The Mideastwire Blog

Excerpts from the Arab and Iranian Media & Analysis of US Policy in the Region

Wikileaks: As May 7 events are unfolding top M14 leaders asked to be armed by US

I am finally going through the incredible wikileaks archive – note that the pre 2000 ones are particularly interesting!

This part of one cable May 10 struck me – did I miss this one before…dont remember reading about it? I remember the Gaegae one where he suggests getting armed up… but here it is more definitive, and you also get the sense of how m14, especially one surmises from this one in the Feltman days, fell into the critical trap of always trying to go for the max, go for the win, be uncompromising… until that strategy forced their compromise approach!

Note further – Gemayel says he needs A FEW DAYS TO CRUSH HIZBULLAH…. at which point the US Amb should have shown him the door…. but it was not to be.

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4. (C) Gemayel said that any compromise is equal to a disaster because a compromise gives Hizballah and Iran the incentive to “take more” in Lebanon. Gemayel expressed March 14’s dedication to do whatever is necessary to defeat Hizballah. However, March 14 needs to feel they are backed by the international community with “words and effectiveness.” Gemayel said, “We are ready to offer more martrs like my son Pierre if that is what it takes” (Pierre Gemayel, assassinated in November 2006, had served as Industry and Trade Minister.) DISAPPOINTED IN INTERNATIONAL, ARAB SUPPORT —————————— 5. (C) Telecommunications Minister Hamadeh interjected, “At the most critical moment, we see Europe and the U.S. acting most passively.” He expressed his disappointment with European and U.S. responses. “We don’t count anymore on our BEIRUT 00000652 002 OF 003 international friends. We believe we’ve been dumped and fooled.” Gemayel chimed in, “The statements from the Arabs are nonsense!” PROPOSING “PRECISE MEASURES” —————————- 6. (C) Noting that March 14 leaders Saad Hariri and Walid Jumblatt are “under siege”, Social Affairs Minister Mouawad proposed several “precise measures” to show the rest of the country that March 14 “has not lost.” She dismissed the idea of an Arab peacekeeping force in Lebanon (Ref A), saying that it would not work. She first recommended extending UN Security Council resolution 1701 to Beirut International Airport, the port, and access roads. 7. (C) Second, she suggested stronger sanctions placed against Syria by the U.S., such as a ban on air travel. “Syria should not be able to use its airport until we can use ours,” she remarked, noting that one of the last planes to land at Beirut International Airport (BIA) was an Iranian flight. (Michel Mecattaf joked, “We don’t want an air ban, we want air strikes!” Nayla Mouawad confirmed that the Rene Mouawad airport, also known as Kleyate in the north was operable for commercial flights, but that the air traffic control tower was located in Beirut. She added that PM Siniora had inquired about the airport’s operability the previous day. (Note: Defense Attach remarked that the control tower issue could be resolved. End note.) 8. (C) Mouawad’s third suggestion was to arm March 14 supporters. Gemayel said that the March 14 leaders know how to ready their militias, but would need “quiet support” from the U.S., stressing that they would need arms within the next five to six days in order to defeat Hizballah. 9. (C) Mouawad suggested that a valuable short-term solution would be a visit to Beirut by a quadripartite delegation composed of the Egyptians, Jordanians, Saudis, and Kuwaitis. During the meeting, we received a press report that the Arab League foreign ministers were proposing a National Dialogue with two representatives each from the opposition and from March 14, and an Arab FM. Gemayel called this proposal “junk!” SLEIMAN’S CONTRADICTING LETTER AND PUBLIC STATEMENT ————————— 10. (C) Mouawad asserted that the Cabinet does not want to retract its decisions to transfer the head of airport security and declare Hizballah’s fiber optics network illegal (Ref B). Gemayel stated that Lebanese Armed Forces Commander Michel Sleiman is “doing a dirty job.” Gemayel explained that immediately after Sleiman’s declaration yesterday (Ref C), Sleiman sent a letter to Prime Minister Fouad Siniora informing the PM that he had investigated the Cabinet’s decisions and that the government should cancel its decisions. The letter contradicts his statement, Mouawad reasoned. (Note: The statement said that the LAF would investigate the decisions, whereas Sleiman’s letter stated that he had already investigated the matters, and now the Cabinet should revoke its decisions. End note.) 11. (C) Gemayel remarked that Sleiman’s public declaration was an attempt to demonstrate that Beirut is returning to normal and that the LAF has control over Beirut. “Sleiman is a concierge for Hizballah,” he claimed. He continued, “We are seeing the final sprint of Syria and Iran, through its instrument, Hizballah.”

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Written by nickbiddlenoe

March 14, 2012 at 1:15 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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