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23 January 2011

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Jose

To dispel any illusions ... we in the opposition will look for a partnership government if (our) candidate wins the parliamentarian majority. We do not call for a government from one side and for excluding any political party," Nasrallah said - Reuters

I have no clue about Lebanese politics, but it appears the opposition has the votes to form a government.

mo

Colonel,
We have heard the rhetoric about "Lebanon's sovereignty" and "democratic means" over and over for the fast few weeks and months. Do you think this respect will be manifest if the opposition takes power?

We already know that US military aid will be stopped (which is a damn shame as the LAF could have used a few more cessnas and the army is about to run short of flashlights - Seriously, thats part of the $50 million aid package, flashlights!).

Also, Ive heard that there is an sms message being delivered to Lebanese mobile phones declaring that Israeli action is "imminent" if Hariri is not re-electd (although if true, it shows how little the Israelis have learnt about the Lebanese).

Jose,
No chickens being counted yet. It is a on a knife edge and lets just say, not everyone is convinced that those that said they would support the opposition will in fact do so.

Simon

As usual when it comes to Lebanon, Israel and the U.S. are hoist on their own petards. I bet they didn't see this one coming. Instead of trying to keeping their puppet, Hariri Jr. in power and Lebanon stabilized, they gamble trying to take out Hizbullah and appear to have lost their meager gains since 2008. They want surrender, but until they make a genuine peace with Syria and return the Golan, Lebanon will be a thorn in their sides.

Clifford Kiracofe

Since 1948, Israeli policy has been war and the promotion of turmoil and tension in the region.

Ike tried at Suez but that was the last real US effort to restrain Israel. In 1967, Johnson began our "strategic alliance" with Israel.

Congress is more "pro-Israel" each session it seems. Thus, no change in US policy to be expected.

Charles I

Ha'aretz is reporting enough votes to name the PM:

http://www.haaretz.com/news/international/hezbollah-wins-enough-support-to-name-new-lebanon-pm-1.338906

Charles I

Same thinking as Gaza and Hamas. We'll bomb them, the PEOPLE wili change

CK

Lebanon is one of the very very few countries not suffering from the financial ruptures of the last 3 years. Its banking and finance sector are solid and paying respectable interest to depositors. The US determination to not supply Lebanon with weapons opens up the market to the Russian Oligarchs, the SA arms industry and the French who have always claimed a paternal interest there.
China of course will not try to sell arms to the Lebanese. Honest broker and all that.
Current news shows that Hezbullah is supporting a moderate, billionaire, and former PM ( Najib Mitaki) for the PM position.
So one billionaire gets to replace the son of a dead billionaire who replaced him. I love middle eastern economics; it is so logical and balanced.

mo

It seems the opposition (or if you are in the msm the Hizballah led opposition) has won and are now the govt.

The interesting stuff is about to begin.

Phil Cattar

mo,I hope I am wrong but I fear the interesting stuff is not going to be good news for the United States in the Muddle East.Hariri Jr might be an sob but he is our sob.Having followed the Middle east for 50 years I do not see any good with a Hizbullah(Iranian) takeover of Lebanon .And make no mistake about it ,this is what it might become.Obama will most likely do what he does best in international affairs,nothing.His plea to the Syrians and the Iranians to unclench their fists has just been answered.Now the Israelis will possibly roll him when they stage a preemptive attack on Lebanon and he will have to go along with our "friends " in the middle east.This is what happens when you elect a man to be president in dangerous times who has probably never been in even a school yard fight.

Fred

Phil,

I doubt President McCain and VP Palin would have done much different. Don't forget that the groundwork was laid by GWB and company.

zanzibar

Phil

Maybe the better thing is to work out a deal with Hizbullah and Syria that is in our national interest. Of course that requires us to articulate the quaint notion of US interests.

Oh! How could we even contemplate such a thing when it seems our politicians and significant elements of our national security institutions are owned lock, stock and barrel by the neo-con Likudniks.

Jose

Phil, I agree with you that Foolbama has blown several opportunities in the Middle East to advance American interests.

Remember, the Ziocons created this mess with their visions of a democratic Middle East and the opposition changed the government via Ziocon's coup d'oei.

Any war in Lebanon would be unwise giving the current feelings of the "Arab Street" and the utter failure of the peace talks.

What American interest will be advanced if Jordan, Egypt or Saudi Arabia fall to uprisings, because of Arabs getting slaughtered in Lebanon, and/or Syria, and/or Palestine?


Simon

Phil,

I must have missed Obama's plea to the Iran and Syria. Other than appointing an ambassador to Syria, Obama has continued the exact foreign policy towards them as the Bush Administration. For goodness sake, Obama kept on most of the neo-cons, most noticeably Jeffrey Feltman. The Israelis are going to do what they want to do because Obama won't do a thing to stop them. Obama/Clinton's attitude towards the Palestinian's desperation in those leaked documents wasn't not much different from Bush/Rice. Disgraceful. Nothing has changed.

Phil Cattar

Simon,I think Obama tried harder to build a relationship with the Syrians than you give him credit for.First of all George Mitchell who is half Lebanese and knows the area practically lived in Asad's living room he visited so much .Hillary visited Syria also.Obama's general demeanor and attitude toward the Levant in general was more positive than Bush's.Bush loved the oil rich Saudis.His grandfather Prescott Bush had his picture taken with the founder of modern Saudia Arabia in the 1920s in Saudia Arabia.Most of the crazy neocons are gone such as Richard Pearl,Richard Gaffney,John Bolton,Dick Cheney and a few more I cannot remember.In diplomacy the slightest nuance is important and Obama did more than that.He was very green and gave it a sophmore try at least.Remember one of his best Chicago friend's was the Syrian businessman who helped him get his house .I definitely feel he sincerely wanted "everybody to get along" but got rolled by them all.Since I wrote my first message some of Hariri's aides has been arrested by the new powers .No sides over there have completely clean hands .I do not trust Netanyahu any more than I do Asad.The Israelis probably could work with Asad (what took them so long right)but Nasrallah and the Iranians are a whole different kettle of fish.I do not believe the Israelis are going to sit by and watch Lebanon turn into an Iranian satelite.

Patrick Lang

Phil Cattar

The neocons that you mention are still very much here, waiting and participating. Their hands are very evident in Iraq and Afghanistan. pl

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