Your Mandarin received this email today at work from the security firm Chameleon Associates:
Hezbollah is now promoting itself via “Jihadi tours” of their facilities in southern Lebanon. For about US$25, you can spend the day and see life size replicas of Hezbollah guerillas in battle simulation, view antitank missile batteries and hear the recorded voice of Hassan Nasrallah talking about the “success of the Islamic resistance” first created in 1982. More than 400 students from the Lebanese American University attended an inaugural tour in May. The militants showed their wide eyed guests how to fire rockets and anti-aircraft missiles. “It’s surreal,” said a French student who took part in the tour. “It’s like Disneyland. I never expected to see such things.” Surreal indeed. What’s next, Osama Bin Laden Summer Camp for Teens? Oh wait, Al Qaeda is already running camps …
Aptly dubbed the ‘A-Team of Terrorism’ by former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, Hezbollah, prior to 9/11, was responsible for more American deaths than any other terrorist group. The mission of Hezbollah aka the Party of Allah is Jihad by whatever means necessary. Have we forgotten the suicide bombing attacks on the U.S. Embassy and the Marine Barracks in Beirut, the hijacking of TWA 847, the bombing of the Khobar Tower in Saudi Arabia?
While Al Qaeda has since moved to the foreground, Hezbollah remains larger, better equipped and well organized through the support of two chief state sponsors of terrorism namely Iran and Syria. Hezbollah depends on a wide variety of lucrative criminal enterprises, ranging from smuggling to fraud to drug and conflict diamond trade to raise additional money to support its activities. Its cells operate across the globe in Europe, Africa, South and North America.
The Jihadi Tours are part of a continuing Hezbollah public relations campaign to try and add elements of legitimacy to their terrorist operations. And while Israel remains their top rhetorical infidel, Hezbollah’s close term objective is the complete political control of Lebanon and their midterm goal is to establish a strategic entrance for overly sanctioned Iran into the Mediterranean and Europe.
Yep, just like Disneyland, although I find it highly unlikely that Mickey and Goofy would launch a mortar attack on neighboring Knott’s Berry Farm, or that you would find Donald Duck cutting off the head of an infidel. But the deeper truth here is that the progressive left doesn’t see Hezbollah as an evil entity, rather they see them as a curiosity. And like many curiosities, people are drawn to them because of their odd nature or stance against the “status quo.” Supporting a group like this allows our leftist friends to live vicariously and rebel against society without suffering the consequences of their actions. It is far easier to be a fan than to actually play the game and possibly fail or get hurt.
The Mandarin, whose real name is 吏恆, joined the order in 1309, and introduced the Gormogons into England during the 18th Century.
The Mandarin enjoys spending time with his pet manticore, Βάρἰκος, or Barry (who can be found in the Bestiary). When not in the Castle…well, frankly, nobody is quite sure where he goes.
The Mandarin popularized the fine art of “gut booting,” by which he delivers a powerful kick to the stomach of anyone that annoys him. Although nearly universal today, the act of gut booting or threatening someone or something with a gut boot is solely due to him.