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Pompeo visit to Israel and Lebanon: When Meddling with other counties internal affairs becomes Virtue.

Is The Crusader in Chief and Crusader Pompeo

  • Lebanon biggest supporter with possibly France

    Votes: 2 15.4%
  • LAF biggest supporter

    Votes: 2 15.4%
  • Lebanon Christians biggest supporter with France

    Votes: 2 15.4%
  • Middle East Christians biggest supporters

    Votes: 2 15.4%
  • Ennemy of Lebanon

    Votes: 2 15.4%
  • They care only about Israel

    Votes: 8 61.5%
  • They only care about the dollar and their interest

    Votes: 9 69.2%
  • Lebanon and LAF biggest supporter

    Votes: 1 7.7%
  • Lebanon Christians biggest supporter

    Votes: 1 7.7%
  • Lebanese Muslim biggest supporter

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    13
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  • الحرس الجمهوري

    الحرس الجمهوري

    Legendary Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    OTOH, I don't call for ethnic cleansing on racial basis. You do. You're a vile racist and you and your barbaric LF thugs are a match made in heaven, Mr. Progressive Only in the US but a Neo Nazi at heart.
    This pretty sums up Muki.
     
    J

    joseph_lubnan

    Legendary Member

    SECRETARY POMPEO: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Foreign Minister. Thanks for hosting me here today. It’s great to be returning to Lebanon to – and for I think the third or fourth time, but the first time as Secretary of State. As the foreign minister said, I represented southcentral Kansas, home to a thriving population from – that came to the United States in the 1890s – successful entrepreneurs, doctors, leaders, capable immigrants that came to the United States and integrated successfully. It’s that same flourishing that we see of the Lebanese people in southcentral Kansas that we hope for everyone here in this great country.
    I had the chance to meet today with President Aoun, with Speaker Berri, with the prime minister, and now with the foreign minister. I have other meetings on my schedule for later today and tomorrow. In each of my discussions, Lebanese leaders conveyed their hopes for a better future of peace and security and prosperity for their country and for their people. Every citizen of Lebanon should know that the United States wishes precisely the same.
    But we have to confront the facts. Hizballah stands in the way of the Lebanese people’s dreams. For 34 years, Hizballah has put the Lebanese people at risk with unilateral, unaccountable decisions on war and peace, and life and death. Whether through political promises or outright intimidation of voters, Hizballah sits inside the national assembly or other state institutions and pretends to support the state. Meanwhile, Hizballah defies the state and the people of Lebanon through a terrorist wing committed to spreading destruction.
    Hizballah’s armed campaigns are squarely opposed to the interests of the Lebanese people. How does the expanding of – expending of resources and lives of those constituents in Yemen, Iraq, and Syria help the citizens of south Lebanon, Beirut, or the Bekaa Valley? How does stockpiling tens of thousands of rockets and missiles in Lebanon territory for use against Israel make this country stronger? Moreover, Hizballah does these nefarious activities at the behest of the Iranian regime. Its foot soldiers serve at Tehran’s bidding. Hizballah and its illegitimate militia put the entire country of Lebanon on the front lines of Iran’s misguided proxy campaigns.
    Rest assured, Hizballah’s Iranian patrons don’t want the status quo in Lebanon to change. They see peace, prosperity, and independence for Lebanon as a fundamental threat to their political interest and their hegemonic ambitions.
    Finally, Hizballah’s global criminal networks – its drug smuggling, its attempts to launder money through the international system, and its interference with customs and other trade controls – place Lebanon under the microscope of international law enforcement. Indeed, Hizballah robs the Lebanese state of resources that rightfully belong to its people.
    The Lebanese people should no longer be made to suffer for the political and military ambitions of an outlaw nation and its terrorist affiliate. It will take courage for the nation of Lebanon to stand up to Hizballah’s criminality, terror, and threats. It will take effort to ensure full respect and independence for the Lebanese Armed Forces and other national security interests.
    To be clear, we understand the issue of Syrian refugees in Lebanon. This is another dimension in Iranian aggression, and we support their return to Syria in a secure and voluntary manner as soon as conditions allow.
    I want everyone in Lebanon to know that you will continue to have a friend in the United States. We will continue to support the legitimate state institutions of Lebanon and all of its people. In 2018, this year past, the United States provided more than $800 million in assistance to Lebanon. A fair question: What did Hizballah and Iran contribute? They contributed coffins of young Lebanese returning from Syria and ever more Iranian weapons. Qasem Soleimani and Hizballah’s other Iranian backers continues to undermine Lebanon’s legitimate security institutions and jeopardize the safety and security of the Lebanese people. It’s plain to see which country is a force for good in Lebanon.
    The United States will continue to bring unprecedented pressure to bear on Iran until it ceases all malign behavior, including that which is carried out by Hizballah. Iran’s support of Hizballah poses a threat to people – to Arab people of all faiths, it weakens the Lebanese state, and undermines the prosperity of future generations. It also increases the likelihood of conflict and undercuts opportunities for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. The clerics in Tehran provide Hizballah with as much as $700 million each and every year. This is a staggering sum, especially given that up to 90 percent of Iran’s labor force has long lived before – below the poverty line.
    Our pressure on Iran is simple. It’s aimed at cutting off the funding for terrorists, and it’s working. On March 8th, Hassan Nasrallah begged Hizballah supporters to make new contributions. And we believe that our work is already constraining Hizballah’s activities. The United States will continue to use all peaceful means – everything at our disposal – to choke off the financing, the smuggling, the criminal networks, and the misuse of government positions and influence that feeds Iran and Hizballah terror operations, and we will not hesitate to call out those who active – actively and passively support these activities and betray the trust and hopes of the Lebanese people.
    I’ve had a chance to discuss each of these issues with Lebanese leaders. I expressed hope that the new Lebanese Government would be able to meet the needs of the Lebanese people. In that regard, I shared concern about both external and internal pressures upon the government, including coming from some of its members which do not serve an independent, thriving Lebanon.
    Frankly, Lebanon and the Lebanese people face a choice: Bravely move forward as an independent and proud nation or allow the dark ambitions of Iran and Hizballah to dictate your future. You all know the history. Lebanon has paid a terrible price over the past half-century for the sake of its independence. As I traveled from the airport, I was reminded powerfully of this past suffering. I passed the site where 35 years ago the predecessors of today’s Hizballah murdered U.S. Marines on a peacekeeping mission. I passed near the site of the U.S. embassy where the same terrorist thugs killed America’s diplomats as they worked. I viewed the memorial to Mr. Lebanon, Rafik Hariri, brutally assassinated for his courageous opposition to cruel tyranny of the Assad regime over Lebanon.
    But from that bitter past a better future beckons, and it is all around us. Neither Iran nor its partner Hizballah have the right to exact more suffering from the Lebanese people. Beirut is rightly seen as a symbol of rebirth out of ashes; of coexistence out of separation; of mosques, churches, and synagogues rebuilt side by side in what was once a bitter green line that divided family from family and friend from friend.
    Mr. Foreign Minister, you should know and I want all the Lebanese people to know the United States will continue to stand with the Lebanese people as they seize the opportunities they so richly deserve, to live as a free people.
    Thank you.

    Compare and contrast shall we?

    Michel Aoun Testimony, House Subcomittee on International Relations, by Général Michel Aoun

    TESTIMONY OF PRIME MINISTER GENERAL MICHEL AOUNHOUSE SUBCOMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONALRELATIONS18 Sep 03 Prime Minister General Miche

    Michel Aoun Testimony, House Subcommittee on International Relations
    September, 2003

    Madame Chairwoman. Honorable Members,

    It is an honor for me to bring you the voice of the Lebanese people; a people longing for freedom and suffering under occupation. I have come here today to convey their gratitude for your initiative in introducing the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act, and to urge the immediate passage of this bill into law. This piece of prospective legislation is crucial, as it establishes for the first time a clear United States policy regarding Syria’s occupation of Lebanon.

    For twenty-seven years, the Syrian Regime has played the role of both arsonist and firefighter. Syria starts fires in order to give itself a pretext to extinguish them and thus justify its continuing occupation of Lebanon. And any Lebanese who dares to expose or resist Syria’s hegemony is simply eliminated. Syria’s occupation of Lebanon has been detrimental and costly to both American and Lebanese interests in five major ways.

    Impact of Syrian Occupation of Lebanon

    First, Syria’s hegemony over Lebanon has turned the country into a fertile ground and safe haven for terrorism. In the 1970s and 1980s, Lebanon was the first victim of Syrian terrorism. And this was one of the main reasons in 1978 to list Syria as the first terrorist country on the US Department of State list of terrorist states. Back then, Hizballah and Hamas did not even exist.

    One cannot rationally dissociate the Syrian regime from terrorism. Syria provides safe haven for a myriad of terrorist organizations, directs their operations, and uses occupied Lebanon as their main field of training and operation.
    Like an organized crime syndicate which uses fear, intimidation, and violence as instruments of pressure to buy silence from otherwise good and honorable people, the Syrian regime uses these terrorist organizations as instruments of pressure in a foreign policy strategy that has earned for Syria a "no questions asked" attitude from the free world with regard to its occupation of Lebanon and its persecution of the Lebanese people.

    Terrorist organizations do not stand on their own in terms of identity; instead, they are proxies to regimes that provide them with financial means and an operational framework for their terrorist activities. The suggestion heard in some circles that these regimes can be charged with the task of dismantling terrorist organizations is the height of naiveté and folly.

    Furthermore, let’s not forget that the clandestine nature of these regimes and organizations would allow them to quickly and easily restructure and reemerge under completely new aliases, ready to resume operations in full capacity.


    Any perceived cooperation in the war on terrorism does not represent a strategic choice on the part of the Syrian regime to combat terrorism; it is only a tactical and temporary ploy to dodge responsibility for the central role that Syria has had in sponsoring terrorism during the last three decades. Let us not forget that Syria’s proxies in Lebanon were responsible for attacks against the American embassy and the Marine compound costing hundreds of Lebanese and American lives.

    Second, Syria’s occupation has turned Lebanon — a nation that once enjoyed democracy and freedom — into a puppet-regime subservient to a dictatorship.

    Dictatorial regimes, which install in their people an overwhelming feeling of helplessness to affect any kind of change through democratic or peaceful means, are the cause of fundamentalism. The only effective long-term solution to the spread of fundamentalism is the spread of freedom; the only truly effective and permanent way to reverse the spread of fundamentalism is not to choose dictatorship over fundamentalism-it is, rather, to provide a third alternative — democracy.

    The democratic process in Lebanon has been hijacked. Election laws have been regularly tailored to guarantee the election of Syria’s puppets in Lebanon. Nonetheless, the Lebanese people remain apt and resolute to resume their democratic way of life once conditions become conducive and the Syrian regime withdraws its forces and intelligence apparatus from Lebanon.

    Third, Syria’s occupation of Lebanon has led to instability and hindered the peace process. Most puzzling and frustrating for the Lebanese people is that there are supporters of the Syrian Regime in positions of authority, both in Lebanon and in the U.S., who assert that Syria provides an element of stability in Lebanon. These supporters turn a blind eye to the fact that Lebanon has become unstable only as a result of Syrian hegemony over it. Today, the Lebanese-Israeli Border is a lit fuse that can erupt into a regional war at anytime. And why this present state of affairs?

    The blame lies squarely at the feet of Syria, which forbids Lebanon to implement UN Resolution 426 and deploy its army along the border with Israel. I ask a simple question: Where is the much-heralded stability that Syria is providing? And how many times has the US intervened to diffuse tension and prevent escalation of this Syrian-created mess?

    Those same apologists for the Syrian Regime also argue that political detente and dialogue among the Lebanese factions would not be possible without Syria’s alleged role as an "intermediary" between them. Again, on this point separation must be made between reality and Syrian-propagated myth.

    Hafez Assad made it clear on July 20, 1976 that he is sending his forces to Lebanon to protect his Palestinian proxies and other radical groups. Since the Syrian regime directly intervened in Lebanon, it has consistently incited the Lebanese against each other at every level. Many Lebanese personalities, who recognized and rejected Syria’s sinister plans to promote "internal conflict," were assassinated.

    These patriotic Lebanese sacrificed themselves on the altar of peace by choosing to take an active role in bridging differences and resolving stalemates, in direct contradiction to Syria’s wicked plans. Among these Lebanese victims are those, from different factions, who dared to open genuine channels of dialogue with me during my tenure as the Prime Minister of the Interim Lebanese Government. And I personally was also the target of three Syrian-sponsored assassination attempts that inflicted many casualties, and some fatalities, in the ranks of my personal security entourage.

    Fourth, under Syrian occupation the human rights of the Lebanese people have been systematically violated. An exhaustive description of the crimes committed by the Syrian Regime and its goons in Lebanon would take thousands of pages and dozens of hearings. Two Lebanese presidents-both of whom can be accurately described as unwilling to take their orders from the Syrian intimidators-were assassinated immediately upon their elections.

    Ambassadors, elite journalists, and political and religious figures from all denominations who dared to oppose Syria were kidnapped, tortured, imprisoned, and/or assassinated.
    And this is in addition to the tens of thousands of Lebanese who perished in countless massacres, in months upon months of random Syrian artillery shelling of civilian areas, and in countless booby-trapped and bombed cars.

    Furthermore, the freedom of speech has been restricted and any media critical of the status quo have been silenced. Last but not least, the judicial system has been politicized and used as an instrument of intimidation, harassment, and oppression.

    Fifth, widespread corruption of enormous magnitude has devastated the Lebanese economy. Syria’s puppet regime and proxies in Lebanon have excessively abused their power. They unnecessarily built a national debt currently exceeding two hundred percent of GDP while simultaneously amassing gigantic personal fortunes at the expense and welfare of the average Lebanese citizens.

    The aforementioned are only few illustrations of the negative impact of Syrian occupation of Lebanon. Prior to Syria’s hegemony, Lebanon was a living example of political and religious pluralism, and a symbol of moderation and tolerance. Lebanon, free from Syrian occupation and terror, will emerge once again with a political system that is democratic, an economic policy that is truly capitalistic and transparent, a modern and independent judiciary that enforces and respects the rule of law, and an educational system that nurtures a culture of peace in a region and environment in dire need of true peace.

    The Restoration of Lebanon’s Sovereignty

    The restoration of Lebanese sovereignty is an absolute necessity if terrorism is to be defeated. In order to achieve this objective, the Lebanese people and the international community, under the sponsorship of the United States, will have to collaborate closely and commit resources towards this goal
    . Today the majority of the Lebanese, across all groups and factions, are living in anticipation of the restoration of their sovereignty and free will and are longing for the day when they can again exercise their freedoms without fear of arrest, persecution, or death.

    We hope that the Syrian regime will take the opportunity to act positively and withdraw its forces from Lebanon as we seek to build with the Syrian people genuine and strong friendly relations based on mutual respect and common interests among the two people.

    Following a Syrian withdrawal, it is quite conceivable that the Syrian regime will leave behind many of its instruments of terror and destruction as well as its paramilitary/intelligence apparatus. Therefore, it is imperative that Syrian withdrawal be accompanied by a complete disarmament of all armed elements. Only the legitimate armed forces of Lebanon can be entrusted with providing security to the Lebanese people. They are certainly capable of doing so when provided with a strong political leadership duly elected by the Lebanese themselves, rather than appointed by an occupying power as is the case today. Equally important, Lebanon will need certified tribunals to investigate and bring to justice all criminals who committed war atrocities and crimes against humanity.

    Lebanon will certainly need significant economic aid. The Lebanese people have incurred catastrophic losses and the Lebanese economy is devastated due largely to the corrupt Syrian puppet regimes installed in power since the early 1990s. And to this day, more than any other country, Lebanon has been carrying an enormous burden as a consequence of the prolonged Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Lebanese cause is a cause in and of itself. It is not and should not be linked to the resolution of any regional or global conflict or crisis. Lebanon, alone, is a legitimate and pressing issue by every standard of international law.

    This small country, Lebanon, is not a producer of oil or raw material. Lebanon is however rich beyond description. Lebanon is rich in its culture, in its people, in its beauty, in its history, and in its heart. But most importantly, Lebanon is rich in its tradition of democracy and freedom.

    Only in very recent history has it become evident to the Western powers that Lebanon must be saved as a matter of global security, and hence my presence here today before this honorable committee. But the salvation of Lebanon is more than a matter of security-It is a moral imperative. Lebanon must be saved, because it is right to save Lebanon; a nation which cherishes American principles and human values that we all believe in. To save Lebanon is to lend credence to what President Bush declared in his speech on September 11, 2002 and I quote:
    "We will use our position of unparalleled strength and influence to build an atmosphere of international order and openness in which progress and liberty can flourish in many nations. A peaceful world of growing freedom serves American long-term interests, reflects enduring American ideals and unites America’s allies."

    Madame Chairwoman, the true nature of the Lebanese people is love of freedom and affection for America; and the true nature of America is support for those aspiring to freedom. A Lebanon dominated by a Syrian terrorist-sponsoring dictatorship is inconsistent with the nature of their Lebanese people and does not serve their interests. And looking the other way while a democracy is being turned into a repressive satellite state is inconsistent with the American nature and interests.

    Madame Chairwoman, we have been fighting valiantly for our beloved Lebanon for over 30 years.

    We have lost almost everything. We lost our brothers and sisters, our friends, our fellow soldiers, our freedoms, our security, our homes, and our money.

    But we are determined to continue fighting for our cause because we never lost hope-and never will-that our natural allies in the free world would ultimately see our fight for what it truly was-a fight for freedom against terrorism and oppression. I come before you today to urge you to be true to America’s nature, to aid those aspiring to freedom, to strike a blow to terrorism, and vote to pass the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2003.

    Thank you for your attention.
    General Michel Aoun
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