June 01, 2009

Biden to Lebanon: how would like to be destroyed?

In a week or so, people in Lebanon go to the polls in an important elections that pits the parties that want to carry water for Washington against Hizbullah and its allies. Naturally, the U.S. has an opinion on how the people of Lebanon should vote; and they'd better listen or else...

Following the gross disniformation attempt against Hizbullah, courtesy of Der Spiegel, U.S. Vice President Biden visited Lebanon to lay down the law. (Here below you can see Bidden standing in front of a Korea War Howitzer, but I'm told the next shipment will also include battering rams and longbows.)
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said on Friday Washington would assess its aid to Lebanon depending on who won next month's election, but denied taking sides in a vote pitching a Western-backed coalition against Hezbollah.
"I urge those who would think about standing with the spoilers of peace not to miss this opportunity to walk away from the spoilers," Biden added in a veiled reference to Hezbollah, which opposes U.S. efforts to settle the Arab-Israeli conflict.
"We will evaluate the shape of our assistance program based on the composition of the new government and the policies it advocates," Biden declared.

Hezbollah criticized Biden's visit, which followed one by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in April, as meddling in Lebanon, and denounced U.S. support for Israel. (Reuters)
So, here are the choices:

If the elections goes to the Hizbullah, Washington is going to stop sending useless weapons to the Lebanese army (useful weapons it refuses to send anyway, as they might piss Israel off. Thus antiquated tanks, which can only realistically be used against refugee camps, are O.K., but anti-aircraft defense is verboten). Probably that would be followed by increasingly nasty rhetoric, calls for economic sanctions, pressure on banks to stop dealing with Lebanon, etc. Lebanon could find itself in the same situation as Iran and Syria. Eventually there would be another Israeli invasion.

If the elections goes to the pro-U.S. parties, Washington is going to funnel a lot of money to this government on condition that it uses the money to buy useless weapons and to create a corrput network of economic dependency and clientelism that would forever bind the top 1% of Lebanese society to the U.S. udder while letting the rest of the people sink ever deeper in poverty. Lebanon will become more and more like other U.S. client states, Egypt, Mexico, etc. However, given the existence of an armed population, the more likely outcome would be another civil war.

Not a pleasant choice.

I would expect the most likely impact of Biden's words would be to add a few more votes to Hizbullah. And that's a good thing.


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