Saturday, August 14, 2010

U.S. Congress suspends military aid to the Lebanon

'Haaretz' reports that the Lebanon is setting up a fund to target Lebanese abroad and at home to help fund its under-equiped military after concerns in Washington that military equpment might be used against Israel led to the U.S. Congress suspending its intended $100 million in military aid to the Beruit government.

Nevertheless, while it might be interesting to see if the required sum can be raised through donations there are another couple of more important points which should be made. Firstly, if the report is true there is enough indication to suggest that the government in Beruit is at least intent on not provoking either Washington or Jerusalem. Saad Hariri's government will not be committing political hari kari by turning to Damascus or Teheran for aid. Have they thought about Turkey? Secondly, another, point which should be made is the reason the U.S. Congress has given for suspending its intended aid. Do they really think that "armed to the teeth" through the relatively paltry $100 million, the Lebanon will actually attack Israel? No, of course, they don't. However, Israel might just think twice before it launches its next attack, knowing that it will meet opposition that is armed with a little bit more than stones and pea shooters. At least now Mr Hariri has no reason to have any illusions as to the true nature of America's "friendship".

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