Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Lebanon—US lament

A dolefull Time magazine laments the loss of US influence in Lebanon:

The US government may find a Hizbollah-dominated Lebanon hard to swallow. Disarming Hizbollah and securing Lebanon's independence from Syrian and Iranian influence was one of the Bush administration's major Middle East policies; it garnered broad support among European governments, including France, that were not on board in Iraq.

Nor will Israel be keen to live with the fact that its most formidable adversary is now in de facto control of almost an entire country, with a sophisticated banking system, an international airport and a varied mountainous terrain in which to train and prepare for war. But Israel and America have few options.

They can't isolate Lebanon like the Hamas-controlled Gaza strip, and the last two Israeli invasions of Lebanon were disasters. Like the American-backed government, they may have to admit defeat in Lebanon.


Meanwhile the tone coming from Voice of America seems to confirm that the west has dumped March 14:

While the Doha accord does not mandate the disarmament of Hezbollah, it does reaffirm the primary authority of Lebanon's central government and demands that other parties refrain from using weapons and violence for political ends.


The Jerusalem Post is slightly more cynical:

The Bush administration seemed Wednesday to try to put the best face on the deal that ends Lebanon's 18-month political stalemate, but also gives the Iran- and Syria-backed Hizbullah veto power over any government decision.

At the State Department, Assistant Secretary of State David Welch called the agreement "a necessary and positive step."

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