"“Lebanon and the Lebanese people face a choice: bravely move forward as an independent and proud nation or allow the dark ambitions of Iran and Hezbollah to dictate your future,” he said while standing next to the foreign minister, Gebran Bassil, after an afternoon meeting. Mr. Pompeo added that it would “take courage” for Lebanon to stand up to what he called Hezbollah’s “criminality, terror, and threats.”
Mr. Bassil, who is an ally of Hezbollah, countered Mr. Pompeo in his own post-meeting statement, saying: “For us, Hezbollah is a Lebanese party, not terrorists. Its members of parliament were elected by the Lebanese people, with high popular support.”" NY Times
"Lebanese President Michael Aoun reportedly received a US-Israeli document detailing plans for creating a civil war in Lebanon, during US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to Beirut, Lebanon on March 22nd.
The document outlines covert false flag operations and a possible Israeli invasion, Lebanese TV station, Al-Jadeed reported.
According to the report, the source of the document is Israeli and it was created in partnership with the US, it is unclear who exactly presented it to President Aoun." SF and al Jadeed
Well now, pilgrims, the trick in looking at this story is to figure out how much of this can possibly be true. "Al Jadeed" has a long history of tilting at windmills, but … there is a certain madcap consistency in this story with the Trump/Bolton/Pompeo view of their role in history and willingness to "think big."
I don't think anyone would have been foolish enough to actually give the Lebanese a document that laid out this scheme, but that does not mean that Pompeo the Great did not verbally press this evidence of his mastery of the world on Aoun and company.
For him to do that would have required a presidential "finding" under the US National Defence Acts for what would undoubtedly be covert warfare, but that could be. There must by now be a number of findings signed by Trump to authorize such efforts as the march of freedom toward Caracas, etc.
Would the Israelis be goofy enough to have suggested/ordered such a plan? As I have written here before, Hizbullah's massive rocket and missile capability poses a strategic problem to Israel all the way down to Tel Aviv. This capability is protected from Israeli attacks by the Tabbouleh Line of entrenched Hizbullah militia, many of them very combat experienced in Syria. The Israelis do not want to repeat their 2006 experience against what was then a weaker TL but they yearn for an end to Hizbullah's retaliatory capability against Israel.
How much easier or possible it might be to take down Hizbullah by fomenting an anti-Hizbullah civil war within Lebanon.
Unfortunately for this hope Hizbullah is a fully integrated part of Lebanese society and government. President Aoun, a Maronite Christian, and his foreign minister made that clear to the Pomp. The notion that Lebanon can still be split like a melon by spreading a bucket full of money around is typical of the arrogance and ignorance with which Israeli policy still views its neighbors.
My SWAG is that this Al-Jadeed report represents the decision of some Lebanese politician to debrief to the TeeVee station concerning the verbal statements made by Pompeo in Lebanon.