Charles Johnson of little green footballs links to an article on the banning of Al-Manar (The Beacon), the satellite television station of Hezbollah. The United States government has officially designated Al-Manar a terrorist organization, and the broadcast of Al-Manar will not be allowed to be carried on American satellites. Any persons or companies collaborating with Al-Manar would be subject to American laws and sanctions.
The designation of Al-Manar as Foreign Terrorist Organization/Specially Designated Global Terrorist Entity was a long time coming, as the network has a history terrorist activities. Samples of Al-Manar’s “programming” include hatred towards America and Israel, the glorification of the suicide cult and the promotion of attacks against American soldiers.
According to one official in al-Manar’s Art Graphic Department, al-Manar’s music videos are meant to “help people on the way to committing what you call in the West a suicide mission. [They are] meant to be the first step in the process of a freedom fighter operation.”
The United States has been a primary target of al-Manar programming and is depicted as a global oppressor. In a speech broadcast on al-Manar, Hezbollah secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah stated, “Our enmity to the Great Satan is complete and unlimited. . . . Our echoing slogan will remain: Death to America!” One video features an altered image of the Statue of Liberty. The statue’s head has been transformed into a skull with hollow eyes, her gown dripping in blood. Instead of a torch, she holds a sharp knife. After asserting that the United States “has pried into the affairs of most countries in the world,” the video ends with the slogan, “America owes blood to all of humanity.”
Al-Manar often juxtaposes sacred Islamic text with images of “martyrdom” to incite its viewers to support and even carry out acts of terror. In one video, Qur’anic verses are sung in somber, quiet tones and scrolled across the screen while footage in the background shows U.S. and Israeli flags being burned, demonstrators waving a “Down with U.S.A.” sign, a suicide bomber recording his valediction, victims and rescue personnel scrambling in the aftermath of a suicide bombing, and similar images.
Indeed, al-Manar takes its case for suicide operations straight to the people. Viewers are told that “the path to becoming a priest in Islam is through jihad.” Potential bombers are implored to focus their attention on the afterlife and on judgment day “instead of getting preoccupied with our lives here on earth.” Mothers are encouraged to give up their sons for God, country, and the blessings of the afterlife, to prepare them “for battle knowing that their blood will mix with the soil.” In the eyes of Hezbollah, “this belief in judgment day is the most powerful weapon in the face of technology and advanced weaponry.” Such belief “drives fear into the heart of the Israeli soldier as he sits in his tank, while God guides [Hezbollah’s] bullets and rockets to their targets.”
Al-Manar also encourages Iraqi insurgents to attack U.S. troops as well. One video lambastes U.S. troops in Iraq with the following lyrics: “Down with the mother of terrorism! America threatens in vain, an occupying army of invaders. Nothing remains but rifles and suicide bombers.” The video ends with an image of a suicide bomber’s belt detonating.”
Al-Manar also broadcast Hassan Nasrallah’s threat against American soldiers in Iraq prior to the war, where he accepted credit for the death of American military personnel in the past and vowed to do so in the future.
“The people of the region will receive [America] with rifles, blood, arms, martyrdom and martyrdom operations,” Nasrallah said in a speech delivered a week before the war began. His remarks were broadcast on Al Manar, the group’s Beirut-based satellite television station.
“In the past, when the Marines were in Beirut, we screamed, ‘Death to America!’ ” Nasrallah said. “Today, when the region is being filled with hundreds of thousands of American soldiers, ‘Death to America!’ was, is and will stay our slogan.”
The messages broadcast by Al-Manar cannot be misunderstood as the run of the mill anti-American rhetoric. Hezbollah is a declared enemy of the United States, both in words and in deeds. The calls to murder Americans on Al-Manar are as clear as day. The actions of Hezbollah against American soldiers and citizens cannot be forgotten: the Marines barracks bombing in Beirut in 1983; the Khobar Towers bombing in Dhahran in 1996; and a host of other acts of terrorism against American citizens as well as Israel. Nasrallah has held true to his threat to interfere in Iraq, and Hezbollah is currently engaged against American forces there. Imad Mughniyah, the mastermind behind Hezbollah’s military arm, is on the FBI’s most wanted list and is thought to be operating inside Iraq. Hezbollah and al Qaeda have an operational relationship and provide mutual support for each other’s terror activities.
We ignored the words and actions of another Islamist terror organization for over a decade, much to our own peril. Hezbollah’s declaration of war and openly hostile actions against American forces cannot be ignored indefinitely, nor can the actions of Hezbollah’s sponsors, Syria and Iran.
Are you a dedicated reader of FDD's Long War Journal? Has our research benefitted you or your team over the years? Support our independent reporting and analysis today by considering a one-time or monthly donation. Thanks for reading! You can make a tax-deductible donation here.