The destroyer is intended to be a presence that's felt rather than seen. The US and its pro-Western allies believe Syria and Iran are stirring up trouble in Lebanon, and this is a message to them. Even so the Bush administration is downplaying the positioning of the USS Cole. Lebanon's US-backed government and the Hezbollah opposition have been locked in a 15-month play for power, including a conflict over a vote for president. Hezbollah called the deployment of the USS Cole counterproductive and a clear sign of intimidation and interference. Even Lebanon's pro-Western government says this is not an entirely welcome sign.
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