Failure of the US-Saudi strategy for Lebanon

By Batool Subeiti

The 2022 Lebanese elections sealed a victory for Lebanon’s Islamic resistance, similar to the 2006 war, due to the failed US plot. The objective of the 2006 assault was to remove resistance from the military and political equation, to migrate Shiites and to reoccupy southern Lebanon, but the war ended and none of these objectives were met. achieved.

Since then, the war against resistance, led by America, has turned into an indirect confrontation, through the creation of tools such as NGOs, the funding of “civil society” groups and the imposition of penalties. These efforts are taking place amid a smear campaign to demonize the resistance and present it as the root of all problems, so that it is rejected in the Lebanese arena, even by the Shia front which is placed in a position of weakness.

In fact, that’s what David Schenker, former bureau chief for Near East Affairs at the State Department, revealed in a recent interview, detailing the Jamal Trust Bank sanction and valuation swipes. credit du Liban, the public dinners with Shiite businessmen organized by agent Lokman Slim, with the aim of promoting economic activity to wean the Shiite community from its dependence on the resistance, and the support for the NED-funded tabloid, Janoubia.

Moreover, the 2019 “October Revolution”, initially started under the title of responding to people’s “demands” and “reforms”, however, was quickly hijacked under the title of “demilitarizing the resistance”. US Ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy Shea has served as campaign coordinator since taking over her role in 2020, assigning roles to other ambassadors and creating the tools to support the US goal. In other words, to ensure that the results of the elections mean the rise of an effective front which can carry out a direct confrontation with the resistance. However, despite gigantic efforts numbering in the millions, the results mean that the US-Saudi axis failed in this goal, as campaign efforts did not result in the defeat of the resistance.

Since 2017, America has been preparing the ground for a direct confrontation with the resistance, using effective figures as tools in the Lebanese arena. The Sunni arena is considered the main tool of confrontation since the preparation of the grounds for sedition. Saad Hariri, leader of the Future Movement Party and former Prime Minister of Lebanon who had filled the Sunni sphere, was not seen as an effective tool to direct the confrontation with the resistance, reinforcing the bigotry that America wanted to transform in a civil war. As a result, he was sidelined and the strategy was to fill the void in the Sunni arena with replacement leaders. However, this also failed and all the contradictions that were raised between Shiites and Sunnis, to put a psychological barrier between the people and the resistance did not succeed.

Confidence has fallen on Geagea, leader of the Christian Lebanese Forces. However, the Sunni front found it difficult to make an alliance with Geagea, especially given its bloody history in the civil war against the Sunnis. As a result, the resistance won more seats than it had lost in Sunni areas and although there were MPs supporting the resistance who lost their seats, the overall objective of creating a Sunni front strong enough to physically face the resistance in a direct war had completely failed.

In fact, the opposition to the resistance was further dispersed in the Sunni front, while it was unexpected that the Christian Free Patriotic Movement, an ally of the resistance, won so many seats, despite the American sanctions imposed on its representatives. , like Gebran Basil .

While the main US-Saudi strategy for Lebanon has been to weaken Islamic resistance in the political sphere, creating a climate of hatred and placing a majority surrogate in parliament to wage a direct war, all attempts since 2019 to getting the election results in America’s favor has failed. The elections were not a turning point for change, as the majority of the change in their favor was created on a local front and the fight against corruption also brought nothing, since most of the old faces remain.

While the extent of support for the change operation did not materialize, the electoral process crucially revealed the extent of outside infiltration and involvement, such as the Saudi ambassador who acted as coordinator of the campaign, revealing the lack of impartiality by which it was carried out. It also dealt a blow to US-Saudi prestige as they used all of their showdown cards and failed. It was then that any loss of seats for the resistance and its alliance was partial and could be absorbed, resulting in no change in the balance of power, and crucially revealing that the main file the resistance is dealing with is that of strategic issues, which are a matter of security and national sovereignty, and will remain unchanged, regardless of the majority in power.

Batool is an energy engineer and policy analyst based in London, UK.

(The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Press TV.)

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