Doc. Number 2602/ August 12, 2006
Hariri meeting Jeffrey Feltman (Excerpts) Original will be availbale once site releases it)
(…) Hariri believes that, despite Hezbollah’s bravado, the resistance is badly bruised and weakened politically.
Hariri said that Nabih Berri’s dream to to ‘get rid of Hezbollah’ and that Berri is upset with Hezbollah, waiting for the dust to settle to use his rejuvenated popular support to ‘pressure Hezbollah in order to control it…’ Hariri believes that it was Berri who imposed his will on Hezbollah and pressured them to accept the North-Litani redeployment … Hariri thinks these moves are the ‘beginning of the end’ for the resistance. (comment: when Ambassador feltman met with minister Ghazi Aridi he was told that parallel to the Paris conference of Donors, an Arab fund was being created and it would include Iran … This fund was to be ‘supervised by Berri’ ) Ambassador Feltman raised the ‘Berri family finances’ with Hariri and pressed upon him the need of preventing Berri and his wife Randa from tapping into any fund, as is customary.
Hariri asked ambassador Feltman to ‘keep his remarks confidential’ and reiterated the need to remove Lahoud, Suleiman & Georges Khoury (head of Army Intelligence) because they are certified Syrian & Hezbollah agents …and hoped to recruit Nabih Berri towards these noble goals! Hariri asked Feltman to help in keeping the pressure on Syria and Iran to ‘destabilize them’… Finally, Hariri asked that for an immediate formation of the ‘Tribunal’ in order to use it as a ‘sword above Syria & Iran’s necks’ and weaken their Lebanese agents!
Comment: Hariri spoke of his concerns that the airport was still being used to smuggle weapons for Hezbollah and belittled Nabih Berri’s reputation as ‘embezzler’and said that he skimmed ‘only 10-15%’ to rebuild the South and line his pockets …
[Comment: Hariri wants to get rid of Lahoud and (especially) Suleiman but could not name anyone to replace them both ..
Hariri lowered his voice and shook his head .. We believe that was a sincere acknowledgement that he was thankful we pressed upon him to name Siniora instead of Bahij Tabbarah, despite a shaky start, rocked by jealousy ... We believe that Siniora and Hariri will cooperate in the future, and hoped that Hariri would remain in Lebanon because his frequent leisurly travels with large entourage, and lavish stays at the Plaza Athenee, did not go down well when Lebanon was being bombarded, and that did not bode well for March 14. End comment]
Document number 2513/Beirut
(Excerpts below. Original to be released later)
August 1, 2006.
Meeting between Ambassador Feltman & MP Boutros Harb.
Harb, a presidential hopeful, lamented that albeit the toll of Israeli war on Lebanon was steep, it ‘remains without a good conclusion.’… Harb worries that Nasrallah could still cpme out a ‘winner’ from this debacle, because he is seemingly destroying the myth of an invincible IDF, and gaining international sympathy …
Harb worries that the war is now in its 20th day, and that is giving Arabs in general that Israel can be defeated and ultimately destroyed… He also warned that the attack on Qana was playing into Hezbollah’s hands and gaining it popular support …
Harb was saddened to see that the Israeli war did not weaken Hezbollah and stressed that a cesafire was going to make Hezbollah the ‘region’s Rambo!’.
Harb further stressed that it was going to be a ‘catastrphy’ should Hezbollah come out of all this ‘stronger’… Harb warned Feltman that if this happened, Hezbollah would be well positioned to impose the Wilayat al Faqih on all Lebanese, … and ultimately, spark the Sunni-Shii’ showdown it longs for.
Harb went on and made some ‘policy recommendations’ but acknowledged that it was ‘easier said than done’. Harb said that it was unfortunate that Hezbollah’s physical presence was not centralized, making it military defeat difficult. But Harb still hoped for a military defeat of Hezbollah, although he predicted that this defeat would be coensated by an increase in Hezbollah’s popularity.
Harb proposed that Israel advances into Lebanon, and occupies Hezbollah’s strogholds in Marun el Rass & Bint Jbeil .. Harb stressed the importance of this happening before the US imposition of a cease fire….”