It is no slander on the average Detroit News reader to say that, reading this weeks series on the aftermath of the Israeli war against Hezbollah, he would assume that Nasser Beydoun and other members of the Dearborn delegation to Lebanon are merely exemplar Lebanese-Americans mourning the bombed-out remains of their relatives' homes in Bint Jbail, and the other villages of their youth. But if the reader falls for it, he will have been played.
Because Beydoun, Ali Bazzi, and Ned Fawaz are all longtime Arab activists, Beydoun being one-time executive director of the Arab American Chamber of Commerce, which Fawaz founded. Beydoun also runs a development corporation targeting southern Lebanon, the Bint Jebail Development Corporation, that pre-dates the July-August war, and thus he stands to directly benefit from redevelopment bucks pouring into Lebanon. And the Arab American Chamber of Commerce isn't just about helping Dearborn business--they're in the foreign policy business, too.
In other words, Beydoun, Fawaz, Bazzi, and the other delegates don't just show up in Krupa's articles as victims/witnesses to the destruction of Bint Jbail houses, but as ringers put forward, once again, to criticize Israel, and pass over in the utterest silence the role of the genuine villain—Hezbollah. Whether or not Beydoun is an ardent supporter of Hezbollah, (though there is evidence that he is), or merely needs to make nice with them so they can let him profit in peace from his redevelopment schemes, is not clear.
I have nothing against rebuilding Lebanon. And participating in a building and development company certainly is not a crime. But what I can’t stand is the sloppy and dishonest news coverage that carefully avoids disclosing that a character like Beydoun has any interests in Lebanon beyond his heartfelt patriotism for his suffering homeland. Especially when the delgation's stated purpose is to return to lobby in America for a change in American foreign policy.
And it is comical that Beydoun and his fellow Lebanese should fret that the corrupt Lebanese government should “abscond” with the redevelopment funds, since almost certainly the corrupt Hezbollah thieves and murderers will have their bloody paws on it first, as noted elsewhere here at DU. After all, wasn’t the lesson of the whole UN fiasco that the Lebanese government can't control southern Lebanon because of Hezbollah’s occupation?
But for Beydoun and his pals in the Dearborn delegation, the pressing problem in southern Lebanon isn't Hezbollah, which is no problem at all, but that US development money isn’t getting there fast enough, even if it's Hezbollah that gets to pass it out or buy arms with it.
America invented the genius of the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe and bolster democracy—including our enemy Germany—after the last world war. But part of the genius of the plan was that the cash didn’t start pouring in until after the enemy was defeated, the Nazi bunkers were cleared, the swastikas were pulled down, and the surviving Nazis were either disarmed, executed, or given gainful employment in the newborn American missile program. In other words, there was no chance that our foreign aid was going to be used by the Third Reich to build bombs to drop on us or our allies.
But the plan in Lebanon seems to be just to give money to the country even as our sworn enemy, and the enemy of our ally Israel, is still openly operating with impunity all over southern Lebanon. The money pipeline will soon be open full blast where Hezbollah can, and will, easily divert money to buy more rockets to fire against Israel, and to prepare for yet another, and much more destructive war in which Lebanon once again will be the battlefield. And then all those new houses Nasser Beydoun plans to build will be destroyed all over again.
The theme that Beydoun and the rest of the Lebanese delegation are striking, (and reporter Krupa, who has shown remarkable bias on this subject), is that Hezbollah, when it manages to get mentioned at all, is mentioned only as a social services organization, a partner in redevelopment, maybe a “resistance group,” or maybe as “the real protector of Lebanon," but never as what it actually is: a terrorist militia bent on destroying Israel and its Jews, and perfectly willing to get Lebanese killed in the process. My hypothetical Detroit News reader is supposed to be more informed about the rehabilitated Hezbollah after reading commentary like this from little ten-year-old villager Wael Shahimi, "urged forward by his mother," who, thanks to Hezbollah, is getting over his nightmares of the war:
"'I think everything is getting better,' he said. 'I think the Hezbollah can help us get better by using their money and stuff like that. I think they are going to help Lebanon look better.'"
Awww. And isn't that bit about Hezbollah "using their money and stuff like that" just precious?
When you're done vomiting you should remember that the Dearborn delegation will be working to change American opinion, (already pretty badly misinformed), and American foreign policy, hammering these two bullet points: up with support for Hezbollah, and down with support for Israel. They've already shown us how effective they can be at it. Look how easily they got their propoganda into these articles? Look for ten-year-old Wael Shahimi on this Sunday's Meet the Press.
And then plan to hear a whole lot or chatter real soon about why it's necessary to recognize the murderous terrorist organization, Hezbollah, either as the legitimate Lebanese government, (“the real protector of Lebanon,"), or else as the partner with whom the legitimate government must deal. And what's stopping it, after every government on Earth has gone on record committed to a refusal to disarm them or make them get out?
The bottom line will be the same. Hezbollah, filled with hate, armed, and determined to destroy Israel and kill Jews, stays unmolested in southern Lebanon where it can plot and prepare its next war moves. And we help pay to put up the new buildings where they’ll hide their rockets--and that will someday have to be knocked down again by the IDF.