US Considering Strategic Outreach to Hezbollah

The New Media Journal

The administration of US President Barack Obama is considering reaching out to the political elements in Hezbollah, the Washington Post reported on Friday, stressing that at this stage it was an intelligence effort, not a policymaking one.

In an opinion piece appearing on the newspaper’s online edition, columnist David Ignatius indicated that Washington was considering an effort similar to the one the UK implemented “during the 1990s with Sinn Fein, the legal political wing of the terrorist Irish Republican Army.”

“That outreach led to breakthrough peace talks and settlement of a conflict that had been raging for more than a century,” Ignatius wrote, adding that several US officials were expected to endorse dialogue with political elements of both Hezbollah and the Taliban in an upcoming intelligence report.

Writing of the effect recent Mideast turmoil may have had on Obama’s decision to accept these recommendations, the Washington Post writer said that the “political time bomb ticking away in the [intelligence report] is the question of whether the United States should seek some kind of direct or indirect engagement with Hezbollah — at least with its political wing.”

“Officials who support this course argue that the organization is like the IRA or the PLO — with non-military components that can be drawn into a dialogue,” Ignatius added.

Ignatius quotes in his article one intelligence official, John Brennan, known for supporting a move toward dialogue with the Lebanese militant group, as saying that while “Hezbollah started out as purely a terrorist organization back in the early ’80s,” it has “evolved significantly over time.”

“The bottom line,” the Washington Post article concluded, “is that after a decade of American wars in the Middle East, the Obama administration is increasingly looking for ways to talk with adversaries and draw them into a process of dialogue.”

Editor’s Note: This illustrates a complete lack of cultural understanding by the Obama Administration. Certainly, this approach ignores al taqiyya, which in and of itself makes talks with a fundamentalist Islamist organization a gamble at the very best. It is becoming clearer by the day that the Obama Administration is intellectually unequipped to implement foreign policy that keeps the United States — and her citizens — safe.

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