On Jan. 25, the Lebanese parliament voted to appoint a pro-Syrian tycoon
to replace Prime Minister Saad Hariri. Najib Mikati, promoted by Hizbullah,
won a majority in the 128-member parliament to become the prime minister of
what appeared to be a Hizbullah-dominated government, Middle East Newsline reported. The vote came amid
violent Sunni protests of Hizbullah's successful campaign to depose Hariri.
"This is a democratic process," Mikati said. "I want to rescue my
In a briefing on Jan. 24, Crowley acknowledged the prospect that U.S.
law would not enable the continuation of military and security aid to
Beirut. The Iranian-sponsored Hizbullah, which achieved a majority for the
next Lebanese government, has been deemed a terrorist organization by the
"Our view of Hizbullah is very well-known," Crowley said. "We see it as
a terrorist organization, and would have great concerns about a government
within which Hizbullah plays a leading role."
Since 2006, the United States has supplied about $750 million in
military and security aid to Lebanon. In 2010, Washington supplied the first
heavy weapons to the Lebanese Army.
Crowley's statement came about a week after the State Department
insisted that it would continue military and security assistance to Lebanon
despite the collapse of the Hariri government. At the time, officials said
they envisioned that Hariri could continue to be head of a caretaker
government for much of 2011.
"A Hizbullah-controlled government would clearly have an impact on our
bilateral relationship with Lebanon," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
said on Jan. 25. "As we see what this new government does, we will judge it