Thursday, February 12, 2009

Lebanon's Harriri faces reality of losing election to Hezbollah in June, CORRECTION AND CLARIFICATION ADDED

Formerly, only Christian majority Arab nation in the middle east - soon a Shiite terror base. Well, they are already a Shiite terror base, but officially the terrorists will have control over the military and police starting coming June.

Lebanon's Hariri would not join Hezbollah coalition
Lebanon's parliamentary majority leader said on Thursday his party would not join a unity government if the Hezbollah-led alliance wins June legislative elections, out of respect for democratic principles.

"We will not take part in the government if the March 8 (Hezbollah-led) alliance wins the elections because we are keen on the implementation of a democratic system," Saad Hariri told AFP.

In remarks published in the Saudi daily Asharq Al-Awsat, Hariri said he was not interested in forming a blocking minority in any Hezbollah-led government.

"If the March 14 alliance wins it means the Lebanese will have chosen the path of sovereignty and independence of the state," he is quoted as saying of his own political grouping.

"However, if March 8 wins everything will change. The country will have chosen another path, one of (armed) resistance (against Israel)," Hariri added.

He is the son of Rafiq Hariri, a former premier who was murdered in 2005. The assassination was widely blamed on then Lebanese power-broker Syria, which has denied any involvement.

Hezbollah is backed by Syria and Iran, while Saad Hariri's group is broadly supported by the West and Saudi Arabia.

Hezbollah has said it would seek to form a national unity government if its camp wins.

"We want to make it clear from now that we will want to establish a national unity government" with the Sunni-led coalition, Nawaf al Mussawi, a top Hezbollah official, told AFP in December.

"No one can lead Lebanon on his own and without consensus," he said.

Hezbollah has veto power over major decisions in the current unity government formed in July following a political crisis that brought Lebanon to the brink of civil war.

The crisis was defused following a Qatari-brokered deal in May that led to the election of army commander Michel Sleiman as president, formation of the unity government and a new electoral law.

However, LA times promotes advocacy towards US showing more support for Lebanese Military:
LEBANON: To fight Hezbollah, back the army, reports says (What report? A lobbyist report of course)
CORRECT 1: Please scroll down, for details - Yes I was too quick to write "lobbyist".
A new report by a Washington-based think tank recommends that the United States bolster Lebanon’s army to serve as a deterrent force against the country's sometimes aggressive neighbors, Israel and Syria, as well as undermine "non-state actors" in the country, namely Hezbollah.

The report, which was published recently by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank, criticized the policy of the U.S. toward the official armed forces in Lebanon as murky and counterproductive:


Next war at the door.

CSIS is a non profit think tank, but here are the details relevant to this particular report and their activities this year: (you be the judge of these details, I'm not inferring a thing except that the report itself is a problem IMHO)
1. Current CEO was deputy secretary of defense during Clinton years.
2. Chairmen of the board is a former Democrat Senator from Georgia and a current adviser to Obama.
3. "For Fiscal Year 2007, CSIS had an operating budget of US$ 29.101 million, 75% of which is funded from corporate, foundation and individual contributions. The remainder comes from endowments, publication sales and government contracts."
4. "CSIS was a sponsoring organization of the Iraq Study Group" (The - let's surrender and hand over Iraq to Iran group - I'm sure that didn't add prestige to that institute except in the far left political halls)"

The sources for CORRECTION 2 are at Wikipedia for all relevant individuals and groups.

So, was it "tripe" to call them a lobbyst group? Perhaps a quick misuse of the term. They are obviously biased towards a certain type of policy making. They have influence in the current administration, and the situation in Lebanon is too dangerous to simply assume assistance to the military would solve something, as the top quoted article in this post suggests.

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