Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Ahmadinejad, like Obama, offering military aid to Lebanon [aka Hezbollah]

President Obama is not alone in his quest to bolster the military might of the Lebanese army. According to Arab news sources, who quoted Iranian officials, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is planning to offer military equipment and supplies to the Lebanese Army during his [planned] visit to Lebanon next week.

In February, a Lebanese daily reported that the U.S. offered to provide Lebanon with attack aircraft, including Hawker-Beechcraft AT-6 or Embraer Super Tucano planes. Soon after, Russian authorities followed suit and agreed to supply 10 Mi-24 advanced military helicopters to Lebanon.

In August, lawmakers in Congress announced that they had frozen 100 million dollars in military assistance to Lebanon over concerns the weapons could be used by Hezbollah. However, in September, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, Michele Flournoy, was quoted as saying that "we are working closely with members of the US Congress to resolve the concerns they have over this assistance."

Forbes Magazine describes Mr. Flournoy as "a key shaper of strategic thinking within President Barack Obama's administration," and suggests that Flournoy might be on the short list to succeed Defense Secretary Robert Gates upon his planned retirement in 2011.

Nevertheless, the Iranian President's decision to equip the Lebanese army with military supplies would seem to suggest that Mr. Ahmadinejad shares Michele Flournoy's view that the prospect of Iranian and U.S. military aid being diverted to Hezbollah is highly unlikely and that such trivial matters should be of little concern to the Iranian regime and the Obama administration.

It is also worth noting what Barack Obama's chief adviser on counter-terrorism, John Brennan, said during a press conference at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington on August 6, 2009:
"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... And so, quite frankly, I’m pleased to see that a lot of Hezbollah individuals are in fact renouncing that type of terrorism and violence and are trying to participate in the political process [in Lebanon] in a very legitimate fashion. "
Hence, even if U.S. made weapons eventually become part of Hezbollah's arsenal, these weapons - and military aid - would likely fall into the hands of the lawyers, doctors and parliamentarians, rather than the terrorists - if there remain any terrorists still residing among the ranks of Hezbollah - which is highly unlikely.

What's more, upon receiving these weapons, Hezbollah will undoubtedly begin to look more favorably upon the Obama administration, which, in turn, will strengthen the hands of the doctors, lawyers and parliamentarians, and weaken the hands of the terrorists, if there remain any terrorists still residing among the ranks of Hezbollah - which, as I stated, is highly unlikely.

Additionally, with U.S military aid now in the hands of Hezbollah, there'll be less hopelessness and despair in the hearts of these downtrodden men, consequently, these former terrorists will morph into the good Samaritans that Obama and Brennan had envisioned.

All of this, of course, bodes well for the U.S.; just ask Michele Flournoy.

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