America’s Plan for the Future of LebanonHassan Fathali
David Hill, who traveled to Lebanon to meet with Lebanese officials following the recent Beirut explosion, said US federal police officers were involved in an investigation into the blast and that Washington will support the Lebanese people and their elected government.
The US participation in the Beirut blast investigation, its help for reconstruction of the city's port, and its support for the formation of a real government are said to be the goals of Hill’s visit, but the real purpose of the visit has not been disclosed yet. While the US pretends to support the Lebanese “people and government”, in reality they only supported those people and government who were in line with America’s interests.
The US only supports officials who were in line with America’s interests
American Political Hypocrisy
A clear example of this was the last Palestinian general election in which Hamas won, but because of the movement's confrontation with the Zionist regime and US interests in the region, Washington never recognized the victory and didn’t support the Palestinian people and their elected government. Sanctions and pressures on the people of Venezuela and their elected government are another example of US hypocritical policies, which of course clearly serves the interests of the United States despite its claim over supporting the people and their elected government.
Iran has always been a target of US hostile policies for its opposition to Washington, but this time the theatre of support for “people and government” is orchestrated by the US in Lebanon.
US Hostility toward Lebanese Officials
For months, the United States has listed Hezbollah as a terrorist group and has imposed sanctions on some of its affiliated members. Moreover, limitations and sanctions imposed by the US on other countries like Syria (including the "Caesar Act" sanctions) have been designed and executed in a way that practically targets Hezbollah.
The US claims to support democracy, government, and people in Lebanon. This is while more than half of the 128 elected representatives in the last Lebanese parliamentary elections were Hezbollah and pro-resistance allies, indicating Hezbollah's strong status and stand in the country and among its people; same people whom the United States is pretending to support.
The US government has also been reluctant to meet with members of the Resistance party in the Lebanese parliament and government, as they fight against the occupation of Palestine by the Zionist regime.
Washington officials have acted against the repayment of debts and prevented the country from receiving new loan
Lebanon Fragile Economy and the American Invisible Hands
Given the Lebanese government's heavy debt to the International Monetary Fund and other foreign financial institutions, Washington officials have acted against the repayment of these debts and prevented the country from receiving new loans; in order to get approved for new loans, the US is making Lebanon take actions that according to most economists, their implementation will lead to a wave of protests and demonstrations, unemployment and reduced public access to social services.
The Lebanese are also worried that Lebanese foreign companies, assets, and gold reserves -part of which is in the United States- will be seized and confiscated in favor of American creditors as a result of not paying foreign debts, and thus the Lebanese government will not be able to have credit transactions with any country.
Similarly, in most of the recent unrest in Lebanon, the US Embassy in Beirut has stated its support for the protests instead of helping the Lebanese government resolve problems and crises; in the US Congress, Jeffrey Feltman, the former US Ambassador to Lebanon (2004-2008), has also spoken out against Hezbollah which represents a significant portion of the Lebanese people and his remarks led many Lebanese to gather in front of the US embassy in Beirut to protest the America’s interference in their domestic affairs.
When will Washington Support Lebanon?
Now the US government has already announced that it will support the new Lebanese government, provided that representatives of Hezbollah and Gebran Bassil (Michel Aoun's son-in-law and president of the Free Patriotic Movement) are not included. In other words, US support for the Lebanese people and government will include only those who are in line with the interests of Washington and, of course, the Zionist regime.
The most important tool that the United States is currently using to put pressure on Lebanon is the International Monetary Fund's aids to Beirut.
The most important tool that the United States is currently using to put pressure on Lebanon is the International Monetary Fund's aids to Beirut. The Beirut government is currently in need of $ 15 billion in emergency aid due to the damage caused by the blast. On the other hand, the previous debts of the country must be paid back soon.
Finally, the improvement of the situation in Lebanon depends on the participation of all Lebanese parties and groups, including Hezbollah. And based on previous experiences, Hezbollah's social base will eventually force all parties and even rivals to accept its terms and conditions.
Hassan Fathali is an Iranian senior journalist.
This article was originally published in Persian at Iran.ir.