After threatening Speaker Nabih Berri, will the US be asked to leave Lebanon permanently?

By Elijah J. Magnier: @ejmalrai

The Emirati newspaper, “The National”  – quoting sources with knowledgeof US plans –  reports that the United States is considering sanctions against the Shia Lebanese Speaker Nabih Berri, along with a number of his financial supporters. Well-informed sources knowledgeable of the Speaker’s intentions said that “such a step – if it is serious and not just an empty threat – will lead to the forceful exit of all US forces from Lebanon, particularly those training and embedded with the Lebanese Army and other security forces. This step will also be taken against all US government-linked organisations by a clear decision of the Lebanese parliament as retaliation against aggressive decisions adopted by the US establishment”.

The sources say that “Speaker Nabih Berri does not enjoy only the support of the AMAL movement or Hezbollah and their respective members of Parliament and Ministers, but he also enjoy the support of the majority of Lebanese MPs. It is they who have elected him over decades. Therefore, any US step against the Speaker or AMAL’s supporters in Lebanon or Africa or anywhere in the world with the aim to hit Berri indirectly will be met with the same retaliation in Lebanon against the US presence in the country. Berri has a wide circle of friends among Muslim speakers and the presidents of parliament in GCC and Muslim African countries, who are ready to stand with him against the US establishment. The reaction is expected to be harsher and more visible than the Arab states’ merely verbal condemnation of Israel annexation of the Golan Heights and Jerusalem”.

“Berri is an emblematic Shia figure in Lebanon, well-known to European, American and Arab diplomats, politicians, and personalities. If the US establishment adopts measures against the Speaker, it will be faced with a parliamentary law which will open the country for Iran and Russia to establish military, intelligence and security collaboration with Lebanon and to establish static military bases in the country. The only US institutions that can be expected to remain in the country after such a move would be the Embassy and the University and nothing else”, said the source, indicating the seriousness and readiness of the Speaker to retaliate against any US decision in relation to him or his entourage.

Such a step can only mean the US pushing Lebanon towards political turmoil and instability for years to come.

But Lebanese President Michel Aoun went beyond Berri in supporting Hezbollah. It is true that the Speaker told his guest the US Secretary Mike Pompeo during last month’s visit to Lebanon that “he (Berri) is the father of the resistance and the one who initiated it against Israel”. Nevertheless, President Aoun went to Moscow to strike a military deal with Russia, professed full support for the Russian plan to see all Syrian refugees returning to Syria, and told Pompeo that he fully supports the Resistance (Hezbollah). Aoun ended all this by offering an exceptionally warm welcometo the Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza at the Baabda presidential palace, to the displeasure of the US establishment, currently engaged in a frenetic regime-change campaign against President Maduro.

In fact, during Pompeo’s recent visit to Lebanon, the US official did not find any political party, even among his closest Lebanese allies, willing to stand against Hezbollah. Moreover, none of the Lebanese security forces’ leaders Pompeo met in Lebanon were ready to stand against Hezbollah, which has become part of the legislative, executive and security apparatus of the country.

If the US threat to Berri is serious, it appears that the current US establishment is intent on shooting itself in the foot and ending its presence in the Levant. In this part of the world, the US is not looked at favourably. In Syria it is considered an occupation force. In Iraq, Iraqi officials are divided between those eager to see the last US soldier leave the country and others keen to maintain a regulated and limited military collaboration with the US establishment. Moreover, the recent “gifts” offered by President Trump to Israeli prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu – i.e. Jerusalem and the Golan Heights – antagonised the Arab population and the Palestinians who no longer consider the US a partner in any future peace talks.

Yes, there are members of AMAL – Berri’s group – who hold US citizenship and enjoy good relationships with some US officials; these members are trying to ease the relationship. Simultaneously, the Speaker has already in place, at the ready, gradual measures to be implemented against the US in Lebanon, in the event that Washington is willing to implement its threat. This will become apparent if the threat is indeed a serious one; so far no US official has confirmed Washington’s intentions towards the Lebanese Speaker.

Berri’s recent visits to Iraq, where he met with top officials and religious leaders led by Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Sistani, showed the extent of his contacts and connections. By visiting Iraq, the Lebanese Speaker sent a message to the US, showing his leadership of a Shia group that is not limited to Lebanon. Therefore, it is up to the US to measure its steps and refrain from sending menacing messages that it is actually unwilling to fulfil. If the threats are real, the US must prepare for the consequences. The ball – according to this source – is now in Trump’s court.

Proof-read by:  Maurice Brasher andC.G.B

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5 thoughts on “After threatening Speaker Nabih Berri, will the US be asked to leave Lebanon permanently?

  1. The US will pass the sanctions. Lebanon will do nothing.

    Syria was going to fire back against Israel if attacked. Israel attacked. Syria nothing. The US handed over the Golan to Israel. Syria nothing.

    The US handed Jerusalem to Israel. Arab world? Nothing.

    Netanyahu says he is going to annex the West Bank. Arab world? Nothing.

    Trump went to Iraq and basically gave the finger to Iraqi government . The Iraqi parliament was going to move to kick out the Americans. Actual results? Nothing.

    Here is what every one on the planet knows about the Arab world. Every one of their leaders will sell their country out for a chance to one up their neighbours or the opposition party. Not one of them has internalized that the real danger isn’t their neighbours it is the US. If it wasn’t for Iran, today Iraq, Syria and Lebanon would be known as Israel. Until the Arab world gets over it’s petty stupid bickering among themselves and stands united the Arab world will continue to be destroyed and the people will suffer until one by one the Arab countries become failed states.

    1. Very well said. Arabs must wake up or face the harsh realities that American Indians faced. Genocide, forced relocation, fragmentation et al.

      International Jews and their Christain Zionist cohorts are doing this today, phase by little phase. They have plans for no less than the near annihilation of the Arab people and cease their lands. Its really that zero-sum.

      But with leaders like Nasrallah, Khamenei, Bashar, Houthi leadership, Mr. Ramzan Kadyrov of the Chechen Republic and some others, even the Taliban are playing their role, and have for 18 years of grinding, brutal warfare against the U.S./ NATO/Afghan stooges, their dreams and plans will come to naught.

  2. Looks like Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran are uniting to effectively counter the USA and Israel on many fronts. Trump’s declaration of the IRCG as a terrorist organization would seem to only add fuel to this effort and make them more resolved. Maybe that is only my hope. It’s easy for me, safely tucked away in the USA, to hope others on the front lines will continue to challenge The Evil Empire. Most Americans just don’t know and most that do, just don’t care. Sad but true. Exceptionalstan will go down. I just hope we don’t take the rest of the world with us.

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