Wednesday, June 03, 2009

As intervenções norte-americanas no Libano

For example, during the 1970s and 1980s, the United States backed right-wing, predominantly Maronite militias such as the Phalangists against the predominantly Druze Progressive Socialist Party. During the 1982-84 U.S. intervention in Lebanon, U.S. forces fought the Socialists directly, including launching heavy air and sea bombardments against Druze villages in the Shouf Mountains. Now, however, the U.S. supports the Socialists, who currently ally themselves with the pro-Western May 14th Alliance.

Similarly, the United States supported the Shia Amal militia in 1985-86 when it was fighting armed Palestinian groups as well as in 1988 when Amal was fighting Hezbollah forces. Today, however, the United States is strongly opposed to Amal, now part of the March 8th alliance, acting as if they are one with Hezbollah.

The United States supported Syria’s initial military intervention in Lebanon back in 1976 as a means of suppressing leftist forces and their Palestinian allies. Similarly, the U.S. supported the bloody Syrian-instigated coup in late 1990 that consolidated Syria’s political control of the country. Subsequently, however, the United States became a leading critic of Syria’s domineering role of the country’s government, which continued until a popular nonviolent uprising during the spring of 2005 forced a Syrian withdrawal from the country.

In a more recent example, as part of a U.S. policy to support hard-line Sunni fundamentalist groups as a counter-weight to the growth of radical Shia movements in Iraq and Lebanon, the U.S. encouraged Lebanese parliamentary majority leader Saad Hariri to provide amnesty for radical Salafi militants, who were released from jail. As such militants began causing problems in the northern city of Tripoli in 2006 from a base in a Palestinian refugee camp, however, the U.S. then backed a bloody Lebanese army crackdown.

One of the most bizarre switches in U.S. allegiances involves former Lebanese Army General Michel Aoun, a Maronite, and his Free Patriotic Movement, the most popular Christian-led political group in the country. As an ally to Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in 1990, the United States gave a green light to the Syrians to have Aoun overthrown as interim Lebanese prime minister in a violent coup. Not long afterward, however, the United States then switched sides to support Aoun and oppose the Syrians and their supporters. As recently as 2003, Aoun was feted by the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies – a neo-conservative group with close ties with the Bush administration, which includes among its leaders Newt Gingrich, James Woolsey, Jack Kemp, and Richard Perle, as well as Democratic Senators Charles Schumer and Joseph Lieberman. The group declared him a champion of freedom and democracy. Aoun won similar praise from both Republican and Democratic members of Congress when he testified that year before the House International Relations Committee.

Soon after his return to Lebanon from exile, however, Aoun became one of the most outspoken opponents of the U.S.-backed political leaders and parties which dominate the current Lebanese government and he and his movement are now allied with Hezbollah in the March 8th Alliance.

Not surprisingly, he is now considered once again to be one of the bad guys.

No comments: