We are now seeing more and more of that much-promised “fundamental transformation of America,” where ACTUAL terrorists are being removed from official U.S. terrorist lists… and well, ordinary (Constitution-loving) Americans are being groped, spied upon, harassed by federal agencies (like the IRS), or added to government “watch lists” by the current administration.
An annual security assessment presented to the U.S. Senate by James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, has dropped Iran and Hezbollah from its list of terror threats to U.S. interests, despite both being consistently included as threats in previous years, AND despite the fact for many years, Iran has been deemed the world’s “most active state sponsor of terrorism.”
The Council of Foreign Relations has stated:
“U.S. officials say Iran provides funding, weapons, training, and sanctuary to numerous terrorist groups–most notably in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Lebanon–posing a security concern to the international community. Iran’s declarations that it has successfully enriched uranium and developed new missile technology have heightened alarm in the United States and other countries that the Islamic Republic might transfer weapons of mass destruction (PDF) to militants or armed groups.”
Some of Iran’s other alleged terrorist activities also include:
- Observers say Iran had prior knowledge of Hezbollah attacks, such as the 1988 kidnapping and murder of Colonel William Higgins, a U.S. Marine involved in a UN observer mission in Lebanon, and the 1992 and 1994 bombings of Jewish cultural institutions in Argentina.
- Iran still has a price on the head of the Indian-born British novelist Salman Rushdie for what Iranian leaders call blasphemous writings about Islam in his 1989 novel The Satanic Verses.
- S. officials say Iran supported the group behind the 1996 truck bombing of Khobar Towers, a U.S. military residence in Saudi Arabia, which killed nineteen U.S. servicemen.
- Military officials say numerous attacks since 2001 on U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, and coalition forces in Iraq, have been attributed to Iranian-made weapons.
- A set of classified documents leaked by the website WikiLeaks.org in July 2010 reports extensive collaboration between Iran and the Taliban, Afghan warlords, and al-Qaeda, but all the claims have not been corroborated (Guardian).
- Iran has also been blamed for attacks in Balochistan in Pakistan.
- In April 2011, the United States and the European Union accused the Quds Force of providing equipment and support to help the Syrian regime suppress revolts in Syria.
- In October 2011, Washington accused the Quds Force of plotting to assassinate the Saudi ambassador (NYT) to the United States, and plotting to bomb the Israeli Embassy in Washington and the Saudi and Israeli Embassies in Argentina.
Never mind the fact that Iranian leaders have often referred to the U.S. as the “Great Satan,” and have also promised to wipe Israel off the map.
Of course, then there is Hezbollah. Hezbollah has also been implicated in numerous terrorist attacks against Western targets, including the 1983 bombings at the U.S. Embassy. Its other major attacks include:
- July 12, 2006: Hezbollah operatives kill eight Israeli soldiers and kidnap two others stationed in Israeli sovereign territory. The soldiers’ remains are returned to Israel in July 2008.
- March 12, 2002: Shooting attack against Israeli vehicles near the Israeli-Lebanese border: six killed, seven injured.
- October 7, 2000: Hezbollah operatives abduct an Israeli businessman and three Israeli soldiers patrolling Israel’s border with Lebanon. The soldiers’ remains and the businessman are returned to Israel in 2004.
- June 25, 1996: Truck bombing at the U.S. portion of the Khobar Towers housing complex in Saudi Arabia: 19 American Air Force personnel killed, 372 injured.
- July 18, 1994: Suicide bombing of the Argentine Jewish Mutual Association (AMIA) building in Buenos Aires: 85 killed, approximately 300 injured.
- March 17, 1992: Suicide bombing at the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires: 29 killed, more than 240 injured.
- June 14, 1985: Hijacking of TWA Flight 847: U.S. Navy diver killed.
- September 20, 1984: Car bombing of the U.S. Embassy annex in Beirut: 24 killed.
- December 4, 1984: Hijacking of Kuwait Airlines plane: four killed.
- April 12, 1984: Bombing of a restaurant near the U.S. Air Force Base in Torrejon, Spain: 18 U.S. servicemen killed, 83 injured.
- October 23, 1983: Truck bombing at the multinational force barracks in Beirut: 241 American military personnel killed, 58 French paratroopers killed.
- April 18, 1983: Suicide bombing at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut: 63 killed (including 17 Americans).
Hezbollah has actually pioneered the use of suicide bombings in the Middle East. It also maintains an operational presence in the U.S. that uses funds raised through criminal activities to help finance the organization’s terrorist activities.
The ADL reports:
“Hezbollah also maintains an extensive infrastructure throughout Europe that provides logistical and financial support and has garnered funds through front companies in Africa and the regional diamond trade. Additionally, the terrorist group raises revenues in Latin America through drug-trafficking, money laundering, forging travel documents and weapons and people smuggling.”
So, why the U.S.’s sudden change of heart toward Iran and Hezbollah, anyway?
As we all know, the U.S. and other Western nations, along with a coalition of regional allies, both Sunni and Shiite, have been launching attacks against ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria in recent months. Iran and Hezbollah have been fighting against ISIS as well.
“The Sunni group, also known by its acronyms IS, ISIS and ISIL, is an offshoot of al-Qaeda that has carved out a self-proclaimed caliphate across large swaths of Syria and Iraq, both of whose governments are allied with Iran’s.
The Shiite Lebanese group Hezbollah, which is funded and mentored by Tehran, has been fighting the Islamic State, independently of the American-led campaign, both in Syria and Iraq.”
According to one Israeli think tank, the removal of Iran and its proxy Hezbollah from the list of terror threats, where they featured in previous years, was directly linked to the campaign against the Islamic State.
However, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently said, “The enemy of your enemy is your enemy.”
Simply because Iran is fighting against Islamic State does NOT automatically make it friends of the U.S.
The recent removal of Iran from official U.S. terrorist lists is also linked to the U.S.’s ongoing talks with Iran in an effort to reach an agreement on its nuclear program.
So, will President Obama simply give Iran everything it wants (including removal from terrorist lists) just to reach an agreement before he leaves office…even if the agreement is horrible, especially for Israel and America?
Unfortunately, we have an administration so set on its agenda to “fundamentally transform America,” that it lacks the moral clarity to discern good from evil, to discern what is good and what is really horrible… even when it comes to nuclear agreements with Iran. Removing Iran and Hezbollah from official terrorist lists is already proof of that.