Another day, another extremely embarrassing diplomatic cable. The charming quote used for the title of this post reportedly came from the mouth of former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, quoted in cable released by Al Akhbar in its latest batch.
While I was still in Beirut I spent a lot of time painstakingly collating the Lebanon-related US cables released by Wikileaks on my blog. There seems no need to do so now as many others are doing a fine job.
There are some extremely interesting cables among those currently being released Al-Akhbar, confirming everyone’s long-held suspicion (as if there were ever any doubt) that there truly is no honour among Lebanon’s politicians.
Blogger Elias Muhanna has been collating the most interesting cables on Qifa Nabki, including one in which Amal leader Nabih Berri reportedly says that if the Shebaa Farms are liberated, then “who needs Hizballah?”
However, it seems the best have been saved till last. This cable released today by Al Akhbar is certain to cause further headache to an already embattled and bedraggled Hariri.
The cable details a meeting immediately after the 2006 Israeli attack on Lebanon, between the then US Ambassador Jeffrey Feltman and Hariri. In the cable, Hariri reportedly says that the Lebanese Armed Forces could not take any other position than that of supine neutrality (my words not his) while Hezbollah had a military edge on it. The next quote is revealing:
“But once the army has “some teeth and some morale,” Saad urged, then he promises to “smack Hizballah down.”
He goes on:
“Growing more strident (and clearly hoping to be recorded verbatim), Saad assured the Ambassador, ‘Give me a chance, and I will f*** Hizballah.’”
At a time when March 14 is focusing all of its energy and attention on Hezbollah’s weapons, and asking others to do the same, these revelations are certain to affect the debate.
Of course Hezbollah is not so shorted as to neglect contemplating all possible scenarios if it were to ever disarm – which is itself so minute a possibility at this time many have questioned the logic of March 14 pursuing it – but to have Hariri so clearly state that as soon as Hezbollah disarmed it will be crushed, is not likely to soften Hezbollah’s stance.