Thursday, October 21, 2010

Lebanon is Crumbling, Obama is Bumbling

It wasn't too long ago when Syria's influence in Lebanon appeared to be on the wane. In 2005, the Syrian army, at long last, packed up its bags and exited Lebanon, as a result of George W. Bush's bold and visionary foreign policy initatives.

As one commentator described the dramatic turn of events:
The United States was at war in Iraq, and Washington had accused Damascus of opening up its eastern border to the jihadis that were flooding into Iraq to fight and kill US troops. There are few things the U.S. government takes more seriously than another country facilitating the transportation of their enemies to battle American soldiers [obviously this commentator was not referring to the current administration], and Syria soon found itself in the United States’ cross-hairs.

As a result, the U.S. put its full weight on Syria to secure its border - and to punish Syria, the U.S. firmly backed the calls to end that country’s occupation of Lebanon. Massive anti-Syrian protests, dubbed the Ceder Revolution, took place in the street of Beirut, and in the spring of 2005, Syria bowed to the pressure and recalled its troops, ending its nearly 30-year occupation of Lebanon.
In April of 2005, the Guardian-UK reported as follows:
The US will press Syria to "get completely out of Lebanon", President George Bush said in an interview with Lebanese television last night.

"The United States can join with the rest of the world, like we've done, and say to Syria, get out - not only get out with your military forces, but get out with your intelligence services, too; get completely out of Lebanon, so Lebanon can be free and the people can be free," he told viewers of the LBC channel.

Under intense international pressure, Syria began withdrawing its forces from Lebanon in March and closed most of the offices used by its intelligence agents.
With George W. Bush standing on the side of freedom and Democracy, voicing his strong support for a free and sovereign Lebanon - unfettered by outside interferences from tyrannical regimes the likes of Syria - Lebanese Prime Minister Sa'd Al-Hariri felt at ease to speak out fiercely against the Syrian regime, who, in unison with Hezbollah, were responsible for the assassination of his father, the former Prime Minister of Lebanon.

But ever since Barack Obama set foot in the Oval Office and began to both reestablish U.S. diplomatic ties with Syria and ignore Syrian intransigence, the scene has taken a dramatic turn. The Syrians have begun to re-exert their influence in Lebanon, and Mr. Hariri has been forced to temper his criticism of Syria for fear that he might meet the same fate as his father. In September, the now-spineless Lebanese Prime Minister, who for years blamed Syria for his father's death, asserted that it was a mistake to accuse Syria of killing his father.

Tension has recently escalated in Lebanon following reports that the Special Tribunal for Lebanon will soon issue its indictment into the 2005 assassination of Hariri's father. Syria and Hezbollah have been calling for the abolition of the Special Tribunal.

Meanwhile, Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, recently returned from a visit to Lebanon where he delivered words of encouragement to Hezbollah. Upon returning from Lebanon, Mr. Ahmadinejad and Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz - via telephone - discussed, among other things, the volatile situation in Lebanon.

And, now, according to reports in the Arab media, Hariri is said to have told U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, that, upon Saudi counsel, he is considering stepping down from office. Mr. Hariri, however, expressed apprehension that such a move would lead to Hezbollah forming a new government under its leadership.

Now, let's follow the dots:

The Saudis held discussions with the Iranian President about the future of Lebanon, and shortly thereafter, they reportedly advised Mr. Hariri to step down from office.

The Saudis, [for whatever reason] - at least as far as Lebanon is concerned - seem to be taking their cue from President Ahmadinejad. Only time will tell how far Hariri will be willing to go to accommodate Mr. Ahmadinejad.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration recently announced plans to sell $60 billion in advanced weaponry to Saudi Arabia - apparently, as an expression of gratitude to the Saudis, who magnanimously advised Prime Minister Hariri to step down, thereby easing angst among Hezbollah and its allies.

Will President Obama, the ultimate appeaser, continue to give Syria, Iran and Hezbollah full reign in Lebanon, so as not to rock the boat - in an effort to pacify Iran and its allies - and thereby bring about his unique vision of world peace and stability? Aka, Obama's New World Order?

Once again, only time will tell.

But one thing is for certain: During his short tenure in office, Obama has succeeded in creating an amazing and complete turnabout in Lebanon.

Undoubtedly, the President and his left-wing cronies, right now, are beaming over this incredible feat... and wondering how in the world they managed to accomplish all of this in such a short period of time.

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