Former Pres. Carter was infamous for using his “status” as an ex-president to undermine a current sitting President’s policies. Lance Morrow writing for Time Magazine once called Cater the “Anti-President” for his antics against Clinton’s and the countrys policies on Haiti and North Korea.
Carter’s ultimate infamy came during the run-up to the first Gulf War, when he wrote members of the U.N. Security Council — including Mitterrand’s France and Communist China — urging them to thwart the Bush administration’s efforts at forming a coalition to free the freshly invaded Kuwait.
Fast forward to the current Israeli/Lebanon conflict and we have another Democrat playing spoiler to the Bush policy of providing $230 million in aid for Lebanon. This time it’s a sitting [Dim]ocrat, California Representitve Tom Lantos.
As I write this he sits in Israel threatening to withhold the needed funds until an agreement can be reached to have the new UNIFIL troops placed on the Syrian border in “adequate numbers.”
It should be said as the ranking Democrat on the U.S. House of Representatives’ International Relations Committee Lantos has the power to hold up legislation and thus the funds. (and why in the hell is that allowed?)
On a personnel level I agree with his premise, but not his methods. The myopic optometrist that sits in his regal castle as President of Syria has declared any troop build-up (on the Lebanese side) along the Lebanon/Syrian frontier would be considered an “act of war.”
In short, fuck Assad, his lunacy would give me more reason to mass as large a force as possible along the border, all carrying flags saying “bring what-cha got big boy!”. But that’s just me.
However Lantos’ actions seems counterproductive to this writer. (not to mention subverting the President) If the funds are ultimately withheld it sends the wrong message to people not needing any more reason to hate the U.S.
It also seems an odd position to take for someone that is the Co-Chairman of, Congressional Human Rights caucus. I guess the human rights of the Lebanese doesn’t count when a political hack is making a political statement.
Lantos’ has said, “my purpose is not to withhold aid from Lebanon, my purpose … is to persuade the government of Lebanon that the closing of the Lebanon-Syria border to arms smuggling from Iran and Syria is in the prime national interest of Lebanon and the Lebanese people.”
Sounds good on paper or when listening to a sound bite but in the end Lebanon couldn’t give one wit whether the border ever gets closed to arms smuggling. Or getting any U.S. aid it seems.
Nawwar Sahili, one of 14 Hezbollah members elected to the 128-seat Lebanese parliament has called for his government to reject any U.S. aid offered. “The U.S. administration is a partner in Israel’s aggression against Lebanon,” Sahili said in a telephone interview. “Accepting it would be like absolving the U.S. administration.”
Like any rejected aid, the Lebanese Gevernment will continue to reject any purposals to have their own or foreign forces along its border with Syria. That’s the way it has been, the way it is, and will remain so.
Lantos is attempting to piss on a flat rock without getting his shoes wet. I should think a more productive effort would be for Lantos to investigate why the UNIFIL mission actively aided Hezbollah during the 34 day war. Something tells me he wouldn’t find any interest in the problem. There is no political gain to be had.
Terrorism, Syria, Israel, Lebanon, Rep. Lantos, Politics, Cranial Cavity
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