Mark Malloch Brown is the Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations. On Tuesday, the Financial Times published an interview of Brown, which you can access here (subscription only). The interview has drawn attention mostly because of Brown’s reluctance to acknowledge that Hezbollah is a terrorist organization:
It’s not helpful to couch this war in the language of international terrorism. Hizbollah employs terrorist tactics, it is an organisation however whose roots historically are completely separate and different from Al Qaeda.
Which is, of course, a non sequitur. But I thought this was the most striking moment in the interview:
Everybody would want a solution here which takes away the recruiting power of Hizbollah in the broader Arab world. That is one which addresses the territorial issue of the Sheba farms, which in a broader way addresses Lebanon’s sovereignty and integrity in a way that allows Hizbollah a political as against a militia future inside an independent Lebanon. If those issues can be addressed, then the support for a militarised Hizbollah falls away.
This is utterly delusional. The idea that Hezbollah’s maniacal attempt to exterminate the Jews somehow turns on Sheba Farms, a tiny slice of land adjoining the Golan Heights, which the U.N. says belongs to Syria, not Lebanon, is absurd on its face. And Brown’s reference to Lebanon’s “sovereignty and integrity,” in the present context, is mystifying, since Israel departed Lebanon six years ago, and the only threat to Lebanon’s sovereignty and integrity since that time has come from Hezbollah’s patron, Syria, and from Hezbollah itself. But Brown, like most diplomats, is unable to understand or acknowledge that Islamic terrorists are simply evil. He desperately wants the present conflict to be about land. If we can only give Hezbollah some land–any land!–somehow, sanity will be restored. Suffice it to say that this is an approach that has been tried, and found wanting.
What is the book in which people in sleighs, traveling across the Russian steppes, are beset by wolves, and begin to toss children overboard, one by one, in the hope that the wolves will be satiated or distracted? That is the image that comes to mind. Toss the terrorists a bit of land–ultimately, of course, Israel–and maybe they will be satisfied and leave the rest of us alone. It is an unedifying spectacle.
Via Eye on the U.N.