Many folks have explained why Communist revolutions begin in violence and end in such misery, and why so many followers cling to these doctrines with a sort of religious fervor, selectively blind hope, and continued loyalty.
Or at least some folks held their ground and documented the mess:
‘The preceding days have demonstrated that information peddled by Castro’s legion of academic and celebrity apologists has deeply penetrated the mainstream media consciousness, with credulous reporting sundry revolutionary “successes” of the regime: not so good on free speech, but oh-so-enviable on health care and education.’
‘And how does Reuters describe Castro? After 50 years of brutal one-party rule, to apply the appellation “dictator” seems a rather contentious issue: “Vilified by opponents as a totalitarian dictator, Castro is admired in many Third World nations for standing up to the United States and providing free education and health care.” And again, we return to education and health care.’
Democratic socialism, and social democracy, are often just the distance some folks have migrated from their previous ideological commitments (tolerating market reforms and ‘neo-liberal’ economic policy out of necessity, not necessarily a change of heart nor mind).
For others it may be the distance they’ve unconsciously drifted towards such ideas more recently.
For other brave souls, it may be the distance required to stick one’s fingers into the political breezes which blow over the floor of the EU, in order to ‘stay engaged’:
Remember, this is the non-elected President of the EU Commission.
‘He told me about what happened at his sister’s elementary school a few years after Castro took over.
“Do you want ice cream and dulces (sweets),” his sister’s teacher, a staunch Fidelista, asked the class.
“Yes!” the kids said.
“Okay, then,” she said. “Put your hands together, bow your heads, and pray to God that he brings you ice cream and dulces.”
Nothing happened, of course. God did not did not provide the children with ice cream or dulces.
“Now,” the teacher said. “Put your hands together and pray to Fidel that the Revolution gives you ice cream and sweets.”
The kids closed their eyes and bowed their heads. They prayed to Fidel Castro. And when the kids raised their heads and opened their eyes, ice cream and dulces had miraculously appeared on the teacher’s desk.’
As previously posted:
Michael Moynihan reviewed Michael Moore’s ‘Sicko’ which praised the Cuban Health Care System.
Christopher Hitchens took a helicopter ride with Sean Penn, and that tracksuit-wearing strongman of the people, Hugo Chavez-Hugo Boss:
It’s a long way out of socialist and revolutionary solidarity, which continually occupies the South American mind. One more revolution: Adam Kirsch takes a look at Mario Vargas Llosa. The Dream Of The Peruvian.
Part of the American response to 9/11 was emotionally driven, defensive but deeply focused. Practical, even: That horrible attack left a scar, and at the time, it hurt bad enough to know it would leave a scar. More scars might be coming.
The lawless FATA region in Northwest Pakistan, and Afghanistan under the Taliban, were harboring globally acting Al Qaeda terrorists, who’d planned and carried out the 9/11 attack. They had training camps to prepare and plot their next moves.
Afghanistan also has some strategic importance relative to Pakistan, Pakistan and India, and China (Belt and Road), to name a few. But, largely, it was about hunting down the bastards who did the deed.
Afghanistan is deeply poor, deeply backwards relative to the West, and deeply divided geographically and culturally. Pakistan and their ISI played American interests from the start (given their interests, I wouldn’t expect too much more).
Not long after invading Afghanistan, our American political leadership directed American military resources to Iraq. The mission of keeping the coalition in Afghanistan together lost a lot of focus and resources. Semi-occupation also required all kinds of misapplied military protectionism, and ridiculous rules.
From the child-buggery, to working as poppy protection, to seeing some of the dysfunction and brutality up close, our servicemen saw a lot of shit. This is where my primary loyalty lies.
So, we can’t really hold Afghanistan together and it may become costly, indeed, to again have the Taliban keeping Afghanistan together at some point in the future.
As for here at home: The cultural tides of equality at high prices, putting so many carts before so many horses, checking all the diversity boxes…now affects a lot of American military decision-making.
We might not be done with failure, here.
Just to cheer you up.
A pretty worst case: Using the Platonic model from The Republic, there really aren’t that many models of governance in human affairs, or perhaps, the more things change, the more they stay the same:
(Timarchy (military honor is the highest good)–>decay into Oligarchy (the City’s coffers and wealth are the highest good)–>decay into Democracy (freedom is the highest good as the Demos come to rule)–>decay into Tyranny and a return to the tyrant’s order as the highest good (the tyrant being the worst master of his passions).
Rinse and repeat.
I look around and see people, with good reasons, convinced our leadership deserves little to no authority (once much of the trust and competence is gone, leaving institutional strivers and pole-climbers…it’s tough to make the case).
So many emperors, so little clothing.
I doubt I could do much better.
Alas, Dear Reader, everyone takes the limits of their field of vision for the limits of the world.
Help me see anew.
Benjamin Jowett’s translation of Plato’s Republic can be found here.
Through my indirect experience, most of the people who serve are called. Honor, duty and sacrifice figure heavily. Smashing things, adventure, skill-development and money tend to be important variables, too. Over time, money and stability become more important, as they do for anyone aging up, or through, an institution. Few of us spend time imagining waking up every morning, with thirteen intricate steps to put on a prosthetic, seeing what the day holds.
That’s where our duty comes in, as fellow citizens, to make the losses more bearable.
From where I stand: Yes, the New York Times, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, NPR, and most major media outlets are in a process of negotiation/conflict with elements of a radical and activist Left. Some will follow the logic towards Good/Evil with their own countrymen, in a pose of childish and irrational rebellion (utopia always better to any reality). Others will settle into some kind of protagonism/antagonism with new authority; major Tech companies having to make and enforce rules, in relation with many lawmakers.
If you didn’t solve the problems of authority/hierarchy, totalizing and authority-beholden types beneath your Ideals, well…you haven’t solved those problems.
You’ve probably noticed this, too-Deeper and emergent Western thinking, along humanistic lines, is becoming more dominant: Conceptualizing the main purposes of war as advancing humanistic ideals (War vs Peace, (G)lobal (M)an vs the (I)nhumane) motivates much American institutional authority and leadership. No institution has avoided the rising waters of presumed freedom, diversity and inclusion, pushed often by liberation activists (making the personal political). I’m not sure of all the deeper currents and reasons, but this seems pretty unstable.
To be a ‘Kennedy Liberal’, Nationalistic and proud, has begun to emit a curious odor, a moral stench in the culture-at-large (as long ago has anything Christian, traditional, patriotic, and proud).
Perhaps it’s true: Today’s liberal idealist might well find himself where yesterday’s ‘neo-conservative’ found himself, willing to underwrite the Western project, with American military force if necessary, to vindicate highest ideals.
This blog’s thinking: The cultural revolution of the 60’s is a more consequential beast than most Boomer’s and Gen X’ers have realized. We’ve pretty much all of us internalized elements of these ideas, doing with them as we will.
If you are joining the armed services, for reasons of honor, duty, and sacrifice, you’d probably do okay to think about these elements of American leadership and political authority.
Robert Kaplan makes the argument that geography and history are destiny in Pakistan’s case:
‘Pakistan encompasses the frontier of the subcontinent, a region that even the British were unable to incorporate into their bureaucracy, running it instead as a military fiefdom, making deals with the tribes. Thus, Pakistan did not inherit the stabilizing civilian institutions that India did. Winston Churchill’s first book as a young man, The Story of the Malakand Field Force, wonderfully captures the challenges facing colonial border troops in British India. As the young author then concluded, the only way to function in this part of the world is through “a system of gradual advance, of political intrigue among the tribes, of subsidies and small expeditions.’
‘The term AfPak itself, popularized by the late diplomat Richard Holbrooke, indicates two failed states — otherwise, they would share a strong border and would not have to be conjoined in one word. Let me provide the real meaning of AfPak, as defined by geography and history: It is a rump Islamic greater Punjab — the tip of the demographic spear of the Indian subcontinent toward which all trade routes between southern Central Asia and the Indus Valley are drawn — exerting its power over Pashtunistan and Baluchistan, just as Punjab has since time immemorial.’
The gist: Trump’s apparent defining of America’s interests more narrowly and nationally, transactionally even (quid pro quo), will further re-shuffle a deck already being re-shuffled by many forces outside American control (I still think America is uniquely positioned to adapt to many changes afoot).
American relative power has been declining, and we have some serious fractures within our body politic. Arguably, there’s less appetite for the soft and hard power reach of the America experienced during the past few generations.
Trump’s potential withdrawal from the international order the United States has been upholding with blood and treasure will likely signal significant change, and perhaps not always change for the better, Kagan argues.
What to change and what to keep?
What direction might Trump give on what to change and what to keep?
Kagan from his intro:
‘In recent years, the liberal world order that has held sway over international affairs for the past seven decades has been fragmenting under the pressure of systemic economic stresses, growing tribalism and nationalism, and a general loss of confidence in established international and national institutions. The incoming U.S. administration faces a grave challenge in determining whether it wishes to continue to uphold this liberal order, which has helped to maintain a stable international system in the face of challenges from regional powers and other potential threats, or whether it is willing to accept the consequences that may result if it chooses to abandon America’s key role as a guarantor of the system it helped to found and sustain.’
Here’s an interview with Trump on Donahue from 1987: Back then, it was the Japanese who were poised for imminent takeover, buying up New York City real-estate before the 1992 recession (both the Japanese and Chinese are looking at serious demographic challenges).
His appeal to national pride and trade protectionism was apparent then…as well as the self-promotion:
As previously posted: Some other models to possibly use:
It’s likely you won’t agree with all of Huntington’s ideas, but he maintained a deeply learned understanding of the animating ideas behind Western/American political organization with keen observation of what was happening on the ground in foreign countries. Here’s a brief summation from Robert Kaplan’s article:
“• The fact that the world is modernizing does not mean that it is Westernizing. The impact of urbanization and mass communications, coupled with poverty and ethnic divisions, will not lead to peoples’ everywhere thinking as we do.
• Asia, despite its ups and downs, is expanding militarily and economically. Islam is exploding demographically. The West may be declining in relative influence.
• Culture-consciousness is getting stronger, not weaker, and states or peoples may band together because of cultural similarities rather than because of ideological ones, as in the past.
• The Western belief that parliamentary democracy and free markets are suitable for everyone will bring the West into conflict with civilizations—notably, Islam and the Chinese—that think differently.
• In a multi-polar world based loosely on civilizations rather than on ideologies, Americans must reaffirm their Western identity.”
That train may have already left the station: Which organizations/allies/partners do we back with our military? Which alliances do we form to protect and advance trade/security/national/broader interests?
Which ideas are universal, or should be aimed for as universal in the world of practical policy and decision-making?
Which kinds of contracts do we enter into? With whom and for what ends?
I’d like to see how this has held up:
A quote from Hill’s forward to Ajami’s then new book on Syria as discussed in the video:
“[The] greatest strategic challenge of the twenty-first century is involves “reversing Islamic radicalism”‘
Both men wanted to see more leadership out of the Obama administration. They both argued that there needed American led involvement of some sort in Syria. It’s a bad neighborhood, and we’ve got to provide leadership and side with the rebels as best we can.
Hill pushed further to suggest that if America doesn’t lead onto a new set of challenges that now face the West, then Europe surely isn’t capable of leading either. If we don’t strike out on our own as Truman did with bold leadership after World War II, we will end a generations long experiment in American exceptionalism. If we don’t lead, someone who doesn’t share our values, probably will.
I wanted to contrast this vision with Francis Fukuyama’s then new piece, entitled ‘Life In A G-Zero World,‘ where if I’m not mistaken, Fukuyama is ok with such a diminished role for the U.S:
‘It is clear that no other power is going to step in to fill this role of structuring world politics on a grand scale. It does not necessarily imply, however, that the world will turn into a chaotic free-for-all. What occurs after the retreat of US hegemony will depend critically on the behavior of American partners and their willingness to invest in new multilateral structures. The dominant role of the US in years past relieved American allies of the need to invest in their own capabilities or to take the lead in solving regional problems. They now need to step up to the plate.’
‘The regional military balance has already shifted toward China more than many American allies would like to admit. Moreover, while the basic American commitment to Tokyo under the US-Japan Security Agreement remains sound, the willingness of the Obama administration to risk military conflict with China over some uninhabited islands in the middle of the Pacific is not at all clear.’
To some degree, I think both analyses are right, in that we either renew our ideals and pursue exceptionalism, confronting and pushing against those who don’t share our ideals and interests as we have in the past (including the threat and potential use of military force), and/or we re-adjust and recognize the roles of others, but also recognize that they don’t necessarily share our ideals and interests and we can’t necessarily trust anyone to look out for our interests.
This requires us to cooperate and rely on international institutions to some extent, but also institutions which have serious design flaws, poor incentives, and can bind us in treaties and obligations for which our interests can be poorly served.
What I don’t want to see is a continued squandering of our leverage and our strength, mainly at the hands of what I see as a rather utopian and naive worldview, held aloft by tempered, but still rather Left-leaning democratic radicals and activists, who claim peace but see many of their own worst enemies in the West itself, and who still must deal with the world and its political base as it is.
What’s the best way forward?
Any thoughts and comments are welcome.
***Addition: I’d also prefer not to see the continued squandering of American resources that came about with the promise of military action to remove Saddam Hussein. The promise was democracy in the Middle-East, the results are apparently much less, with many serious consequences likely still to come. Hubris and overreach is easy. Strategy and good policy is hard.
Right now, I tend to favor ordered liberty at home, a reduced role for the Executive branch, and the aim of strategic re-alignment based on a more realist understanding of alliance-making abroad. Trade and sovereignty, patriotism tempered with patience, humility, and moral decency would be better than some of what I fear may be in the cards.
Let the math, science, trade, study and friendships form as much as possible without the silly seriousness of politics entering into daily lives, and the issues of potential conflict handled with courage and wisdom.
‘I continue to believe that it is in the U.S. interest to promote the independence, territorial integrity, and security not only of Ukraine, but also Georgia, Moldova, and all countries threatened by Russian hegemony. And the United States and its allies must develop new strategies for engaging Russian society and other societies throughout the former Soviet Union, including even in the Donbass region of Ukraine now occupied by Kremlin-supported separatists. We need more student exchanges, more peer-to-peer dialogues, more business internships to increase connections between our societies. We cannot revert to a policy where we only speak to officials in Moscow and attempt to do right by the Kremlin.‘
A lot of those former Soviet satellites, especially the Baltics, needed courage, hard-work, and luck just to get far enough away from Moscow to recieve NATO protection….:
‘The fact that the world is more disorderly and less lawful than when Obama became president is less his fault than the fault of something about which progressives are skeptical — powerful, unchanging human nature.’
‘A fundamental claim of my argument for Darwinian conservatism–as combining traditionalist conservatism and classical liberalism–is that Darwinian science supports the constrained or realist view of human nature as fixed that is embraced by conservatism, as opposed to the unconstrained or utopian view of human nature as malleable that is embraced by the Left. ‘
As previously posted: Richard Epstein ‘Barack vs. Bibi:’ takes the classical liberal, non anti-war libertarian position:
‘In the end, it is critical to understand that the current weaknesses in American foreign policy stem from the President’s adamant reluctance to commit to the use of American force in international relations, whether with Israel, Iran or with ISIS. Starting from that position, the President has to make huge unilateral concessions, and force his allies to do the same thing. Right now his only expertise is leading from behind. The President has to learn to be tough in negotiations with his enemies. Right now, sadly, he has demonstrated that toughness only in his relationships with America’s friends and allies.’
‘Looking back, the Kurds’ experience with proxy wars has been rewarding in the short term but mostly disastrous in the long term. The Kurds have been able to best many opponents and establish a reputation for martial skill, but at the cost of exacerbating internal divisions and serially alarming everyone from their state “hosts” to neighbors. So why do they continue playing this role, what are the lessons they may draw from it now, and will it turn out better for the Kurds this time?’
If I were a Kurd, I would bet on being only a part-time American ally, at great risk to my own interests, while continuing to pursue those interests.
Addition: The military will not take back control of the government:
‘Not all of the rebel soldiers have surrendered yet, but the government seems firmly in control. The Kemalist era in Turkish history lasted for almost 100 years, but finally came to an end in the last 18 hours. The Turkish military, it appears, has lost the role of ‘guardian of the nation’ which it assumed in the interest of making Turkey a modern European country. Atatürk’s Turkey marginalized the pious Anatolian peasants; now their grandchildren and great grandchildren are building a new Turkey.’
Erdogan’s coalition and political stability look to be in some trouble, recently, as a bomb kills nearly a hundred at a pro-Kurdish peace rally:
‘Turkey fears and loathes Kurdish independence anywhere in the world more than it fears and loathes anything else. Kurdish independence in Syria, from Ankara’s point of view, could at a minimum escalate a three-decades-long conflict and at worst threaten Turkey’s territorial integrity’
‘The answer to the primary question about political Islam’s compatibility with modernity is that political Islam’s purpose is to not only be incompatible with modernity but also to oppose it, demolish it, and replace it in every regard.’
“The purpose of bureaucracy is to devise a standard operating procedure which can cope effectively with most problems. A bureaucracy is efficient if the matters which it handles routinely are, in fact, the most frequent and if its procedures are relevant to their solution. If those criteria are met, the energies of the top leadership are freed to deal creatively with the unexpected occurrence or with the need for innovation. Bureaucracy becomes an obstacle when what it defines as routine does not address the most significant range of issues or when its prescribed mode of action proves irrelevant to the problem.”
“Moreover, the reputation, indeed the political survival, of most leaders depends on their ability to realize their goals, however these may have been arrived at. Whether these goals are desireable is relatively less crucial.”
Kissinger, Henry. American Foreign Policy: Three Essays. New York: W.W. Norton & Company Inc. 1969.
From a George F Kennan article written in 1948 on China.
My how times have changed!:
‘From the analysis in this paper of demographic and economic factors it is concluded that for years to come China will probably be plagued by (1) an implacable population pressure, which is likely to result in (2) a general standard of living around and below the subsistence level, which in turn will tend to cause (3) popular unrest (4) economic backwardness, (5) cultural lag, and (6) an uncontrolled crude birth rate.
The political alternatives which this vicious cycle will permit for China’s future are chaos or authoritarianism. Democracy cannot take root in so harsh an environment.
Authoritarianism may be able to break the cycle by drastic means, such as forcible “socialization”. At best, such measures could be put into effect only at heavy and long protracted cost to the whole social structure; at worst they could provoke such rebellion as to recreate a state of chaos.’
America’s Metternich (mostly kidding) wrote “On China“. Interesting quote from the interview (unsurprisingly, Kissinger just wants people to read the book):
‘The remarks hint at what may be Mr. Kissinger’s fundamental view of U.S.-China relations—that they are already so fragile that it could be derailed by some candid remarks by him in a simple newspaper interview. Alternatively, he may simply have in mind his own opportunities for “maintaining influence.”‘
Some thoughts and some round-up on this blog. Isn’t this what blogs are for?:
1. China is an old civilization which has been around for millennia, and which has a long history of a somewhat meritocratic, bureaucratic government long before anyone else arrived at such a form of government. It’s currently centered around a Han Chinese core and is generally more authoritarian and conformist than most Americans are comfortable with, but to which many Chinese are loyal enough. This isn’t necessarily a model that travels as well as Western models due to this Han core, but it has its advantages.
This blog is generally not favorable to what it perceives to be post-ish Communist authoritarian bureaucracy, but hey, there you go. A highly individualistic and a much more conformist civilization are going to not understand one another on many issues. Americans tend to be idealistic and to assume their model is the default model without necessarily understanding how and why others might think differently.
2. China is undergoing seethingly rapid economic, social, and technological change. It’s tough for many Chinese people to figure out exactly what’s going on, let alone outsiders, but Chinese leadership needs desperately to keep economic growth high, unemployment lower, and to copy, integrate, and frankly, steal, as much information and intellectual property to industrialize and modernize as quickly as possible.
3.Strategically, China has long borders, many powerful, organized neighbors (Japan, Korea, India, Russia) and many diverse ethnic and religious groups the central government has had to keep under wraps (respect is an important concept). Chinese authority must figure out how to match its political structure with an aging population, increasing wealth, increasing ‘middle-class,’ disposable income and expectations, increasing military strength and how to deal with those often powerfully opposed neighbors and internal struggles.
4. The Chinese are often people we can do business with on many levels, people who can be quite pragmatic and seem to want to get rich as much as they want to spread an opposing worldview to Western models. They’re surprisingly sensitive to their own strengths and weaknesses and generally play their cards close to their chests. They are quite thoughtful and strategic in often different ways than Americans. This past century is a sore point and seen as a rather shameful anomaly to their longer heritage of being the dominant power in the region.
Unsurprisingly, there is much, much ignorance on both sides, as is typical in human affairs, and ignorance is generally the default position.
5. There are near constant and highly organized State-sponsored cyber-attacks and espionage going on against American interests (and some blowback and counter-espionage, I figure). Many in higher levels of Chinese government clearly see the West as constraining and antithetical to Chinese interests. Much logic and rational choice compels this, but also much vanity, pride, and fear and ignorance. Such human nature can be found all ’round.
Feel free to highlight my ignorance. Any thoughts and comments are welcome.
Our author reviews Evan Osnos’ book about his 8 years spent living on the ground in China:
‘For its part, the government seems to be making efforts to get a grasp on public opinion, though they stem more from its need to buttress its own chances of survival than from any democratic instinct. Attempts at opinion polling have not gone well, mainly because most Chinese are wary about voicing criticism of the government to a stranger on the phone. Nevertheless, there is the sense that the leaders are aware that the ground is shifting. They just don’t know where it is shifting to—and no one else does, either. There is an obsession with establishing the “central melody” of the current culture, but the tune keeps slipping away.’
As previously posted:
(Q & A starts at about minute 6:20)
This blog is still trying to better understand China. Troost traveled for months around the country, went with the flow, and wrote about his experiences.
What’s life like in Beijing for an American editing an English-language Business Magazine?
Interesting quote on author Eveline Chao’s censor:
‘I understood then the mundane nature of all that kept her in place. A job she didn’t like, but worked hard to keep. A system that would never reward her for good work, only punish her for mistakes. And in exchange: Tutors. Traffic. Expensive drumming lessons. They were the same things that kept anyone, anywhere, in place — and it was the very ordinariness of these things that made them intractable.’
Mead riffs on Obama statement from this interview with Jeffrey Goldberg.
Goldberg and Mead suspect that the anti-Semitism found in some quarters is not rational, and doesn’t lead to rational decisions.
‘The problem here is that the President, ironically enough, doesn’t seem to understand diversity. He thinks diversity is trivial: that people of different religious faiths, ethnic backgrounds and ideological convictions are not all that different in the way they look at the world.’
‘Essentially, Goldberg was asking the President whether his years in the White House have taught him that real diversity exists, and that it matters. He was asking whether the President understands that people from different cultures can sometimes operate on the basis of such radically different presuppositions that their mental world maps are fundamentally incompatible with the norms of reason as the President sees them. He was asking whether the President had considered whether Iranian leaders in particular reason so differently from standard cosmopolitan Washington liberal thinking that they may not, in fact, be approaching these negotiations from what the President, and most Americans, would recognize as a logical point of view’
The ‘rational actor’ model the President relies upon has distanced American interests from many allies, while getting America close enough to try and do business with various non-allies, adversaries, and traditional enemies. It has done so on the assumption that American threat and use of force is part of the problem. It has assumed that Vladimir Putin, the post-1979 mullah State in Iran, and the Castros in Cuba are rational enough to have a hand extended to them during this recent change in diplomacy.
This approach comes with the obvious risk that such a model may not be universally shared, but rather one among many concepts shared by a smaller subset of Westerners with a worldview of their own. It risks trusting that Vladimir Putin and the post-1979 mullah State (the Castros can probably really only hurt the Cubans under their control) will act under the presumption of a certain amount of good faith the ‘rational actor’ model requires. It presumes we can trust these guys enough to reach deals, even without the threat of force, and that we’re on the same ‘plane.’
Of course, it may be just as rational to guide policy based upon actual behavior, expecting such regimes to continue doing what they’ve been visibly doing. Both Moscow and Tehran have deep anti-American sentiment and have held loose alliance between themselves. They are busy maintaining, expanding and exploiting their spheres of influence by means that set themselves and their people against American policy, as well as Western and international laws and much else besides (claiming American policy, international laws and expectations are aggressions and constraints against their interests).
Informative piece which follows a Belgian jihadi from a Belgian Anjem Choudary wannabe organization to the Syrian desert.
***As to the title, I’m guessing you have to write titles like that at the New Yorker. For some people, understanding is to Terrorism what PTSD can be to War. If we just understand and explain terrorism, it might not go away, but it will get better. If we just have the experts explain why terrorists want to kill us, or why wars happen and how badly people can be affected by them, they might not go away, but it will all get better.
This can be an exercise in reinforcing a set of beliefs about the world rather than what’s going on in the world itself.
This can have political, social and institutional consequences that don’t necessarily make the world any better.
Meanwhile, Iranian backed Hezbollah is still active, of course:
‘Reports out of southern Lebanon tell us that the Iran-backed terrorist group Hezbollah continues to expand its network of tunnels along the border with Israel, preparing for another war. That’s not an accusation by Israeli sources, but a boast by Hezbollah, detailed in a series of recent articles in a Hezbollah-linked newspaper, As-Safir.’