August 17, 2006, - 5:48 am
By Debbie Schlussel
Countless billions in your tax money are about to go to Hezbollah–and may already be in the terrorist group’s coffers.
If you liked aid to Katrina victims, you’ll LOVE U.S. aid to Hezbollah, er . . . “Lebanon.” Millions in misspending? Get ready for billions. And it won’t be misspent on tattoos, condoms, and porn.
This time, Uncle Sam will pay for something far worse. Terrorism.
Should America reward Hezbollah for starting the war against Israel that just “ended” in a shaky, empty ceasefire? Should American tax dollars go to pay for destruction that was caused by Hezbollah’s refusal to turn over two kidnapped Israeli soldiers?
Your answer to those questions is really an answer to this one: Do you want U.S. tax dollars to fund Hezbollah–the terrorist group that murdered over 300 U.S. Marines and civilians and continues to train insurgent terrorists in Iraq to kill more?
If your answer to that question is no–and it should be–then America should not send a dime of aid to Lebanon.
In 2000, after Israel left Lebanon the first time, Republican U.S. Congressman Joe Knollenberg of Michigan–and his then-Chief of Staff Paul Welday–sought at least $268 million in USAID money for Lebanon “to rebuild infrastructure in the South,” the Hezbollah-controlled area. Even though Knollenberg had no Arab constituents–and certainly none from Lebanon–he sought the money at the request of pro-Hezbollah Arab American Institute chief James Zogby, an open extremist. And at the request of then-Michigan U.S. Senator, American Lebanese Spencer Abraham, who sponsored the same bill in the U.S. Senate.
They obtained about $86 million in U.S. tax money. And–surprise, surprise–it went straight to Hezbollah. The money, meant to rebuild hospitals and orphanages, probably went to weaponry and propaganda to put people in hospitals and orphanages.
I say “probably,” because the money has never been traced, never been accounted for, never been proven to have gone to any single rebuilding project. No-one knows where it went. But one thing is certain, the money went straight to the Hezbollah bank account.
Even if the money went into rebuilding–and that’s highly doubtful (unless you’re interested in buying some land from me under the Litani Bridge)–it’s a sure bet it gave Hezbollah extra money to acquire weaponry and train kids in hate and terrorism. As we all know, money is a fungible good, extra money meant for one thing–like re-building infrastructure–always allows a party to spend money normally meant for that expense on something else.
In Hezbollah’s case, that something else includes Hezbollah textbooks in Hezbollah-run schools. That means textbooks that teach young kids that Jews, Christians, and Americans are subhuman and to be killed. That something else includes Al-Manar TV, Hezbollah’s propaganda network 100 times worse than Al-Jazeera. That something else also includes weapons, missiles, and combat training for terrorists.
Then, it was Knollenberg and Abraham pushing for aid to Hezbollah, er . . . “Lebanon.” This time, it is Republican Congressman Darrell Issa a/k/a “Jihad Darrell”–an open supporter of Hezbollah, friend of the Syrian Ba’ath party and the Assads, and former dining partner of Yasser Arafat–pimping for the terrorist group. If he’s for it, we should all be against it. Unless you agree with his statements that Hezbollah is “legitimate resistance,” “farmers,” and does “good things.” We cannot afford to fund terrorism as Jihad Darrell’s political star turn.
USAID–the U.S. Agency for International Development–gives out billions in U.S. taxpayer money, most of which has very little if any accountability or strings attached. And there is virtually no scrutiny over the funds, once they are given out.
At least with Katrina aid, we know where a lot of the misspending went. We will not never know the details on where the USAID money to “Lebanon” will go. USAID has very little–if any–oversight.
On July 9, 2001–just two months before 9/11–the USAID Bulletin noted that in the first half of Fiscal Year 2001 alone, the U.S. gave $118 million in aid to the Taliban-run Afghanistan. Guess where that money went? We don’t know the answer because it cannot be accounted for. And it certainly didn’t stop 9/11 from happening or Afghanistan’s Islamist government from harboring the man who planned the murder of at least 2,800 Americans on a single day.
The money was hardly a prophylactic against extremism. Instead, it subsidized extremism.Why was the money given? Like aid to Lebanon, it was a very expensive PR move paid for by American taxpayers. A PR move that failed like this one will.
And then there is USAID Ambassador/Administrator Randall L. Tobias, a Bush appointee. Ironically, USAID is part of the OPIC, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, which Tobias heads. But there is nothing “private” about the Enron-style investment American taxpayers are involuntarily making with billions now pouring into Lebanon.
On Tuesday, he was interviewed by FOX News’ Shepard Smith–the only TV journalist asking any tough questions. Smith reported that all Red Cross and other aid in South Lebanon and other Hezbollah-controlled areas goes straight to Hezbollah. Hezbollah administers it, without any interference–or oversight–from outsiders. That will not change anytime soon.
Smith asked Tobias if he will work directly with Hezbollah to administer the gazillions in U.S. aid now going to “Lebanon.” Tobias repeatedly danced around the question and wouldn’t answer. That means the answer is a big “Y-E-S.”
Guh-reat! The U.S. openly nodding and winking at giving billions of our money to those who tortured and murdered hundreds of Americans and are helping Al-Qaeda continue to do so in Iraq. Brilliant.
Tobias, when he did answer, said something just as frightening. He told Smith that he will work with “NGOs”–Non-Governmental Organizations–to distribute the billions in aid. If lack of oversight of USAID money is a hemorrhaging gash, oversight of NGOs is a mammoth black hole.
But in the U.S., the two biggest U.S.-based NGOs operating in the Islamic world are Islamic “charities” under investigation by several federal agencies for money-laundering to terrorists.
One–Life for Relief and Development (LRD)–openly admitted on its tax forms to giving millions from 1995-1997 to HAMAS’ Jordanian operations. In 2004, at a Los Angeles fundraiser, a speaker more than hinted that money would go to train individuals for more operations “like Fallujah” (where U.S. contractors were burnt to a crisp). Its Iraq offices were raided by U.S. troops, perhaps because it was founded by men connected with Al-Qaeda.
LRD got its USAID status when “former” Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terrorist and FBI award revokee Imad Hamad lobbied Senator Carl Levin (D-MI). LRD’s General Counsel is the President and attorney for Hamad’s Midwest Regional American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. All of these parties are openly pro-Hezbollah. LRD’s spokesman, Mohammed Alomari, is the proud author of an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory book and articles decrying Jews in the Bush Administration.
Then, there is Islamic Relief. It is a front for the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist group, from which Al-Qaeda’s #2 Ayman Al-Zawahiri, Yasser Arafat, and HAMAS all emanated. A 2004 Islamic Relief fundraiser I attended in Dearborn was hosted by a former employee of a HAMAS charity, and the entertainment was young kids simulating beheadings of other kids wearing the American, Israeli, and British flags–set to Arabic music about jihad and martyrdom. This was right after the Nick Berg was beheaded on video. Israel says the group funds HAMAS, and its Gaza chief stored Nazi images on his computer.
These are the groups to which U.S. aid to “Lebanon” will go. It isn’t going to Lebanon. It’s going–if not straight into Hezbollah’s hands–right to groups that support and fund Islamic terror and openly cheer Hezbollah.
If American taxpayers are going to donate billions to Hezbollah, we might as well wave the white flag in the War on Terror.
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