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As the extraordinary Andy McCarthy points out on The Corner, White House terror “expert” John Brennan–and his boss, President Obama– seem to think that we should be cultivating the “moderate” elements in Hezbollah.

The Obama administration is looking for ways to build up “moderate elements” within the Lebanese Hezbollah guerrilla movement and to diminish the influence of hard-liners, a top White House official said on Tuesday.

Brennan is a long-time CIA officer who was briefly in the running for director of national intelligence, but got blown up by allegations he supported the Bush Administration’s interrogation policies.  He landed vertically in the national security council staff.  Like most CIA “experts” he doesn’t know much about Hezbollah:

Hezbollah is a very interesting organization,” Brennan told a Washington conference, citing its evolution from “purely a terrorist organization” to a militia to an organization that now has members within the parliament and the cabinet.

But Hezbollah was never “purely a terrorist organization.”  From day minus-one it was designed to create a radical Shi’ite community that would eventually rule Lebanon, and that model has been replicated all over the world, most recently in South America and East Africa.  You might want to remember that, as Hezbollah (that is, Iran) extends the range of its murderous activities.

Twenty-five years ago, when I was a purported expert on terrorism, Hezbollah was of considerable interest to our intelligence community, and there was a vigorous debate between those who believed it was a Lebanese phenomenon–the product of local conditions–and those who thought it was a Syrian creation.  I posed this question to the infamous Manucher Ghorbanifar–who has been portrayed as a totally unreliable source by CIA–and he just laughed.  “Why are you laughing?” say I.  “Because Hezbollah is a creation of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” says he.  “It’s run out of the prime minister’s office.”

Back in Washington nobody believed it.  But he was right.  However, our guys are still looking for ways to deny it, or to find ways to wiggle out of its consequences.  Obama is always keen to find admirable qualities among the practitioners of the Religion of Peace, and brother Brennan is singing from the official White House hymnal when he talks about those kinder and gentler Hezbos.

He’s even mastered the ungrammatical rhetoric:

There is certainly the elements of Hezbollah that are truly a concern to us what they’re doing. And what we need to do is to find ways to diminish their influence within the organization and to try to build up the more moderate elements.

Maybe Obama should put them under the health care umbrealla.

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