On October 7th 2010 the Obama Administration railed against foreign companies and countries interfering with American politics, with the President declaring "Groups that receive foreign money are spending huge sums to influence American elections." Earlier that year, the President had dedicated an entire weekly address to attacking the Supreme Court decision on Citizens United, claiming that "It gives the special interest lobbyists new leverage to spend millions on advertising to persuade elected officials to vote their way." Despite all this rhetoric against interference in American elections, the Obama Administration is directly involved in influencing Lebanon.
Lebanon recently had its coalition government collapse following 11 members of the cabinet stepping down. This move will favor the political group Hezbollah and will give the organization firm control over selecting the next Prime Minister. Hezbollah has a checkered past, and is most known for its close ties with Iran, violent rhetoric, and occasional lobbing of rockets into Israel. However, it’s important to note that Hezbollah has not partaken in any violence against Israel since 2006 and that their recent control of the government has come through entirely legal and constitutional means. And the cabinet members that left the government? Ten of them represent Hezbollah interests.
The Obama Administration has decided to interfere anyways. There have been constant phone calls and talks with Saudi Arabia and other nations in the area about how to best control the situation. In a speech yesterday by Hezbollah secretary-general Sayyid Hasan Nasrallah it was strongly implied that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had made calls to government officials seeking to influence their action as actions are taken to form a new government. Unlike attack ads which might influence an election, the US government directly participated in actions working to disrupt a duly appointed government through other governmental officials.
Some people might encourage intervention against a group like Hezbollah due to their thoughts on the political group. But the issue is not whether Hezbollah should be in power, but why an administration that pushes such strong rhetoric about making sure American elections are free feels it is OK to directly working against other nations legal representatives.