With the prospect of yet another Israeli invasion of southern Lebanon looming large, Parliamentary Speaker Nabih Berri warns that the nation is in a defensive posture, and called for international help for new peace talks.
The call was reportedly rebuffed by the United States, however, as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is said to have dispatched a message to Berri warning that the United States could do nothing to stop a potential Israeli invasion, citing reports of arms smuggling to Hezbollah, whose political wing is now part of the Lebanese government.
In late January, Israeli Minister Yossi Peled declared that a new war against Lebanon was only a matter of time. The threat has solidified Lebanon’s tenuous coalition government, and Hezbollah and the Lebanese military are scrambling to prepare for the invasion.
The refusal of help from the Obama Administration is likely to be particularly galling, however, after officials played such an overt role in swinging the narrow June election in favor of a pro-US Sunni faction. America’s pledge of “aid” for Lebanon in returning for supporting that faction, it seems, won’t involve any effort to prevent the US-armed Israeli military from launching its second invasion of the nation in less than four years.