What I Asked the U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon

by Stanley Heller, host of "The Struggle" Video News

Sept 16, 2015 on the 33rd anniversary of the start of the Sabra-Shatilla massacre

A month ago Ambassador David Hale made a extraordinary and shameful statement after meeting with the new leader of the Kataeb (Phalange). I recently wrote this letter to him.


Dear Ambassador Hale:

(I identified myself and my position at The Struggle Video news.)

I have read the statement of congratulations you issued on August 11, 2015 after meeting Sami Gemayel, the President of the Kataeb Party.

You talk about the respect you have for “his father, and his family who have played such a distinguished role in Lebanon”. Talking about the U.S. government you note “we have had such a strong partnership between us and the Kataeb party for so many years now.”

As Lebanon’s Daily Star noted on 8/11/15 the Kataeb “played a major role in the Lebanese Civil War (1975–90). It grew to international notoriety in 1982 after carrying out the Sabra-Shatila massacre, killing some 2,000-3,000 Palestinian and Lebanese civilians.”

I have a number of questions

1. How long has the U.S. been in “partnership” with the Kataeb Party? What does that entail? Isn’t it unusual for the U.S. government to be in partnership with the political party of a foreign country? Is our government in partnership with other Lebanese parties?

2. What was the U.S. relationship with the Kataeb during the Sabra-Shatila massacre that took place at this time 33 years ago?

3. Given its role in the massacres of the ‘70’s and ‘80’s how can you categorize the Gemayel family as distinguished?

4. What is the U.S. government position on bringing the killers in the Palestinian camps to justice? 5. In September 1982 the United States issued written guarantees to protect Palestinian civilians once the PLO armed forces had withdrawn. Obviously the civilians were not protected. What measures has the U.S. done taken since then in this area? Has there been an official investigation of U.S. failure to honor its agreement? Has there been an apology? What material aid did the U.S. give to the survivors of the camp? Were any invited to come to the United States as refugees?

Thank you.

(I have not received an answer.)

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