by Patrick Appel

Andrew Exum reads Hizballah's new manifesto and the National Intelligence Council's Global Trends 2025 report one after the other:

If you look at Hizballah's flag, you'll note it says "The Islamic Resistance in Lebanon" at the bottom. Once upon a time, though, it read "The Islamic Revolution in Lebanon". I think they changed this because it made everyone so nervous. Well, everyone can sleep easy, because there is nothing revolutionary about this militia-cum-political party anymore. Hizballah is just as much a part of the calcified political landscape of the Middle East as Hosni Mubarak. This cliché-spewing manifesto -- "American terrorism is the origin of all terrorism in the world", says the organization that popularized suicide bombings -- only serves to confirm that. Maybe this manifesto was intended to appeal to Western leftists -- until, presumably, those leftists remember Hizballah is a religious fundamentalist organization. But the effect is to make Hizballah seem stuck in 2003, unable to either confront the hard internal challenges facing the Middle East as a region and still reliant on a U.S. bogeyman to justify all its actions and rhetoric.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.