Speaking today US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice slammed Iran and Syria, insisted that the nations are “destabilizing” Lebanon and violating the nation’s sovereignty by backing Hezbollah, one of the major political factions in the nation.
At the same time, the Obama Administration has cheerfully been engaged in exactly the same strategy, albeit backing a different side. Vice President Joe Biden even went so far as to visit Lebanon ahead of the last election to campaign for the Sunni bloc, warning of unspecified retaliation if the populace elected Hezbollah, which narrowly lost.
Increasingly Lebanon is shaping up as a battle of influence between the US and its rivals, with the Obama Administration’s massive pledges of military aid setting up a pitched battle when Congress ordered the aid pulled on Israel’s behalf. Within days Iran was publicly offering to replace the US aid, which again was condemned as “meddling” in Lebanon.
But if what Iran and Syria are doing amounts to a violation of sovereignty for Lebanon, the US cannot possibly be held blameless for doing the same things for the same reasons. Both sides are determined to buy off the nation’s government, but as the price gets higher and higher the reason behind the plan is less and less clear.