We as a society in whole, are so naive or ignorant with respect to global politics and what drives this mechanism. I would say with total confidence that this nation which exercises the largest influence on the politics and economics of this planet displays the most ignorance and apathy of our actions on this same global community.
We are told something is bad, so we automatically believe this and take it for a fact. We are told something is good so again we believe and support it unconditionally because after all we heard it on CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX NEWS, from our President or one of his administration appointee’s, so it must be true! Then we shrug our heads and go back about our self centered business.
The absolute fault in this logic is that every organization or individual driving our system today has an agenda and to support this agenda the news is propagated through a filter who’s parameters are determined by this agenda.
What do we even know about those we wage war against?
What or more importantly, who is Hezbollah, Hamas, the PLO etc… To a vast majority of Americans these are only names described to us in the evening news, but it is these organizations that greatly influence and drive the agenda of US political and military policy in the middle east. This is of major importance to us all as it not only is the reason we have given up so much of our freedoms (protection from the boggy man), but it is also the reason we spend an estimated $1 TRILLION a year on sustaining a military presence and political influence in the region.
I would be willing to place a wager of serious significance that at least 95% or better of this population, if asked, could not describe the political agenda, history or the impact they truly have on America and the present situation in the middle east … and I would easily win that wager!
So we find ourselves once again calling on the knowledge and wisdom of TLB’s contributor from Istanbul Turkey, Ceylan Ozbudak. It is important and even vital that we comprehend the roll of these organizations and their influence on our governments policies, because as many of us have come to realize these very policies have a direct and monumental impact on us!
In her last article for TLB Ceylan gave us an outstanding insight into the long running issue of Islamic sectarian struggles, now through her vast experience and intimate knowledge of this region Ceylan continues our education with an essay entitled – A short history of Hezbollah: Who are they?
If we truly wish to facilitate change, first we must alleviate or eliminate ignorance …
A short history of Hezbollah: Who are they?
By Ceylan Ozbudak, TLB Contributor
Hezbollah, or “Party of God’ in Arabic, is a Shiite group that is loyal to Iran. After the PLO was driven out of Lebanon in 1982, Syrian president Hafız al-Assad invited over 1,000 Pasdaran (Iranian Revolutionary Guards) to establish bases in the war-torn country. The Pasdaran come, set up training camps, and instructed their Lebanese students in terrorist techniques, guerilla warfare, and the ideology of Ayatollah Khomeini.
Hezbollah indirectly influenced the tactics of Sunni groups like Hamas and al Qaeda. The Koran explicitly forbids taking one’s own life. The early Islamic armies did not engage in suicide attacks or any kind of offensives on civilians, and Sunnis had traditionally banned the practice.
Shiite Iran began ordering its soldiers to perform suicide missions on the battlefield during the Iran-Iraq War of 1980-1988. The Shiite, Iranian-backed Hezbollah organization subsequently employed the strategy in unconventional warfare scenarios, often inflicting significant pain on their enemies.
In April 1983, for example. Hezbollah carried out coordinated suicide bombings against American and French peacekeepers in Beirut. The attacks were devastating: 241 American soldiers and 60 French troops were killed. Hamas and various Palestinian splinter groups later adopted the suicide attack—as did al Qaeda.
TLB would like to thank Ceylan for once again providing us with the insight we need to make sense of these chaotic times, and we look forward to her many insights to follow …
Ceylan Ozbudak is a Turkish Political Analyst, Television Commentator, TLB Contributor and Executive Director of Building Bridges, an Istanbul-based NGO. She can be followed on Twitter via @ceylanozbudak