Appeasing Hezbollah? Nonsense!

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

Ah, it appears my earlier skepticism on reports that the White House was adopting a more flexible Lebanon policy appears to be well-warranted. Condoleeza Rice is now saying that the U.S. has no plans to make nice with Hezbollah after all. What’s interesting, though, is that European leaders are now seeing fit to take a harder line against the Islamic militant group, though they’re not ready to call it a “terrorist group” just yet.

I was going to just leave this post at that, with maybe a link to this excellent Carnegie briefing on Lebanon (for those who need a concise refresher), but the EU about-face here is just asking for a bit of freewheeling speculation. So off we go. It’s entirely possible that Europe is trying to convince the Bush administration that it too can take a tough stance on various militant groups or recalcitrant regimes or what have you. In the case of Hezbollah, I don’t think a hard line is the way to go. On the other hand, though, one of the things that seems to be preventing the U.S. from getting more heavily involved in the ongoing EU negotiations on Iran’s nuclear weapons program—involvement that would really be quite helpful—is the fact that the Bush administration doesn’t think Europe will “get tough” on Iran if talks fall apart.

So we may be seeing some interesting convergence here. The White House earlier sidled over to the French multilateralist view on Syrian withdrawal, and the EU gives a little on U.S. views of Hezbollah. Hopefully the end result is sensible policy all around, but the process is important here too. Let’s hope it’s not illusory.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend