I honestly thought that the resigned “well that was hard to predict” post about security assistance to Lebanon would come next month, when Hezbollah will probably win the election and assume control over “all the security and administrative apparatus of the state.” It’s been obvious since 2007 – when the Pentagon got the brilliant idea to modernize the Lebanese military – that US weapons would eventually be turned against Israel.
I should probably say “turned against Israel again,” since the exact same thing happened with the hundreds of tons of weapons that the US gave to Fatah troops in Gaza. It’s almost as if there’s a flaw in the Arabist logic of arming “least of all evils” Arab regimes even while those regimes incite anti-Western hatred.
Lebanon is already a country where the elites have switched from honoring anti-Syrian martyrs to celebrating the freedom of Hezbollah-linked child murdering filthbags. Some of that has to do with how Hezbollah’s taken to killing people who attend Hariri memorials. But a lot of it is a matter of reading political tea leaves. Secular playboys and fundamentalist jihadists are getting along famously. Even the UN admits that Hezbollah is intimidating its way to a probable electoral victory.
The United States said Tuesday it is providing Lebanon with 12 unmanned military aircraft in the coming months, the latest effort to bolster the fragile Mideast nation. Washington hopes a strengthened Lebanese military would extend state authority across the country, where the militant Hezbollah is gaining power with its arsenal of rockets that threaten another U.S. ally, neighboring Israel. A strong national army could be a counter to Hezbollah’s weapons and could deprive the militants of the excuse to keep their arms.
There are two arguments here: (1) the LAF will turn their weapons against Hezbollah and (2) Hezbollah will lose their “we’re only keeping our weapons because the LAF can’t protect Lebanon” excuses. The latter argument is just pro forma. Pseudo-sophisticated apologias about Hezbollah’s vaunted “autonomy” notwithstanding, no one is stupid enough to believe that they’ll disarm without a fight.
As for the first argument, that’s not who the Lebanese are targeting:
Lebanon arrested five people over the weekend suspected of belonging to an intelligence cell transmitting information about Hezbollah to Israel, the most recent arrests in a two-month crackdown apparently aided by American training and equipment.… The suspects are among 17 people allegedly belonging to six espionage cells who have been arrested in Lebanon in the past two months on suspicion of transmitting intelligence information to Israel… The sources attribute the recent arrests to improved cooperation between Lebanon’s many security agencies, saying that with the help of better-trained personnel and access to more sophisticated equipment, the Internal Security Forces have been intensifying their efforts to uncover espionage networks as part of an attempt to develop a pan-Lebanese image.
Just for completion’s sake, here’s Hillary Clinton on the next Lebanese government:
QUESTION: “I know you don’t want to speculate about the results of the elections, but it does look likely that Syria’s allies, including Hizballah, will make a strong come-back.” Now how’s that going to affect things?
SECRETARY CLINTON: “Well, Kim, first let me say that it’s a great delight to have you with me on this trip… It won’t surprise you to hear that I think moderation is important in the affairs of states, because that gives people from all backgrounds, and all different beliefs and convictions, an opportunity to participate. So that is up to the Lebanese people to decide, but we certainly look forward to working with and cooperating with the next Lebanese government.”
The next few years in the Middle East are going to be pretty awesome.
* Lebanon’s Hariri would not join Hezbollah coalition
* Lebanon on Tenterhooks
* Pentagon Gets Brilliant Idea: Let’s Give Lebanon Cutting-Edge Military Tech, Training [MR]
* Hamas Has 200 Tons Of Explosives That The US Gave To Fatah (Plus: Egypt Says It’s Israel’s Fault) [MR]
* Lebanon elite turns out to celebrate terrorist Samir Kuntar’s engagement [Ha'aretz]
* Vicious Child Murderer Samir Kuntar To Be Traded Next Week? [MR]
* Hezbollah-led attackers killed a PSP member
* In Lebanon, puritanical Sunnis and a reputed playboy team up in politics
* UN chief raps ‘intimidation’ by Lebanon militias
* Pentagon And Iran Competing To See Who Can Supply Hezbollah With More Tanks [MR]
* Great News: US Providing Even More Weapons To Lebanese Military [MR]
* U.S. to provide Lebanon with unmanned drones [Ha'aretz]
* Who’s winning in Lebanon?
* Did U.S. help Lebanon crack alleged Israeli spy rings? [Ha'aretz]
* Here Comes Hillary; There Goes Lebanon
* Palestinian PM Resigns So Money That’s Already Going To Fatah Terrorists Can Also Go To Hamas Terrorists
* Obama Bundles $200 Million Palestinian Aid Into Emergency Iraq/Afghanistan Supplemental
* US-Funded Racist Apartheid Government Will Execute Man Who Sold Land To Enemy Religion