The Hezbollah Model for the Taliban

[The following email was sent to U.S. President Barack Obama.]

To the President of the United States and the White House staff:

I highly suggest that you read an op-ed written by Matthew Levitt of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy on the foolishness of modeling the Taliban in Afghanistan after Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Levitt’s article reminds readers that Hezbollah is a terrorist group hostile to the United States and its allies, not only in rhetorical terms, but also in acts of violence.  Hezbollah destabilizes Lebanon and violates UN resolutions by creating a kind of state within a state “throughout the south of Lebanon and the Bekaa Valley where Lebanese Armed Forces are not allowed.” This has the effect of destabilizing the Middle East as a whole.  The Hezbollah model for Taliban reform fails even for a domestic improvement (Hezbollah has been accused of the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri).

Please take these Levitt’s closing remarks to heart:

“Modeling the Taliban after Hezbollah is a recipe for failure. It would doom efforts to promote democracy in Afghanistan and engender long-term instability in both Afghanistan and Pakistan ….  It would embolden one of Iran’s newer allies in the region and empower a salafi-jihadi organization with close and ongoing ties to Al Qaeda to firmly establish control over parts of the country from which it would continue to produce massive quantities of drugs that ultimately make their way to the West. Looking to Hezbollah as the model for a future Taliban displays both ignorance of Hezbollah and naivete regarding the Taliban. No matter how you slice it, that’s a dangerous combination.”

Sincerely,

G.H.

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