The young politician on many short lists in Lebanon as a future president of that embattled country told Newsmax he is worried that the U.S. under President Biden will not do anything to keep the Islamist political party Hezbollah from turning Lebanon over to Iran.
"For sure, the statements [from the Biden Administration] against Hezbollah are strong," said Nadim Gemayel, a member of Parliament and scion of one of Lebanon’s most illustrious political families, "However, the actions are pretty null. Will the U.S. do anything to keep Hezbollah from turning us over to Iran?"
Gemayel, 39, spoke to Newsmax over the weekend shortly after former Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced he was abandoning his attempt to form a new government.
This means eight months have gone by without a government in place in Beirut. Hariri blamed President Michel Auon and his support from the Hezbollah members of parliament for his inability to cobble together a working government.
"It is going crazy here," Gemayel told Newsmax, "With Hariri out, now we go into a new round of consultation. But we are going to hit the same problem."
At a time when Lebanon has no government, its currency has lost 90% of its value, and most of its population lives below the poverty level, Gemayel said that "there is now a fear that a future agreement between the U.S. and Iran will result in Lebanon being handed over to the Iranians."
As for opposition in Lebanon to Hezbollah, he described it "scattered."
According to Gemayel, "no one is ready to face Hezbollah directly, since there is no backup, no support, no protection from anyone — not the U.S. nor the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia."
He added that "[o]ur main fear is that it is not only the presence of the ‘free Lebanese’ that is at stake, it is the entire identity of Lebanon and the region that is going to change.
"Lebanon was the last standing free, democratic, liberal, ‘state of law’ country in the region. Today it is essentially under the control of the Ayatollah [of Iran] and the Pasdaran [Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps]. The ‘free world’ is losing one of his members — and without reaction from the big brother America!"
When Gemayel speaks on policy and politics, Lebanon listens. Like John F. Kennedy, his late father Bachir Gemayel is remembered as a charismatic leader who brought hope and optimism to his country only to be cut down in the prime of his life.
Elected president in August 1982 as his country was occupied by Palestinians, Israelis, and Syrians, the elder Gemayel ordered the Lebanese Army to enter West Beirut and ordered Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Liberation Organization to leave Lebanon.
Both President Ronald Reagan and CIA Director William Casey saw the Lebanese president-elect as a pivotal leader in eventual peace in the Middle East.
Before he could take office in September of that year, Bachir Gemayel was dead at 34 — the victim of a bomb exploding in his Beirut headquarters.
Asked how Lebanon would be different today had his father lived, Gemayel said "it would be independent, free, and something completely different from what it is."
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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