the essential objective of world domination under the banner of their form of fundamentalist Islam.