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Counterterrorism Blog: Britains Double Vision of Hezbollah?

Counterterrorism Blog: Britains Double Vision of Hezbollah?.

The British government’s announcement to open a dialogue with “the political wing of Hizballah” is most troubling. In a statement to a parliamentary committee, Bill Rammell, the British foreign office’s minister for Middle East affairs, rationalized the decision on the grounds of what his office perceives to be “more positive developments within Lebanon.”

This British declaration underscores a pervasive failure to properly understand the structure of the Iranian-backed terrorist organization. At worst, the call to distinguish between the group’s political and military wings (in terms of decision-making) may be driven by a desire to construct imaginary facts for diplomatic and political purposes. Are officials selling a false image of what Hizballah is so that they join the foray of the “sitting, talking and listening” with Iran and Syria’s regimes now underway?

Very possible. But it would have been much better to inform the public that the government intends to talk to a terrorist organization for purpose of national interest, rather than claiming the talks are only with the political wing. Eight years after 9/11 and the subsequent attacks worldwide, citizens are much better informed about jihadi organizations than they were in the 1990s. Officials in the UK and the US must realize that claiming there are two Hizballah(s) will not fly with most of the public.

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