With talk today about creating a"No-Fly Zone" over Libya in response to the continuing crisis over Gadaffi, I keep wondering how wise a move of that sort is. Historically, there has always been some sort of physical involvement with European or American forces in the region whenever a crisis looms. One of the gratifying aspects to the current situations in Tunisia and Egypt is that we purposely kept a hands-off approach to the crisis, allowing that thing called "the right of self-determination" to take hold. And even though our intentions may be pure and humanitarian, we still have a long enough history in the region to remind those on the streets that our efforts in the past have not always been the most pure and forthright. We have often arrived, but with strings attached. Many years ago it was the result of the Cold War that U.S. aid to those regions came flooding in because it was feared the Soviet Union would jump in as well. But now we have the opportunity to do things differently for the first time perhaps ever.
Howard K. Smith (CBS News): “Mister President, some aspects of the conflict are mystifying to the American public, I would like to ask you what exactly was the original cause of the trouble in Lebanon?”
President Camille Chamoun (Pres. Of Lebanon): “Well, it is simply the desire of the United Arab Republic to dominate the policy of this country.”
Smith: “Well, it is said that the original cause was a decision by you to try to be elected for a second term as President, is there any truth in that?
Chamoun: “The election or re-election of the President in any country is simply a domestic affair. It happened in the past, that Lebanon has elected many Presidents, it has re-elected one President, and nothing happened of that kind between government and opposition. The fact that there is an armed rebellion today and that these armed rebellions has been assisted with financial support, military equipment, volunteers and terrorists coming from Egypt and Syria, is the proof that the domestic issue was only a pretext for the United Arab Republic to start this problem with the ultimate aim of dominating the policy of Lebanon.”