A leaked U.S. Embassy cable revealed that current caretaker Labor Minister Butros Harb was concerned that a Hizbullah victory in the July 2006 war would increase the party’s power in the country.
The cable, which dates back to the July 2006 war, said that Harb believed that the war is loaded with victims, but it lacks in achievements.
He added that he had expected Israel to achieve a swift victory in the war, but that did not happen, said the cable published exclusively in Al-Akhbar on Wednesday.
Harb was also concerned that Hizbullah’s victory would increase the party’s power in the country because it would have “broken the legend of the Israeli army” and garnered international sympathy.
He warned that sympathy for the group was increasing, bolstering its image as a hero, but the Lebanese believe that Hizbullah does not care about protecting human life and they cannot express their true feelings because it would appear that they are opposing the Resistance and supporting Israel.
He also voiced his disappointment that Hizbullah does not seem to be weakening in the war, stressing that the war should be halted in order to prevent Nasrallah from turning into a “Rambo figure in the region.”
Meanwhile, Harb’s press office rejected the Wikileaks report, saying that it only reflects the opinions of then U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Jeffrey Feltman.
It said in a statement: “Harb’s positions on the Arab-Israeli conflict are known and they reflect his honest and ongoing support to Arab causes, especially those on the Israeli assault on Lebanon in 2006,” it continued.
“Despite his reservations on the circumstances surrounding the eruption of that war, he had called on the Lebanese to unite in confronting the aggression,” it added.
“Harb completely rejects these reports and voices his disappointment over the irony that these ambassador reports, especially those from a U.S. ambassador, have garnered the attention of those who consider them their enemy,” it stated.
“The reports are aimed at tarnishing the image and reputation of politicians, forcing them to defend their dignity against silly accusations directed against them,” the statement concluded.
He also expected that Lebanon and the region would face a disaster if Hizbullah emerged from a war more powerful than before.
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