Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Lebanon reaches out for international help

Minister Mouawad casually catching up with her friends in a rally at Harissa in 2006, traffic was thick on narrow mountainous curves. One has to be practical.

Borzou Daragahi in the LA Times,
...Shaken by a Hezbollah military offensive in recent days, Lebanon's pro-Western parties have launched an intensive campaign to lobby allies in Washington, Europe and the Arab world to intervene diplomatically or even militarily on their behalf, officials here said.
But there was little sign Monday that the West was prepared to intervene.

... The coalition of pro-Western Christian, Sunni and Druze politicians under the so-called March 14 banner has embarked on an effort to draw international backers into the conflict, said coalition leaders and Western diplomats. They fear Hezbollah is trying to use its military strength to cow the government into submitting to its demands, which include noninterference with the militia's drive to build up its arsenal to confront Israel.

The coalition's arguments appear aimed at playing on Western and Arab officials' fears of growing Iranian power. The Lebanese officials want other countries to pressure Iran and its ally, Syria, by seeking condemnation of and perhaps new economic sanctions against the two nations at the U.N. Security Council.

One official went so far as to suggest unspecified attacks on Damascus, the Syrian capital, to punish Hezbollah's backer and restore a regional balance of power...

"Iran took a decision to take Lebanon hostage, and from Lebanon, come back to the Mediterranean Sea to be able to infiltrate much more easily the whole Arab world," said another official, Nayla Mouawad, a minister in the government of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora. "It is very obvious that we're not getting a clear-cut reaction from the U.S., Arabs and the international community which is sufficient to the gravity of the situation."

But despite words of support from Washington, there was little sign it would forcefully rescue its Lebanese allies. The U.S. Embassy in Beirut did not respond to an interview request.
"The Americans are telling March 14 they have to resist," said one Western diplomat in Beirut. "But they're not bringing much operational support."

"We're not asking them to fight our fight for us," said Mouawad, the minister. "But at least don't let us be slaughtered by total indifference."


It is to be noted, that geostrategic expert/minister Mouawad was safely pampered in her lofty residence during the whole short conflict that took place and I'm sure that her safety was not compromised during that time.

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