What Does Hezbollah Want?

Jeffrey Goldberg says Hezbollah "is simultaneously doing effective work undermining its apologists in the West. We've heard the arguments over and over again: Hezbollah is social service agency; Hezbollah wants to join the Lebanese political process; Hezbollah is not in fact dominated by murderous Jew-haters. And so on."

I find the idea that people who disagree with Goldberg's take on Hezbollah are, as such, apologists for the group is pretty offensive. Given that the policies that folks like me have been opposing have turned out to massively empower Hezbollah, I think you might as well say that the folks on the other side in the West are the "apologists" -- they're the ones who keep making Hezbollah more and more powerful.

Meanwhile, on the substantive point I would say that those of us who characterize Hezbollah as primarily a Lebanon-focused political movement that's primarily interested in gaining power inside Lebanon (rather than one primarily motivated by anti-semitic or anti-Israel sentiments) have been vindicated by this turn of events. Hezbollah's not fighting killing right now, and it's not fighting to destroy Israel -- they're fighting Lebanese people to try to secure more power in Lebanon.