In researching AIPAC, I remember running across an extensive account of how the organization used public relations methods that include letter-writing, placement of articles in media, and speeches in order to influence public opinion. This came to mind today when I noticed that my Google News (tailored to Western New York) had a headline reading “Hezbollah’s terrorism a threat to upstate NY” in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. Now this idea is so far out, meaning it is so nonsensical and exaggerated, that I clicked on through to inspect the contents. They are here. The article in this newspaper is written by Benjamin Weinthal who is from a suburb of Rochester named Brighton. Lo and behold, he’s a “Research Fellow” of the neocon outfit I’ve mentioned before, namely, Foundation for Defense of Democracies. It’s one of those William Kristol outfits that purports to deliver research and evidence, but instead specializes in scare tactics wrapped in a mantle of pseudo-objectivity.
Accurately evaluating Hezbollah and its activities in this hemisphere takes a lot more than this newspaper piece of Weinthal. The strongest allegation of a Hezbollah presence has been an accusation made by the House Homeland Security Committee Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations and Management. It claimed that Hezbollah was allied to the Mexican drug cartels, and it claimed a threat in the Southwest. However, high Mexican officials categorically denied that Hezbollah had drug cartel connections.
I posit that local police forces are a greater threat to the safety of Americans than Hezbollah is. Here is a recent example from Rochester. Rochester has a long history of problems with the police department (see here). Google on any major American city with the words “police brutality” to turn up many examples. Furthermore, it is very easy to find cases of police using drugs, stealing drugs, shaking down drug dealers, and selling drugs. The CATO people track police misconduct daily. See here.
If neoconservatives or Congressmen influenced by them were serious about the safety of Americans, they would long ago have ended the War on Drugs, undertaken serious negotiations with Iran, and stopped butting in to every Muslim country and every dispute among Muslims they can find. Had they been genuinely concerned with Americans, they would never have started a War on Terror, amplified drone warfare, attacked several countries and aided various armed and sometimes terror groups in Libya and Syria. And, last but not least, they would not be raising obstacles to gun ownership and gun carry.
12:35 pm on January 25, 2013 Email Michael S. Rozeff