"Lebanon's lawmakers elected Michel Aoun, an lran-backed politician and former general, as president Monday, ending more than two years the country has gone without a leader.
Aoun, 81, is an ally of Hezbollah, the Shiite militia and political party backed by Iran that has helped Syrian President Bashar Assad survive a five-year civil war on Lebanon’s border.
The vote for Aoun, by 83 of parliament’s 127 members, shows Iran-backed political factions shouldered past those aligned with Saudi Arabia, replacing Syria as Lebanon’s chief foreign power broker.
Aoun’s “victory now is a victory for Hezbollah and that alliance, and certainly a kind of black eye for Saudi Arabia,” said Paul Salem, vice president for policy and research at the Middle East Institute, a think tank in Washington." USA Today
President Aoun has now stated that he will seek to align Lebanon with the policies of; Hizbullah, Iran, the Syrian government and Russia. This is a remarkable change of heart since he fought so long and so hard to keep the Shia in Lebanon and Iran from wielding a compelling power in Lebanon. I hold the US and its Israeli inspiration to be largely responsible for this change of heart.
IMO the US has consistently backed the Hariris (father and son) in Lebanon in the evident belief that they were our men. This has been a mistake. Both Hariris have always been much closer to Saudi Arabia than to the US and Aoun sees this as a profound interference in Lebanon's affairs and her prospect for survival on Syria's doorstep. This support dates back to the early 80s when Philip Habib, Richard Murphy and Rafik Hariri swanned around the ME together trying to arrange an end to the Lebanon civil war. Rafik was Lebanese born but; had moved to Saudi Arabia, had made vast a amount of money in Saudi royal family sponsored government construction contracts, had become a Saudi subject (citizen), and accepted the Wahhabi version of Islam. The airplane that the Three Amigos traveled together in from country to country was the product of Rafik's exceptionally good financial fortune in Saudi Arabia.
After the rump Lebanese parliament accepted an armistice agreed on at Taif in Saudi Arabia largely over the heads of the Lebanese, it was decided by the Three Amigos (and those behind them) that Rafik Hariri, a Saudi Arabian national would assume an unelected role as PM of Lebanon after being re-granted Lebanese citizenship.
Saad Hariri, Rafik's son, returned to Lebanon with his father, resumed Lebanese identity and succeeded to his father's role as instrument of Saudi and US power in Lebanese politics. He has fulfilled that role ever since.
Now, we see that Aoun, aligned with the adversaries of Hariri's sponsors, has appointed Saad Hariri as PM and head of government in Lebanon.
Does anyone think this is a stable arrangement? pl