Thursday, July 26, 2007

U.S. Kills Plans to Build Embassy in Hezbollah Area of Beirut

reader (and Blogger) Apokraphyte lead me to this ABC Blotter story.
"A U.S. official tells the Blotter on that Ambassador Jeffrey Feltman, in a May 31, 2007 classified cable to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, registered his strong objections, saying his staff "unanimously opposes construction" of the embassy on the proposed site.
Feltman also said in the cable that his local staff would be "an easy target" for Hezbollah and that U.S. diplomats would "be under siege" during any conflict."
I have heard about this lot a few times (with conspiratorial twists) and it does not look like news to me. Purchasing US-pegged real estate (40,000 meters in Yarzeh) in the immediate proximity of "Dahieh" is a stroke of ... madness. The Beirut cynics say that "Jeff Feltman, who is anything but Ambassadorial, must have been promised a healthy remuneration on another lot". Your call!
Read the blotter here


Unknown said...

I guess we have heard many of the same things. I was just surprised by the content and timing of the DOS cable. If memory serves, and it usually does not, the land was purchased at least four or five years ago and squabbling has ensued ever since (enter conspiracy theories).

Ahead of the latest Iraq war, a DOS plan surfaced to establish beirut as one of three or four "super-embassies" in the ME, with additional support for the idea coming from different agencies. As to the fate of such a plan, I have no idea.

Also, I would be remiss if I did not mention that I would be more comfortable with Feltman in Beirut if I thought he was in the business of personal gain. From what I hear, he is not. And thus, he probably frustrates some Lebanese.

Anonymous said...

What about a certain lot on the Corniche? Do they still own that?