The administration of US President George W. Bush wants the Lebanese to choose between having their country turn into an American military base or face a new strife, Lebanon's top Shiite Muslim cleric alleged Sunday.
The allegation by Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah came three days after a senior Pentagon official said the US military would like to see a "strategic partnership" with Lebanon's army to strengthen the country's forces so that Hizbullah would have no excuse to bear arms.
"We warn that the US administration is offering the Lebanese a choice either to accept their country being turned into a (US) military, security and political base, or to expect a new strife," Fadlallah said in a statement faxed to The Associated Press.
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