June 18, 2010, - 1:56 pm
New Lebanon Industry: Jihadi Tourism; How Much US Aid $ Went to Hezbollah’s Anti-Israel “War Museum”?
Lebanon has a thriving new industry, “Jihadi Tourism,” focusing primarily on Hezbollah’s new anti-Israel “War Museum.” The concept is reminiscent of Nazi museums mocking Jews and celebrating their destruction at the time the Third Reich was in power. More disturbing is that the museum solidifies Hezbollah’s hold over Lebanon, as the country is making a mint from the “tourists” from other countries who make the hajj to visit this new Jew-hating mecca. The question is, how much of the museum was financed by U.S. taxpayers? Likely, a good chunk of it.
Jihadi Tourism in Style:
Rich Muslim Women w/ Coach Bags @ Hezbollah’s Anti-Israel Museum
As I told you in 2006, Hezbollah received hundreds of thousands of dollars in USAID money and other U.S. taxpayer funds, which went straight to the terrorist group to “distribute and rebuild infrastructure.” As I also told you, in 2000, when he was a U.S. Senator, Fred Thompson’s campaign manager, Spencer Abraham and current Michigan Republican candidate for Congress, Paul Welday, got a whopping $86 million in USAID money for Hezbollah “to rebuild infrastructure in South Lebanon.” Neither of these huge sets of U.S. money giveaways were ever tracked.
And, while it’s quite likely that a good chunk of the money went to Hezbollah weapons build-ups and terrorist training, even if it did not it strengthened the terrorist group’s hold over Lebanon, as those who wanted aid got it only through Hezbollah. Also, as we know, money is a fungible good. What little of the U.S. tax money actually went to food and other legit aid gave Hezbollah more money to spend on its anti-Semitic museum.
Hezbollah has opened its first permanent museum atop a wooded hill here that was strategic territory in a 2006 war with Israel, the latest step in the group’s evolution from a band of militants to an established political force in Lebanon.
Puh-leeze. There has been no “evolution.” It’s still the same terrorist group, but thanks to President Bush’s push for more “democratic elections” in Lebanon and his, Obama’s, and the rest of the West’s support for Saad Hariri to lead the country, Hezbollah now has growing, unyielding power.
Hezbollah worked out a deal that paved the way for peaceful elections last year.
Those elections cemented the arrival of the group—still designated a terrorist group by the U.S.—in Lebanon’s political establishment. It now has 13 seats in parliament and fields two cabinet ministers in the coalition government led by Prime Minister Saad Hariri. On June 8, Mr. Hariri met for the first time in two years with Hassan Nasrallah, the elusive leader of Hezbollah.
And then there’s the Nazi-esque museum:
Now, in addition to significant political leverage, Hezbollah also has a sprawling 15-acre, $4 million tourism complex. Hezbollah opened the park in late May, marking the 10th anniversary of Israel’s withdrawal from southern Lebanon.
A walking trek called “the Path” is the centerpiece, winding along a what was once Hezbollah’s front line against Israel during the occupation. It is peppered with artillery shells of various sizes, along with mockups with mannequin Hezbollah fighters crouched, glaring out through the brush, or receiving medical treatment.
From inside a 600-foot-long tunnel, visitors can peer through glass at some of Hezbollah’s former underground hideouts. The fortifications were closely guarded secrets until recently, and key to some of Hezbollah’s recent operations, including its fight with Israel in a brief 2006 war along the southern border.
To manage the new museum and other planned sites, Hezbollah is creating its own museum department, adding to its other divisions, which include radio and TV stations.
“It shows that the resistance is more stable,” said Muhammad Kawtharani, director of Hezbollah’s arts foundation and a spokesman for the Mlita museum project.
This is just like Gitmo’s “arts and crafts” for Al-Qaeda terrorists. No different.
Hezbollah has had some time to refine its skills in memorialization. Not long had the dust settled on its 2006 conflict with Israel than it opened a temporary exhibition in honor of the group’s “victory” in Dahiya, its south Beirut power base. There the presentation was rough and the propaganda raw.
“Rough” and “raw”? That’s a nice way of saying what I know from my Lebanese intelligence sources, which is that there were photos of desecrated, tortured Israeli soldiers’ bodies and the like. That’s what they enjoy looking at.
At Mlita, slick informational plaques dot the way, explaining, in Arabic and English, the significance of certain places and pieces of equipment. Water coolers provide refreshment.
Here’s where we chopped up and tortured the Israeli soldiers, including cutting off their penises and stuffing them into their mouths (yes, Hezbollah did that). Now, enjoy your refreshing halal lemonade.
Visitors from all sects have come to the museum, but predominant among them have been Shiite supporters of Hezbollah from southern Lebanon.
“The resistance developed and grew to challenge the most powerful army, the Israeli army, which was once described as an unbeatable myth,” said Yassir Abboud, a 53-year-old Shiite, visiting from the southern town of Marjayoun. “This is not a museum. This is a place built with blood and sand.”
Yes, Mr. Abboud tells us the truth about Hezbollah’s unquenchable thirst for blood. Hey, at least, he’s honest.
So, how much U.S. tax money went to this? We’ll never know for sure. But the millions we gave the group allowed it to spend other funds for this monument to one of Islam’s latest attempts at a Final Solution.
Tags: Anti-Israel Museum, Hezbollah, Hezbollah Museum, Israel, Jihadi Tourism, Lebanon, Mlita, US Tax Money, USAID, War Museum