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"There is nothing that we would do in any way that would undermine Lebanon's sovereignty..."

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IronWing

No Lifer
Jul 20, 2001
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BEIRUT (Reuters) ? Secretary of State Hillary Clinton vowed on Sunday that the United States would never sell out Lebanon in any deal with Syria and she urged the Lebanese to hold an "open and fair" election in June.

"There is nothing that we would do in any way that would undermine Lebanon's sovereignty," Clinton told reporters after talks with President Michel Suleiman in Beirut. "The United States will never make any deal with Syria that sells out Lebanon and the Lebanese people.
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Supply weapons to Israel to bomb the holy hell out of Lebanon? Sure. But will we sell Lebanon out to Syria? Never.

 

Jaskalas

Lifer
Jun 23, 2004
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Originally posted by: ironwing
Supply weapons to Israel to bomb the holy hell out of Lebanon? Sure. But will we sell Lebanon out to Syria? Never.
Don't start a war you don't want to fight. Cry more, sympathizer.

As for Hillary, I agree with what she's saying. Who wouldn't?
 

Lemon law

Lifer
Nov 6, 2005
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Sadly, ever since Lebanon self destructed in its own civil war, the USA has not done much to stabilize Lebanon. While Regan initially helped, it just took one big bombing of the Marine barracks to chase the USA away. Next lucky man was Israel whose neglect helped create Hezbollah while it was in Israel's interests to keep Lebanon as a basket case. Next lucky man was Syria, but when the PR against the assassination of Herri descended on Syria, the Syrian role in stabilizing Lebanon became instantly untenable even though more progress in stabilizing Lebanon was made by Syria when compared to Israel.

And when it was decided to try to let Lebanon make it on its own, Hezzbollah, with its Iranian ties decided to use Southern Lebanon as a base to peg rockets from. The following Israeli bombing of Lebanon mostly aided the popularity of Hezbollah, while restraining Hezbollah's will to use rockets.

So Lebanon today is left weak by design, as long as Syria does not gain influence, the US and Israel are happy, but it still leaves Lebanon a wild card joker floating mine, sooner or later something will blunder into it, and things will explode all over the mid-east.

Meanwhile, rather than reduce that danger, the strategy is to hope to kick that can as far down the road as possible.
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
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Originally posted by: Lemon law
Next lucky man was Israel whose neglect helped create Hezbollah while it was in Israel's interests to keep Lebanon as a basket case.
It is interesting when you look at the pattern of that strategy.

The British backed the 'Musim Brotherhood' and other fundamentalist groups when they wanted to create an enemy for the nationalists in those nations. They further backed them in the war made famous with 'Lawrence of Arabia'. Israel was involved in backing both Hezbollah - and of Hamas to create opposition to the PLO, who they have now come around to back in the form of Fatah against Hamas when Hamas got too powerful. The US famously provided enormous backing for Wahabi and other extremists in Afghanistan.

There's a long story of the short-term success in making 'deals with the devil' for often corrupt goals, and their frequently leading to long-term problems.

There's a telling quote from Brzenski about how helpful it was to have the Muslim extremists fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan - and how while it might create a problem later, who cares, since the pain to the Sovet Union would outweigh any problems from some ragtag Muslim extremists.
 

Lemon law

Lifer
Nov 6, 2005
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Gotta agree with Craig234, short term cynical goals almost always create much worse longer terms problems.
 

palehorse

Lifer
Dec 21, 2005
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Hindsight is always 20/20... seriously, what might have happened if the Soviets were able to establish a strong foothold in Central/Southern Asia in the 80's? No good could have come from that.

Our biggest mistake in Afghanistan was in leaving and ignoring it during the 90's, not our initial support of the muj in their fight against the Soviets.

Simply put, we should have stayed in bed with "the devil" instead of turning our backs on him.

But, then again, hindsight is what it is, and you'd be hard-pressed to look at the present and get 10 people to agree on who "the devil" is -- the same being true for any specific moment in history.
 

Lemon law

Lifer
Nov 6, 2005
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While I agree with palehorse, history may have been quite different if we had not abandoned Afghanistan as an un needed tool after the the nose of the Russian bear was properly tweaked.

But it somewhat brings up a military issue, in places like Vietnam, our military ended up being the tool that manipulated and ended up being the the entity that was the victim of political manipulation.

And as a result we got the Powell doctrine, and when the new Afghan and Iraqi wars started under GWB, its somewhat ironic that Colin Powell was one of its first victims. As Colin integrity was shamelessly used and then was spit out by GWB.

Alternately, Kennedy cooked up all kinds of cloak and dagger plots for the CIA to use against Castro, and in that case, the CIA had the integrity to basically just say no. Lots of other fairly high up US officials we could also cite, an Elliot Richardson who refused to fire Cox and even Ashcroft who refused to compromise justice department independence. Some may have been fired for their troubles, but even a few good apples can give pause to a whole barrel of rotten apples.
 

EagleKeeper

Discussion Club Moderator<br>Elite Member
Staff member
Oct 30, 2000
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Israel is not concerned about stability in Lebanon nor is it wanting to meddle in the Lebanon government.

They are concerned about safety along the border - attacks on Israel from with Lebanon - no matter who is on the other side of the fence. And it does not seem to be the Lebanon military.

Syria is concerned about Lebanon stability - they want it to be a stable puppet so Syria can use it for jabs and then disclaimer against Israel.
 

Lemon law

Lifer
Nov 6, 2005
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Originally posted by: Common Courtesy
Israel is not concerned about stability in Lebanon nor is it wanting to meddle in the Lebanon government.

They are concerned about safety along the border - attacks on Israel from with Lebanon - no matter who is on the other side of the fence. And it does not seem to be the Lebanon military.

Syria is concerned about Lebanon stability - they want it to be a stable puppet so Syria can use it for jabs and then disclaimer against Israel.
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I think Common Courtesy also has it pegged correctly for now.

The problems almost always comes later. France after the French Revolution in the late 18'th
century is somewhat a classic historical example. Such situations are always ripe for a charismatic strong man type to take over, and in the early 19'th century France went from a basket case to a point where they damn near took over all of Europe.

As it is, Lebanon's Hezbollah is the hero of the Arab world, as the only entity able to confront and blunt an Israeli armored assault. As it is, the Arab world is still looking for the next Nasser,
they have had a few wannabees in Kaddaffi and Saddam, I am not saying the next Nasser will come from Lebanon, but historically, a basket case Lebanon presents such an opportunity.
 

Atheus

Diamond Member
Jun 7, 2005
7,313
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Originally posted by: Lemon law
Sadly, ever since Lebanon self destructed in its own civil war, the USA has not done much to stabilize Lebanon. While Regan initially helped, it just took one big bombing of the Marine barracks to chase the USA away. Next lucky man was Israel whose neglect helped create Hezbollah while it was in Israel's interests to keep Lebanon as a basket case. Next lucky man was Syria, but when the PR against the assassination of Herri descended on Syria, the Syrian role in stabilizing Lebanon became instantly untenable even though more progress in stabilizing Lebanon was made by Syria when compared to Israel.

And when it was decided to try to let Lebanon make it on its own, Hezzbollah, with its Iranian ties decided to use Southern Lebanon as a base to peg rockets from. The following Israeli bombing of Lebanon mostly aided the popularity of Hezbollah, while restraining Hezbollah's will to use rockets.

So Lebanon today is left weak by design, as long as Syria does not gain influence, the US and Israel are happy, but it still leaves Lebanon a wild card joker floating mine, sooner or later something will blunder into it, and things will explode all over the mid-east.

Meanwhile, rather than reduce that danger, the strategy is to hope to kick that can as far down the road as possible.
I've known a few Lebanese people, including one who fled to Britain after the recent Israeli attack, and they seem on the whole to be extremely well educated, very modern, highly westernised, cool people. They all speak English too. It doesn't strike me as the kind of place that needs actively stabilizing by international intervention. I've got the feeling that if simply left alone for a decade the militant Islamists would be driven out by public ridicule and sheer force of common sense.

 

Lemon law

Lifer
Nov 6, 2005
20,984
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The Athe4us point of "I've known a few Lebanese people, including one who fled to Britain after the recent Israeli attack, and they seem on the whole to be extremely well educated, very modern, highly westernised, cool people. They all speak English too. It doesn't strike me as the kind of place that needs actively stabilizing by international intervention. I've got the feeling that if simply left alone for a decade the militant Islamists would be driven out by public ridicule and sheer force of common sense."

But same might be said of the German people pre-WW2. And that it was inconceivable that someone like Hitler could take over a Country like Germany.

And for that matter, Hiltler was Austrian not German by birth. And in the same way, most of the Arab mid-east is hardly leadership stable. Murbarick of Egypt is getting very old, the Saudi monarchy is hardly stable and most of its youth are unemployed, Iraq is still a basket case as is Lebanon, Iran is a wild card in being Persian and not Arab, and while its still the old order now, its also in the midst of a crisis of the old order. And we also have to remember how fast the Shah of Iran fell.

And regarding Athrieus's reasonable Lebanese, they are still the same folks that collapsed their country when it went into civil war because of factional differences.


 
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