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Thursday, July 13, 2006

Mr. Abboud loses his job

I have some more details on the (apparently permanent) recall of Lebanon's ambassador to the United States, Farid Abboud.

It seems that Abboud was interviewed by CNN last night, and said exactly what Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora did not want him to say:

"We did not declare war. It was declared against us when our country was occupied by the Israelis, with prisoners taken from Lebanon into Israel, and with Palestinian prisoners pushed into Lebanon's territory. We did not occupy Israel and we did not declare war on it.

"At this stage any solution must be negotiations on Israel's withdrawal from the occupied Lebanese territories and a release of the Lebanese prisoners. We have our prisoners. They have prisoners. An exchange would be appropriate, and I think it will resolve the problem.

Hezbullah's Hassan Nasrallah could not have done a better job of stating his own position than Abboud did. Nasrallah is looking to get the Israeli response over as quickly as possible with as little damage as possible and then to wear us down in negotiations until we give him all of his prisoners terrorists that we are holding.

Siniora was furious, because he is trying to separate himself from Hezbullah, even though it is part of his government, because his country is paying the price for Hezbullah's actions (and with good reason - for the last six years, the Lebanese government has refused to bite the bullet and reign Hezbullah in, just like the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority refused to reign in Hamas and the other 'Palestinian' extremist terrorist groups). In fact, the US ambassador to Beirut and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice demanded yesterday that Siniora control the situation and work to release the kidnapped Israeli soldiers, which he also does not want to do because he does not want to take on Hezbullah (if this sounds remarkably like 'moderate Palestinian President' Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen, you are right). Siniora is trying to wash his hands of the situation.

Abboud won't be returning to Washington. The Lebanese are at least smart enough to realize that the Americans won't work with an ambassador who supports terrorism.

Siniora was in the US in April and met with George Bush. It's a pity for the Lebanese that he's just managed to throw away whatever goodwill he developed. He will need the help to reconstruct his country when this is over.


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