November 23, 2009 Special Dispatch No. 2630

Owner of Lebanese Pro-Syrian Daily 'Al-Safir': "Silence That Chatterbox [U.S.] Ambassador!"

November 23, 2009
Lebanon, Syria | Special Dispatch No. 2630

In an op-ed titled "Silence That Chatterbox Ambassador!" in the pro-Syrian daily Al-Safir of November 2, 2009, the paper's owner, Talal Salman, accused U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Michele Sison of interfering in Lebanon's affairs, inciting civil war in the country, and making provocative statements. Also in the article, Salman attacked March 14 Forces leaders, saying that they were taking orders and dictates directly from Sison and that she was forbidding them to include Hizbullah in the new government that has yet to be formed.

It should be noted that in recent weeks, the Lebanese opposition has ratcheted up its attack on Ambassador Sison because she called on Lebanon to establish a government "in accordance with the constitution and the election results, a government committed to [U.N.] Resolution 1701, and one that will spread its sovereignty over all the country's territory." [1]

The dailies Al-Safir and Al-Akhbar, identified with the opposition, criticized Sison for "blatantly interfering in Lebanon's domestic affairs." [2] Nabil Niqola, Lebanese MP from Michel Aoun's Change and Reform faction, called for summoning Sison for clarification and even for expelling her from the country if such was warranted. [3] Lebanese parliamentary speaker Nabih Berri said during a meeting with Sison that it was the U.S. that had been holding up the formation of the new government in Lebanon, and accused her of always choosing to highlight events that she terms "Lebanon's violations of Resolution 1701" but turning a blind eye to Israel's daily violations of Lebanon's sovereignty. [4]

The following is a translation of the main points of the op-ed: [5]

"This Dangerous Ambassador, Who Never Rests, Is Following the Path of Hillary Clinton, Who Considers Herself the Shadow President of the U.S. and Addresses the Arab Leaders in an Imperative Tone"

The tone of Salman's opening statements is sarcastic. "It is not [considered] an insult or violation of diplomatic rules," he writes, "when U.S. Ambassador to Beirut [Michele Sisson] comes out with provocative statements, incites to civil war [fitna], and reinforces those who call for division and strife [in Lebanon] and who are trying to strike at the foundations of [Lebanese] national unity, in the shadow of such inflammatory slogans as 'Might, Sovereignty, and Independence.'

"That is because this dangerous ambassador functions in a space allowed her by regime members, among them the heads of the political echelon [i.e. March 14 Forces officials] who treat her like 'the proper source of authority' on Lebanese affairs... They turn to her in every matter, small and large, and ask her to make decisions for them or to dictate to them the positions that she thinks are good for sovereign, independent Lebanon... because she is the personal and sole representative and the official spokeswoman of 'Cedar Revolution' secretary-general Jeffery Feltman.

"In addition, this ambassador, who never rests, is following the path of her minister, [U.S. Secretary of State] Hillary Clinton, who considers herself the shadow president of the U.S. and addresses the Arab friends [i.e. the leaders of Arab countries] in an imperative tone - and they obey her, and do not object...

"We are so thankful to Allah that [at least] the heavens do not take orders from this eloquent American woman, who leaves no [Lebanese] issue without responding to it, and issues [pronouncements] that are akin to direct orders to the Lebanese officials, both high-level and lower level [regarding the makeup of the future government]. All this, as she rejects the [idea] of a national unity [government] and points out [to Lebanon's citizens] their need to adhere to the [parliamentary] election results [when they put together a government]...

"[Sison] forewarns [Lebanon's citizens] against violating the 'royal' Resolution 1701, waving the threatening finger of Israel in case any [citizen] dares even to think about involving Hizbullah in the government..."

"Lebanon Has Not Yet Become an American Colony, and It Will Never Be One!"

"Despite the assembly of half the U.S. Navy, with its aircraft carriers, warships, and destroyers, along with those 'lent' to Israel, in the Mediterranean... [we must say] that the provocative and extraordinary views [expressed] by the American ambassador in Beirut, which are in accordance with the direct and explicit orders of the one who is guiding her, [i.e.] Jeffery Feltman, are unacceptable, perverse, and insult the honor of the Lebanese. We must require this ambassador, regardless of the importance of who she represents, to maintain what her position requires her to maintain, and we must direct her attention to the fact that she is grossly violating the principles of sovereignty, independence, and national honor.

"Lebanon has not yet become an American colony, and it will never be one! We have enough eloquent people at work [creating] division to the point of civil war [in Lebanon] from the ranks of the Arabic-language professors, the clerics, the people of action, and those who follow foreign sources of authority, and we also have centers, dependent on Arab funding, that aim to [push Lebanon] into a civil war that will serve Israel...

"In short, either you silence this chatterbox ambassador, or ask her government to silence her. She can say whatever she wants in her secret meetings - where she says many things that the Lebanese cannot say, let alone a foreigner who in most instances is speaking in Israel's name!"


[1] Al-Mustaqbal (Lebanon), October 17, 2009. 1

[2] Al-Akhbar, Al-Safir, Lebanon, October 17, 2009.

[3], October 18, 2009.

[4] Al-Nahar (Lebanon), October 29, 2009; Al-Safir, Lebanon, November 2, 2009.

[5] Al-Safir (Lebanon), November 2, 2009.

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