Rachel Ehrenfeld argues the case in the Washington Times. We should avoid the excuses and evasions regarding its so—called "political status" and judge it solely by its actions and not its propaganda.
Drug trafficking is a major money maker for Hezbollah, endorsed by a special fatwa by the mullahs. In addition to the production and trade of heroin in the Middle East and cocaine in and from South America, Hezbollah facilitates, for a fee, the trafficking of other drug smuggling networks. It cooperates, for example, with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the National Liberation Army (ELN) in Colombia and the "Abadan drug ring," a long—established Iranian drug network, allowing them to use the Hezbollah—controlled drug routes in Lebanon to transport heroin and opium from Iran and Afghanistan to Europe and North Africa.
Hezbollah's other illegal resources include: money laundering, illegal arms trading and smuggling; counterfeiting and selling currency (U.S. dollar — super notes) and goods (designer clothing and accessories); piracy of compact discs and DVDs; trafficking in humans; conducting elaborate import—export schemes with traders from India and Hong Kong to Ivory Coast, Belgium, and South and Central America. Hezbollah also extorts "donations" from Shi'ite, especially Lebanese immigrants in South and North America under the threat of physical harm or death.
Hezbollah operatives also generate huge profits from the theft and resale of stolen vehicles and baby formula; credit card, welfare, Social Security, and marriage, health care and insurance fraud; forgery of passports, drivers' licenses, and other forms of identification; arson; robbery; food coupon fraud; counterfeiting resident alien cards and drivers' licenses; telecommunications fraud, such as selling long—distance telephone access through fraudulently obtained services, and through cloning the identification of cellular phone subscribers.
The magnitude of Hezbollah's criminal operations serves not only to reap huge profits — estimated at $6 billion in 2001 — thus enabling it to buy its way to the Lebanese parliament and government, but also facilitates Hezbollah's infiltration into their targeted countries, weakening the countries' economies while furthering their terrorist agenda.
Ed Lasky 8 11 06 8:06 AM PDT