The Perfidious French
France's role in Lebanon
By GEORGE SASSINEUNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL
Paris, France, Apr. 18 (UPI) -- France, Lebanon's former patron, is trying to avoid internationalizing the Lebanese crisis, which erupted following the Feb. 14 assassination of former prime minister Rafik Hariri.
France is opposed to an international conference on Lebanon, to sending international forces to its former mandate or dispatching foreign observers to oversee the general elections scheduled for May. The move, it worries, would push Lebanon out of France's political orbit.
French President Jacques Chirac, Hariri's close friend and ally, convinced U.S. President George W. Bush last June to co-sponsor U.N. Security Council Resolution 1559, aimed at forcing Syrian military and intelligence personnel out of Lebanon. He was also the first to call for an international investigation into Hariri's assassination.
Resolution 1559 called for the withdrawal of foreign forces from Lebanon but did not name Syria, which has forces in the country; the dismantling of foreign and local militias, in reference to Hezbollah and armed Palestinian factions; for expanding the state's authority over all Lebanese territory; and for deploying the Lebanese army along the border with Israel. The resolution divided the Lebanese political world.
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Okay. So the hopes and dreams of freedom and democracy for millions of Lebanese people should be shelved to ensure that France maintains its influence in the Middle East. Lets just be clear about this. While there is a realpolitik aspect that can't be discounted, since France lost their other best friend when Sadaam was pulled out of a hole in the ground, lets call a spade a spade. The French are heartless cowards.