As an American currently staying in Lebanon the below statement, released yesterday, is shameful to me. Whatever the reason for the shake up, the government was changed democratically and the protesters who wrecked violence yesterday were pro-Hariri and not pro-Hizbullah. If the opposite were true, yesterday's events would have been considered terrorism. Protesters burned cars, looted offices and beat up reporters. Also the US is meddling by saying that it will now consider ending aid to Lebanon and that the foreign imposed STL must continue its work. This sounds a lot like coercion and intimidation to me...
State Department Press Statement:
Philip J. Crowley
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Public Affairs
January 25, 2011
The United States continues to follow closely the situation in Lebanon. It is essential that any Lebanese government abide by the Lebanese constitution, prevent any use of violence – including efforts to exact retribution against former government officials – and lives up to all of its international obligations, including U.N. Security Council Resolutions and its commitment to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. The make-up of Lebanon’s government is a Lebanese decision, but this decision should not be reached through coercion, intimidation, and threats of violence. Unfortunately, Hizballah, backed by Syria, engaged in all three in pursuit of its political goals.
The work of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon is of vital importance to stability, security and justice in Lebanon: Its work will continue. Any government that is truly representative of all of Lebanon would not abandon the effort to end the era of impunity for assassinations in the country. Especially at this challenging time, we call on all parties to maintain calm and exercise maximum restraint.