US: Assistance to Lebanon contributes to regional stability

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U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner has defended U.S. assistance to Lebanon and said it contributes to “regional stability as a whole.”

Toner suggested that the While House does not share Congress’ fears that aid to the Lebanese army will be turned against Israel.

“We will review the security assistance program to Lebanon so that we can do better to address Congress’ concerns and to continue to provide military assistance to the Lebanese army,” Toner said.

This comes after US House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman, D-Calif., announced Monday his decision to withhold $100 million in military assistance to Lebanon out of concerns regarding Hezbollah, citing recent border skirmishes between Israeli and Lebanese forces and heightened rhetoric from Hezbollah.

Berman , considered a strong supporter of Israel, took the decision after Israel and its lobbies in the US complained to the United States and France about funds to the Lebanese army following the skirmish that killed a senior Israeli officer, two Lebanese soldiers and a Lebanese journalist in the worst border violence since a 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war.

“Until we know more about this incident and the nature of Hezbollah influence on the Lebanese armed forces — and can assure that the LAF is a responsible actor — I cannot in good conscience allow the United States to continue sending weapons to Lebanon,” Berman said in a statement.

Berman’s action angered Lebanon’s Defense Minister Elias al-Murr who told reporters on Wednesday:” any party that wished to help the military had to do so without any conditions.”

“That person who said in Congress, ‘I will stop aid to the army’, he is free to do so . Murr added: Anyone who wants to help the army without restrictions or conditions, is welcome.”

“This person wants to make military aid conditional on not protecting (Lebanon’s) land, people and borders against Israeli aggression. Let them keep their money or give it to Israel. We will confront (Israel) with the capabilities we own.” Murr stressed

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6 responses to “US: Assistance to Lebanon contributes to regional stability”

  1. Jean Haddad Avatar
    Jean Haddad

    Ya Salam, we should knee down and thank the US for their gratitude toward the LAF. Ma Fashar!!!

    Who they think we are? batch of Moron desperate for help. We as Lebanese wherever we are we contribute in building communities and enhancing economies. Take Canada as an example all Lebanese are professional and great business leaders, look at Columbia (of course not in the drug deals), Brazil, Mexico, Australia, Dubai, etc. 15 millions Lebanese around the world and they are in best conditions. I agree on one point with Al Murr, providing military assistance should be unconditional to defend our borders not our streets then let them help the Lebanese Squat to do so. Lebanon is facing aggression from every side of the borders from Israel to Syria. It is the time to stand against the world. The US is good in speeches and plans but horrible in application. I am not against anyone but I hate preferences and racism.

    Have a good day

  2. It is very short sighted of Congressman Berman’s action toward Lebanon by cutting aid to our beloved Army. The state of Lebanon will always exist but sooner or later militias or Resistance will come and go so in the long run it is to have a strong state to administer justice to every body equally.Where are you Cong. Daryl Issa?

  3. prophet Avatar

    I’d have to just repeat some thoughts I had said in another posting . Lebanon should never accept any conditional aids to arm the Lebanese Armed Forces( LAF). Not from the united states, or Iran or any other country. No one gives you any thing for free. If Lebanon is really serious about arming its armed forces so that they can defend its borders and airspace , It would have to buy the military supplies its LAF needs, and then use it as it sees fit. Forget about what the U.S. State Department spokesman, Mark Toner, said regarding the stability of the region. The only country that has been threatening the stability of the region is Israel. Can any one remember the last time the LAF invaded Israel? Or the last time Lebanese air force violated the Israeli airspace? I forgot to ask if anyone remembers the last time the LAF occupied the Israeli Capital. I thank US House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman so much for his action. He made it very clear that the purpose behind the modest arms supplies the USA has provided is not , and was not for the purpose of defending Lebanon, but instead for protecting the stability and security of Israel. Mark Toner , indirectly agrees with the chairman when he says: “We will review the security assistance program to Lebanon so that we can do better to address Congress’ concerns and to continue to provide military assistance to the Lebanese army” .Translation: We’ll make sure they won’t use U. S. military assistance against Israel. I just wonder who Mr. Toner had in mind

  4. the difference between if christians ruled the USA as opposed to the zionists presently ruling the USA.

    the christians would definitely fund lebanon.

    Mark Toner much respect my friend.

    1. Walid Khouri Avatar
      Walid Khouri

      My friend Tony A:

      Christians do not want to rule… They separated religion from the state long time ago. As a matter of history, the idea of separating those two was actually debated over 2000 years. Thomas Jefferson, a person I so admire, wrote a letter in 1802 to the church referring to the First Amendment of the United States Constitution as creating a “wall of separation” between church and state.

      That being said, you will still find Christianists (for lack of a better term), a la Islamists, who strive to get their religion into state affairs. Those mostly are clustered in the midwest and sadly they are staunch supporters of Israel.

      On the other hand, one should not compare Christians to Zionists, as Christianity is a religion, not a race nor a movement, much like Judaism, which is totally different than Zionism which is a movement like Nazism.

      1. walid habeebi read my post again my dear brother. i’m talking about if the christians ruled the USA bro.

        not necessarily political or religious my friend. i’m talking about people with the names of tom dick and harry not menachem golda and yitzak.

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