The news is abuzz with Politico’s new article that claims that Obama derailed an investigation in alleged drug trafficking and money laundering done by Hezbollah in Lebanon. The Politico article linked above charges Obama with dismantling “Project Cassandra” in order to make the “Iran Deal” possible.
I would, from the outset, question the veracity of these claims, considering a lot of the content of the article is regurgitated from allegations made back in 2011 (when Obama was president).
Of course, as usual, a little bit of reasoning ought to put the official Politico story into question. Whether or not Obama put up roadblocks against investigations is something that I do not and cannot know, beyond what the media reports (even at the end of the Politico article, they seem to call everything they’ve just said into question).
However, I do have three points that show something is very wrong with the propagandists’ rendering of Hezbollah and the fundamentals of the organization.
1.) Hezbollah is, at least partially, a religious-confessional organization. Hezb-Allah (the Party of God) is an organization that was established in the draw-down of Lebanon’s bloody civil war, fought mostly along sectarian lines.
Hezbollah emerged as the primary representative of Lebanon’s Shi’a (although slowly, due to the competition from the Amal Movement).
The Politico article seems to suggest that Hezbollah is receiving money from both drug trafficking and Iran, or, alternatively, both Hezbollah and Iran are receiving funds from drug trafficking. The article leaves the reader guessing.
On the face of it, that would seem a bit odd, considering mainstream Islam’s pretty tight restrictions on drug use. Indeed, both Hassan Nasrallah (the leader of Hezbollah) and Ali Khamenei (the Supreme Leader of Iran) have explicitly forbade the use of drugs.
Aren’t these people supposed to be so incredibly religious that they’re unreasonable and impossible to negotiate with? Isn’t that the main line of the propaganda against them: Amerikkka can’t “trust” Iran, because they’re insane religious extremists?
Like Iran could ever trust Amerikkka!
Someone has their propaganda mixed up. It’s a jumbled policy of “throw everything at them and see what sticks”.
If you want to say that the leaders are lying and that they’ll take money from drug trafficking, then clearly they’re pragmatists and can negotiate. If you want to say they’re religious fundamentalists, then there is no way that they’re getting money from the drug trade.
2.) The Politico article centers around the drug trade in Latin American and Africa, apparently through some key business traders who have been able to secretly fund some transnational anti-Amerikkkan network.
In the past, Hezbollah’s alleged drug trafficking enterprise has been linked to the so-called Tri-Border Area. The Tri-Border Area is along the borders of Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil. Supposedly accounting for a significant portion of weapon, drug, and human trafficking, the Tri-Border Area is notoriously mysterious, with very little reliable information regarding the market there.
It’s sort of a similar situation to North Korea, right? We don’t know anything, but everything we do know is bad and, therefore, we can extrapolate a lot of nonsense from that.
Apparently, every “terrorist” organization gets funding from the Tri-Border Area, if we’re to believe the reports. According the U.$. media and the U.$. government, both Hezbollah and Al-Qaeda receive funds from illicit trading through South America.
That seems a little strange, considering the war in Syria, where Hezbollah and Al-Qaeda are killing each other.
The Politico article does not directly mention the Tri-Border Area. It does, however, bring up the supposed “cocaine corridor” from South America up through Mexico, where the funds are not only apparently used to support Hezbollah, but also governments in Latin America that stand up against imperialism – Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador.
What’s the connection? Well, according to Politico, we can find it in the relationship between Hugo Chavez and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:
Isn’t it interesting that according to “interviews and documents”, Hugo Chavez is also responsible for everything bad in the world. After all, Politico says that Hezbollah has “for decades” been engaging in “narcoterrorism”?
Why is it that all of the evidence that comes up in the article is from simple testimonies and anonymous sources if this is an unquestionable fact?
If Hezbollah gets all its funding from illicit sources, then why does it even need funding from Iran?
If Hezbollah is so ubiquitous on the black market, then why isn’t there hard evidence of such trading?
Why is everything just hearsay and word-of-mouth?
This brings us to my third point.
3.) All of the supposed linchpins in the Hezbollah-drug trafficking connection conveniently work with everyone the U.S. doesn’t like right now, according to Politico. They even have this other picture in the article to drive home their point:
The article is fascinating for who make up this apparent narco-terrorist network around the world. It seems to be a blend of Russians and Lebanese businessmen traveling around the globe in search of ways to fund Putin and Hezbollah.
Isn’t it all just so convenient!
At one point, the article basically celebrates when, in 2008, “the CIA and Israeli intelligence detonated a bomb in [Imad] Mughniyeh’s car as he was leaving a celebration of the 29th anniversary of the Iranian revolution in Damascus, Syria. He was killed instantly. ”
How is this treated unproblematically in this story about Hezbollah? This was pretty big news in 2015, after seven years of Israel and the U.$. denying responsibility for the murder.
The Politico article accuses Imad Mughniyeh, who was a Hezbollah commander, of the bombing of a U.$. military barracks (by a different organization) during the Lebanese Civil War. However, notably, there is very flimsy evidence on which to blame him of any of his alleged crimes.
Also, no one seems to question the presence of a U.$. barracks on the outskirts of Beirut during a civil war.
Luckily, we don’t have to regard anything in the text with much seriousness, because the idea of “objectivity” on any level is thrown out the window. The Politico article reveals its pro-Amerikkkan bias very clearly with the following paragraph:
“Meanwhile, Hezbollah — in league with Iran — continues to undermine U.S. interests in Iraq, Syria and throughout wide swaths of Latin America and Africa, including providing weapons and training to anti-American Shiite militias. And Safieddine, the Ghost and other associates continue to play central roles in the trafficking of drugs and weapons, current and former U.S. officials believe.”
That last line is the most crucial – current and former U.$. officials believe. What does that mean? No evidence. None. Zero. Zilch.
And what is Hezbollah’s real crime? The fact that it continues to “undermine” the U.$.
This isn’t about drugs or about the black market or about terrorism (or about some bizarre used-car money-laundering scheme in Benin).
This is about the fact that Hezbollah has stood up, time and time again, against U.$. imperialism.
Hezbollah has defended Lebanon from invasion by Israel. Hezbollah has defended Syria against terrorist organizations like ISIS and Al-Qaeda. And Hezbollah continues to defend the Middle East from the threat of Saudi and U.A.E. influence.