Dr. Walid Phares: Lebanon in Washington…the real story

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Lebanon in Washington…the real story
By: Dr. Walid Phares,
Washington DC, 5th of February 2015

From time to time, the public in Lebanon reads about Washington’s position on Lebanon and longs for a better understanding of US policy. Right now, there is not much to report about, before the 2016 Presidential election here. But let’s help our friends in the mother country better understand the real story here. Many politicians in Lebanon dream of a magic American hand that would select them and place them in the Presidential palace in Baabda, then arm them and bomb Hezbollah into ruins to open a new period in Lebanon, with honey and milk, and these leaders would be painted as saviors of Lebanon, until the end of times. “Ain’t happening”..

It almost happened in 1982, and Lebanon’s establishment messed it up completely. It almost kind of happened in 2005, and the brilliant politicians messed it up again. One tiny chance occurred in 2008, and the political elite brilliantly kicked the opportunity into far never-land. To be clear, the United States, this Administration in particular, isn’t going to select a Lebanese politician, hold his hand, escort him to Baabda and then solve all Lebanon’s problems with a magic stick. However -and words are very measured- if a new leadership emerges -or reemerges- and shakes off the equation inside Lebanon, then -and only then- the US and the rest of the international community would consider dipping again in Lebanon’s muddy waters, again. No dreaming and no fantasizing anymore, Washington isn’t buying any story anymore, especially “a la Libanaise” (promising the magnificent historic change and gladly settling with a ridiculous deal with Terror partners). The world has enough headaches on a daily basis. Solving the Lebanese Republic “constitutional” (read Presidential) crisis isn’t on the front burner of anyone in the main capitals worldwide. Shake off the ground, move against Terror, all Terrorists, and the world will respond. That’s today’s reality, unfortunately…

**Walid Phares is an American scholar of Lebanese origin. A former top foreign policy advisor to Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, Dr. Phares is a professor and commentator on global terrorism and Middle Eastern affairs.