Robert Fisk: Biden's real mission is to stop Hizbollah

World Focus

Saturday 23 May 2009 00:00
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When Joe Biden came to town yesterday he was accused by Hizbollah of interfering in Lebanese domestic affairs. And I thought, they may be right.

All night the police patrolled the street outside my home, telling drivers to get off the road. Then this morning, they dropped by to tell the Independent's driver to get off the road. Then they told everyone to clear the road. Then the sky filled with the apocalyptic roar of Vietnam-era Apache and Kiowa helicopters, keeping a watch on their man. Then they told us that Mr Biden had gone. So we were all safe again. How pathetic. Those of us who live in Lebanon – not the least the Lebanese – don't need to live like this.

So the American Vice-President believes in democracy. That's good news. And the President of Lebanon, Michel Sleiman – a man with infinitely more intelligence than Mr Obama's number two – warned him of the number of Israeli "spies" caught in the past few weeks – and asked him to protect Lebanon.

Mr Biden went along with this and talked about "the will of the Lebanese people" (always important if they are voting for pro-American candidates) and talked about "our commitment to mutual principles and values" (which might not last too long if the Hizbollah alliance wins the 7 June national elections).

At the end of the day, it was the same old story. Mr Biden went to talk to Fouad Sinioura, the Prime Minister (who was appointed, not elected). He chatted to the President (who may have to create a "middle block" to prevent Hizbollah winning (oh, terrible thought) and spoke to Nabih Berrih who might be the Hizbollah's greatest ally if the wrong side wins in the true and fair elections which the West promises. And that's that.

In the early afternoon, the Lebanese people were ordered to leave their beautiful coastline as His Honour Mr Biden was taken to the airport and we all went indoors in case someone wanted to blow them up.

Of course, no one blew them up. They weren't worth it. It was just another American attempt to show up how powerful they are and how weak we are and how Mr Obama will show up for democracy. Some hope.

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