Sunday, June 21, 2009

Why Does the West Promote the Wrong Side in the Middle East?

By Barry Rubin

Britain's ambassador to Lebanon is meeting today with a Hizballah member of parliament, the first time a Western country has formally held talks with Hizballah since that group's patron, Syria, possibly with some Hizballah help, murdered former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in February 2005.

This is a concession to Hizballah which has done nothing to deserve it. After all, Hizballah has not abided by the UN ceasefire resolution ending the 2006 war it began against Israel. Nor has it cooperated with the UNIFIL forces in the south, periodically threatening violence against them while rebuilding its military power in the region and smuggling in lots of arms from Syria. And it has continued to subvert Lebanon's state sovereignty by intimidation and the occasional use of force.

On top of all that, Hizballah just lost the election and the governing March 14 movement is rejecting its demand for veto power in the next government. At the moment when the West limits its criticism of Iran's stolen election, the British government undermines the results of Lebanon's fair election by helping to empower the anti-democratic loser, which is also the Tehran regime's client.

No wonder Western policy is the despair of pro-democratic forces and even more moderate dictatorial regimes in the region.

The left is supposed to understand this kind of thing. As the old coal mine union song put it:

"They say in Harlan County
There are no neutrals there.
You'll either be a union man
Or a thug for J. H. Blair."

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