Friday, November 24, 2006

20-year-old documents

On Wednesday, Andy "Not the guy from Mannequin" McCarthy waved his hands and shouted "Hezbollah! Boogety boogety boogety!"
Hezbollah is not a party, and its designs are not national (in the sense of "limited to Lebanon"). Who says so? Hezbollah says so. As I mentioned in this piece a few months back, here's what its 1985 manifesto says in this regard (italics mine):
We are often asked: Who are we, the Hizballah, and what is our identity? We are the sons of the umma (Muslim community) — the party of God (Hizb Allah) the vanguard of which was made victorious by God in Iran. There the vanguard succeeded to lay down the bases of a Muslim state which plays a central role in the world. We obey the orders of one leader, wise and just, that of our tutor and faqih (jurist) who fulfills all the necessary conditions: [Ayatollah] Ruhollah Musawi Khomeini. God save him! By virtue of the above, we do not constitute an organized and closed party in Lebanon. Nor are we a tight political cadre. We are an umma linked to the Muslims of the whole world by the solid doctrinal and religious connection of Islam, whose message God wanted to be fulfilled by the Seal of the Prophets, i.e., Muhammad. This is why whatever touches or strikes the Muslims in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Philippines and elsewhere reverberates throughout the whole Muslim umma of which we are an integral part.
This is the forward militia of Iran's jihadist war for regional and, ultimately, global hegemony.
Well, that certainly seems scary. Then again, the Hezbollah statement was written over 20 years ago, when Hezbollah was a militia. Today, it holds several democratically-elected positions in Lebanon, something all but unthinkable in 1985.

While Hezbollah still needs to change its ways before it can be fully accepted as a truly legitimate organization, it's obvious changes are occurring. Changes happen in 20 years, people, and, to prove it, here's some stuff a different party wrote 20 years ago which doesn't really seem to apply anymore.
The Republican Party believes the federal budget must be balanced. We are committed to eliminating deficits and the excessive spending that causes them...

President Reagan's Middle East policy has been flexible enough to adapt to rapidly changing circumstances, yet consistent and credible so that all nations recognize our determination to protect our vital interests. The President's skillful crisis management throughout the Iran-Iraq war has kept that conflict from damaging our vital interests... (Cornerite and columnist Victor Davis Hanson: " Even Ronald Reagan’s saber-rattling “You can run but not hide” did not preclude trading arms to the Iranian terrorists or abruptly abandoning Lebanon after the horrific Hezbollah attack.")

The role of the federal government should be limited...

Our men and women in uniform deserve the best and most reliable weapons that this country can offer. We must improve the reliability and performance of our weapons systems...

America is free because of its veterans. We owe them more than thanks...Veterans have earned their benefits; these must not be taken away. The help we give them is an investment which pays our nation unlimited dividends...
Of course, none of this should be read as a reason to support Hezbollah. Instead, think of this a as reminder that parties--especially extremely conservative ones--change their focus over time.


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