While concern has mounted that former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel’s nomination to be secretary of defense should be blocked because of past expressed hostility for Israel, little attention has been given to CIA-nominee John Brennan’s view of Islam.
In a speech delivered Aug. 9, 2009, to the Center for Strategic and International Studies that is archived on the White House website, Brennan said using “a legitimate term, ‘jihad’ – meaning to purify oneself or to wage a holy struggle for a moral goal” – to describe terrorists “risks reinforcing the idea that the United States is somehow at war with Islam itself.”
As WND reported, Brennan advised in the speech that U.S. foreign policy should encourage greater assimilation of the Hezbollah terrorist organization into the Lebanese government.
In a July 2008 article in The Annals, a publication of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences, Brennan argued it “would not be foolhardy, however, for the United States to tolerate, and even to encourage, greater assimilation of Hezbollah into Lebanon’s political system, a process that is subject to Iranian influence.”
Brennan argued Hezbollah “is already represented in the Lebanese parliament, and its members have previously served in the Lebanese cabinet, reflections of Hezbollah’s interest in shaping Lebanon’s political future from within government institutions.”
“This involvement is a far cry from Hezbollah’s genesis as solely a terrorist organization dedicated to murder, kidnapping and violence,” he said.
At the August 2009 press conference for the CSIS, Brennan declared: “Hezbollah started out as purely a terrorist organization back in the early ‘80s and has evolved significantly over time. And now it has members of parliament, in the cabinet; there are lawyers, doctors, others who are part of the Hezbollah organization.”
Middle Eastern terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah frequently maintain civilian units of doctors and lawyers to emphasize their outreach with local politicians and to increase their political acceptance in the international arena.
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