"15. (S) The Secretary noted the need to support Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) in the run up to the elections with concrete displays of support. Feltman added that the UAE had been particularly helpful already by funding the delivery of the first ten refurbished tanks for the LAF."
Comment: This is straight from the horse's mouth. An election does not need independent observers checking against vote fraud. It doesn't need rigorous rules and checks and balances to minimise the chance of the election being fudged. It doesn't need stuff like one-person one-vote made freely without fear of repurcussions. What it really needs are... tanks! Military tanks! "Excuse me, where do I put a cross if I want to vote for party X?" Wham, an anti-personnel rocket is fired gently at the voter. "Do I put numbers or crosses?" Kaboom, the voter is enlightened (instantly to Heaven) by the response.
On the other hand, the Saudis' non-intervention was immoral (according to Feltman). The Saudis' crime? They did *not* fund the pro-West political party for the election (the March 14 Alliance)!
OMG! How can an election be fair and free if the parties "the West" want to win are not adequately funded by foreign sources? Or if there are not enough tanks on hand to educate the voters and encourage them to vote?
The Clinton doctrine on "free and fair" elections is stated here for all to see.
Hillary Rodham Clinton