Hezbollah, Lebanon, The Qnion

Miqati Clarifies Stance on What Kind of Tumor Hizbullah Is

“Prime Minister Najib Miqati on Sunday confirmed remarks attributed to him by a WikiLeaks document about describing Hizbullah as a “tumor,” but stressed that his words were taken out of context and that he had described the Shiite party as a “non-malignant tumor.”  (Naharnet)

Here follows the transcript of Mr. Miqati’s televised address to the nation, in which he addressed the scandal arising from his comments.


My fellow Lebanese, good evening. I am addressing you tonight to clarify some comments attributed to me by a US official in a confidential diplomatic cable, which was recently released to the public by Wikileaks. I’m not going to deny what I said (unlike certain people who shall remain nameless!) but I would like a chance to explain myself.

In the cable, I was quoted as describing Hizbullah as a “tumor needing removal.” That sounds pretty bad, I admit. It’s not the kind of thing you should call someone behind their back, especially not a dear friend. And I’m really the nicest person in the world — ask anyone — so let me begin by apologizing to Hizbullah from the bottom of my heart.

Hizbullah, I’m sorry.

For what it’s worth, I didn’t mean you were a tumor tumor, like one of those “you’ve-got-six-months-to-live” tumors. I really did mean that you were a non-malignant tumor, and there’s a big difference between the two. You see, non-malignant tumors are totally not a big deal. I personally have no problem with them, whatsoever. They are absolutely fine in my book. Fact, some of my best friends are non-malignant tumors. Ha ha! I kid.

That’s really not very funny so I apologize. Again.

And hey, the same goes for a comment I made about Hizbullah being “a state within a non-state.” Once again… context! Context is key, people. Hizbullah is a state within a state… of mind. Do you see what I mean? It’s a state of mind, Hizbullah is, and one that I personally think is very, very healthy for Lebanon, which is itself a state of mind, except not quite as powerful as Hizbullah’s state of mind.

While I’m here, I’d like to apologize in advance for a few other untoward comments I may or may not have made in the past about some of my good friends and colleagues.

For example! I might have said something at one stage about Syria being a “client of Iran.”  Well, obviously what’s missing is the rest of the sentence. I recall saying “Syria is a client of Iran, and a very powerful and important and prestigious client that Iran is very proud to have.” Look at it this way. When I send one of my assistants to have my shoes shined by Abu Tariq, the local neighborhood shoe shine boy, I’m clearly acting as Abu Tariq’s client, right? But who’s more important, wealthy, and powerful? Me, or Abu Tariq? There’s no shame in being a client, nosiree. You get the idea.

Ok, what else? (shuffles some papers) Oh! It may be pointed out, for example, that I might have called General Michel Aoun “a joke and a laughingstock” on one occasion, and perhaps even a “crazy guy,” but I absolutely meant that in the best way, honest to God. If you’ve ever had a few drinks with the General, you’d know that the man is totally hilarious, just crazy. He’s crazy funny, and crazy smart, and just an all-around crazy awesome guy. Would have made a crazy good president. Too bad. Anyway.

Along similar lines, I may have referred to Saad Hariri at one point as “naive and easy to fool,” but it’s clear that what I really meant here was that Saad finds it “easy to fool others into thinking that he is naive.” Easily misunderstood. Saad Hariri is absolutely not naive and easy to fool. The man has a mind like a steel trap! He’s the total opposite of naive and easy to fool, and I’m sure he’ll agree with me.

I could go on, but I think I’ll just end here by saying that I really do feel awful about any offense taken to my comments. Just awful. Awful awful awful. Next time, I will try to be more discreet.

Good night.

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60 thoughts on “Miqati Clarifies Stance on What Kind of Tumor Hizbullah Is

  1. QN,
    That’s another masterpiece that the real genuine Onion cannot hope to surpass or even match. Are you sure that you want to slave for the next I don’t know how many months writing a dissertation that will be read by only a few people when you can be writing these gems:-)

    on a different topic I think that those of you who read Arabic might enjoy this piece that could have been written by Qnion.

    الشؤم عند أهل مصر “مبارك”،
    والفاسد عند أهل اليمن “صالح”
    والمخرب في ليبيا “معمر”،
    والمكروه عند أهل موريتانيا “عزيز”.
    أما في سوريا فإن من يتهرب من جبهة المواجهة مع العدو ويواجه العزَّل من الأطفال والنساء والتلاميذ بالدبابات، فهو “الأسد” ذاته.
    أما اللبنانيون فحولوا نحس التقسيم الطائفي وشبح الحرب الأهلية إلى “سعد”،
    وفي السودان يسمون نذير الحرب والإبادة والتقسيم بـ”البشير”.
    أما معطل دور العبادة في تونس فليس بعابد فقط، وإنما هو “زين العابدين”.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | September 12, 2011, 6:58 pm
  2. QN-This is Hillarious.

    Seriously and fun aside all these politicians in Lebanon think people are fools and idiots, it is so demeaning how they can just say anything and people should believe them. Berri now suddenly releasing “BerriLeaks” about the 06 war, how convenient its incriminating all his political rivals of course with a touch of poetry a la abu 3antar in the begining of every sentence read by his tea boy Ali Hasan Khalil.

    By the way howcome not a peep from Al Akhbar news paper about all these new cables, werent they the champions of it when it concerend Hariri and his gang ?

    Posted by Vulcan | September 12, 2011, 8:44 pm
  3. QN,

    Thanks for the explanation. I missed the address. It seems Miqati was sincere in his depictions…and apologies. Now can’t we all get along without name calling? 😛

    Posted by danny | September 12, 2011, 8:59 pm
  4. QN.. That is funny… Well done…

    Posted by Lebanese Patriot | September 12, 2011, 10:48 pm
  5. God damn wikileak cables! Who do these public American officials work for?

    Posted by R2D2 | September 12, 2011, 11:17 pm
  6. For M 14 and M 8

    Posted by Vulcan | September 13, 2011, 2:08 am
  7. A hysterical masterpiece!

    Posted by im akhbar | September 13, 2011, 2:12 am
  8. I knew this was a fake when it started by claiming that Mikati addressed the nation.
    When was the last time a Lebanese politician actually addressed the Lebanese people?


    Good work though!

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | September 13, 2011, 12:42 pm
  9. It’s not really fake, maybe they say it in different tones or words but the message is the same, you Lebanese are nothing but sheep and we get away with everything.
    Miqati did actually say the Tumor he meant to describe HA with was a non-malignant Tumor.

    Just a massive pimple on Lebanon’s “Derriere”. lol

    Posted by Vulcan | September 13, 2011, 3:51 pm
  10. I know that…I meant, the “speech” as quoted by QN was an obvious fabrication for the simple fact that he stated:

    “Here follows the transcript of Mr. Miqati’s televised address to the nation, in which he addressed the scandal arising from his comments.”

    They do that sort of thing in the USA. Not in Lebanon…”Address to the nation”??? To “address the scandal”????
    Not in the history of Lebanon. At least not since I’ve been following the Lebanese scene…

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | September 13, 2011, 4:28 pm
  11. Why and what compelled Saa’d Hariri to succeed his father in politics when obviously none of Sr.’s children were ever groomed for a position in Lebanese politics?


    Posted by R2D2 | September 13, 2011, 5:29 pm
  12. R2D2,
    Why are you so obsessed with the Hariri family?:-) Why are the Gemayels in politics? What about the Salams, the Beydouns, the Jumblatts, Arslan… It is a feudal society.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | September 13, 2011, 8:36 pm
  13. Good humor…

    In a way, Berri, Miqati et al. should be happy with the leaks. It won’t gain them any respect, lost long long ago, but at least it reminds us that they are not totally stupid or insane, just dishonest and unprincipled.

    Posted by Oldhand | September 13, 2011, 11:22 pm
  14. What happened to the false witnesses? I think it should pop up every now and then. It’s due next Monday or Tuesday.

    Posted by IHTDA | September 14, 2011, 1:22 pm
  15. Slim pickings in the news lately, eh?

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | September 14, 2011, 8:20 pm
  16. Well, there’s always the beacon of law and order and full respect of the state.

    Hezbollah militants denied the Lebanese army and security forces access to its Al-Rasoul al-Azam Hospital in Beirut to check up on those who were wounded during Monday night’s clashes in Bourj al-Barajneh, Voice of Lebanon reported on Tuesday

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | September 14, 2011, 8:22 pm
  17. BV, there is no law and order in today’s Arab culture, who said?:

    “The Israeli ambassador had to leave his headquarters and the country under the pressure of events, which is not regrettable,” said Hoss. “All this happened to reaffirm that Cairo is still the capital of Arab dignity and that the Egyptian people remain the guardian of Arab nationalism. They are a good example for all Arabs.”

    From the Daily Star, that beacon of “respectability” and big loser in my book: Selim el Hoss. When that type of attitude (violence/law breaking OK, when it’s my guys) is so widespread (people. intellectuals and leaders) the bottom of the barrel belongs to us, Arab Spring or not.

    Posted by OldHand | September 14, 2011, 11:08 pm
  18. In the past, I considered you to be objective. Lately, however, your contempt for one side (March 8, for lack of a better term) and promotion of the other is becoming rather obvious. It’s a shame because you are a talented writer with unique insights.

    Posted by AC | September 15, 2011, 8:33 am
  19. OldHand

    Indeed, we truly are the bottom of the barrel.


    Oh please. Mikati and Berri make fools of themselves quite well enough without QN’s help.
    QN’s taken plenty of jabs as Hariri too…
    But these days, there’s really not much coming out of the M14 camp.
    On the other hand, one has to admit that the Mikati attempt at explaining his leaked comments are pretty hilarious, even without QN’s help.
    A “non-malignant tumor”? Seriously? We can’t make fun of that? It’s just too damn ridiculous to be taken seriously.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | September 15, 2011, 1:27 pm
  20. AC

    I’m biding my time for Hariri’s return to Lebanese politics. When he eventually makes an appearance, there will be more than enough opportunities to re-establish my “objectiveness” in your eyes.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | September 15, 2011, 1:53 pm
  21. Kindly excuse my ignorance, but even if the tumor is non malignant shouldn’t it be removed anyway ?
    Is there a doctor in the house who could shed some light on the issue ????

    Posted by marillionlb | September 16, 2011, 3:55 am
  22. If anyone were to take the wiki leaks at its face value and read the comments of the so called politicians on the both side of the divide…M8 & M14…You would notice that how factitious, dishonest and backstabbing bunch is M8 groupies.
    The harshest comments against the HA militia has been by Berri, Jumblat, Khalifeh, Frangieh, Miqati and a few FPM MPs.

    How’s that stacking up for objectivity AC?

    It is ridiculous for the people of different political persuasions (Pro HA in this case) to attack the QN or others when they feel their collective behind has been exposed.

    Posted by danny | September 16, 2011, 7:15 am
  23. marillionlb: No, benign tumors don’t have to be removed. I have had about 10 lipomas over my body for about 15 years and I never removed them. That’s from the medical point of view. But Mikati said that:

    Mikati, speaking as a “statesman,” argued Lebanon
    could not survive with a Hizballah mini-state. Regardless of
    his personal views on the group, Mikati said he was expecting
    Hizballah to bring Lebanon to a “sad ending.”

    That’s not the description of a benign tumor, if you ask me.

    Anyway, probably this is embarrassing for Mikati, but this is not a proof of his hostility to Hezbollah. He might have meant his anti-Hezbollah words exactly as much as his claim that he would not become prime minister without Sunni support.

    Posted by Shiwa7ad | September 16, 2011, 9:41 am
  24. I think the moral of the story here is not whether this guy or that guy said this or that (MIkati, Berri, Murr or whoever else).
    The moral of the story here is that not a single one of these bozos is worth following or trusting (be it M8 or M14) and that the Lebanese people need to wake up from their sectarian/feudal mentality.
    There is absolutely NO reason why we can’t vote these bozos out of office at the next parliamentary elections.
    I’m tired of the excuses. All these folks talk about Lebanon being a bit more democratic than the rest of the Arab world (Hah!) and about elections this and that.
    None of it means squat if you keep voting for Jumblatt, Gemayel, Hariri or Berri or Aoun. These thieves and liars are exposed on a daily basis (by Wikileaks and plenty of other undisputable facts on the ground).
    If you vote for them again in 2014…you have no one to blame but yourselves.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | September 16, 2011, 2:23 pm
  25. Thank you Shiwa7ad for the info, I was under the impression that it is better to remove them since my doctor a few years back wanted me to go under the knife for a few I had and I refused.

    BV, I agree but unfortunetly the people here will always sing the same refrain “lesser of two evil”, no one will actually consider “none of the avove”. I do not forsee any change in this attitude anyday soon. Oh how I miss England 🙂

    Posted by marillionlb | September 17, 2011, 5:25 am
  26. For a second, i thought the Qnion had migrated to Naharnet..

    8 devil worshippers arrest in Mount Lebanon

    Eight people, including several girls, were arrested on Friday on suspicion of blasphemy and drug possession in Mount Lebanon.

    The National News Agency said the suspects are devil worshippers and are self-harming.

    Military Examining Magistrate Saqr Saqr is expected to charge the eight on Saturday, NNA said.

    Lebanese law prohibits blasphemy and immoral conduct.

    As usual, this would be funny if it wasn’t so freaking pathetic…
    So Lebanon arrests people for blasphemy and immoral behavior? That’s freaking rich.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | September 17, 2011, 11:20 am
  27. marillion,
    Could you post a few general comments; no personal details, about your experience so far in Lebanon and the general business climate that entrepreneurs are facing. Does the change in political leadership translate into specific differences in the way that government conduct its daily affairs with the business community ? I guess I would be interested in the point of view of individuals like you since you are the backbone of the Lebanese economy: does it matter who is in charge?

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | September 17, 2011, 11:26 am
  28. Lebanese gems never cease. Have you noticed this :

    رئيس بلدية الحدث للـ”ال. بي. سي.”: الهدف من منع المشروبات الروحية ليلا الحد من الفوضى الناتجة عن حالات السكر ولا خلفية سياسية للموضوع

    The logic is astounding. Why don’t they ban driving in order to reduce car accidents? 🙂

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | September 17, 2011, 4:50 pm
  29. Dear Ghassan,
    In order to respond to your request, I cannot but be personal, as I can only share with you and Elias’s readers the trials and tribulations I had to deal with on a daily basis ever since I came back home 10 years ago.

    In order to brief, I will only dwell in to the most recent mishaps that are making my life a living hell in this so called “land of milk and honey”. Well the milk has turned sour and the honey is acidic and bitter.

    In one the outlets (a roof restaurant)I have invested in, I have been struggling for the past 3 years in order to “legally” open with no avail; keeping in mind that the licence was for the 3 entities I have in the same building (roof included). Even the pub (1st floor) and the restaurant (2nd floor) were delayed for 9 months with no logical reason (bribes were paid, plans approved by baladiyeh…etc). I have seen ISF members coming up to my restaurant (on the 2nd floor) at 11.pm asking me to call it a night in order to avoid noise nuisance while my pub (on the 1st floor) was packed.
    From Ziad Baroud who promised a free parking space (Charles Helou staton) to Fady Abboud, passing by Elie Marouni …etc; all I got was empty promises that never saw the light of day.
    On the financial side, yes I got screwed (excuse my French) during the July war, which is understandable; but I kept on getting screwed from then onward, down town sit ins, 7th of May, closing for elections…etc.
    This summer we had the holy month of Ramadan in August and the decline of expats and foreigners (neighbouring Arabs), which to many was the final nail in the coffin. I have seen my cost of goods rise by an average of 27% in the past 4 years and this year alone my generator bill has almost doubled. On a personal level my supermarket bill has increased by at least 24%.

    Do I care who is in power? In a way I don’t (same shit different trousers as the saying goes), but I have to admit that the current government and his lack of clear cut policy with regards to the STL and what is happening in Syria coupled with their own divisions is making matters much worse. People have lost confidence in the so called resilience of the Lebanese people (unlike Richard Quest and CNN); the shit has really hit the fan.
    To many parents from my generation, school has started, and many are finding it hard to pay school fees (on the rise yet again) and cater for their children. But there is a hope at the end of the tunnel, basil is promising 24h electricity!

    Posted by Marillionlb | September 17, 2011, 6:00 pm
  30. Ghassan 28
    One step closer to Wilayat al Fakih ! And I say this in the comfort of my own home while sipping on a nice glass of Macallan 🙂

    Posted by Marillionlb | September 17, 2011, 6:02 pm
  31. It also seems that the real estate market is cooling off in Lebanon.

    A healthy result for the common Lebanese caught up in Arab Gulf real estate fever.

    Posted by R2D2 | September 17, 2011, 10:30 pm
  32. To be a restrained, frustrated Gulf Sunni and free !

    Where else but in Lebanon during Hariri Sr. ?

    Welcome to Turkey.

    Posted by R2D2 | September 17, 2011, 10:38 pm
  33. marillion,
    Thanks for the candid response. I have nothing but tremendous respect and admiration for people like you who are willing to take the great risk asociated with a new business. My guess is that you must have put at risk more than a $million in starting your establishments. That is a large sum of money for anyone. Thanks.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | September 18, 2011, 11:05 am
  34. QN #20,

    You shouldn’t bide your time waiting for Hariri’s return to politics.

    As much as I hate GMA for plunging Lebanon into what he did back in 91, his brutishness and total lack of finesse, he has brought forward an essential need for Lebanon that should have been a priority for Hariri’s govt. and March 14 but apparently never was.

    It may be time to analyze General Electric from a new perspective. The Lebanese/Lebanese one.

    Posted by R2D2 | September 18, 2011, 12:47 pm
  35. What was good for Hariri Sr. and his entourage was good for Hariri Sr. and his entourage with a resultant $50 billion public debt bill the average Lebanese Joe still has to foot tomorrow.

    What is good for SHN and his entourage is good for SHN and his entourage and the Iranians are footing that bill.

    It might be time to analyze how, why and what for that “effective corrupt leader” plunged Lebanon into the massive debt he alone has.

    Posted by R2D2 | September 18, 2011, 1:07 pm
  36. There are human beings that are brought in this world that are made to believe that there are many other human beings brought up in this world that are nothing but suckers.

    Posted by R2D2 | September 18, 2011, 2:26 pm
  37. It’s time the remaining “Royal” Sunni elite be brought to human reality and for the remaining British ones to get a real job.

    Posted by R2D2 | September 18, 2011, 5:33 pm
  38. People Power ! Jawohl !

    Posted by R2D2 | September 18, 2011, 5:44 pm
  39. Ghassan 33, Indeed the investment was big but was spread between a few partners and Kafalat. I am in the process of opening in new outlet in Ashrafieh (end of October if all goes well) and another in Saudi. Next time you come to visit let me know it will be a pleasure to meet you over diner at my restaurant.

    Posted by marillionlb | September 19, 2011, 5:07 am
  40. Ashrafieh and Saudi Arabia?

    ***Money, money money … it’s not funny. It’s a rich man’s world.***

    Slurp !

    Posted by R2D2 | September 19, 2011, 4:47 pm
  41. In an interview in AnNahar today Pierre Ashkar was proud of the fact that Lebanon has 4300 hotel rooms. That is a tiny number, if true. It simply does not compare with any of the major Western cities: Las Vegas 140,000, Paris 155000, Madrid 60,000, Chicago 100,000, NYC 75000… A total of 4300 rooms is hardly enough for a major convention. What gives? Are these Lebanese numbers accurate?

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | September 19, 2011, 8:38 pm
  42. Pierre Ashkar should have been proud of the fact that most of those rooms were vacant this summer. What a load of rubbish, same idiots maintaining the same post year after year regardless of all their failings. I should think that Lebanon has much more than 4300 rooms, maybe the figure is in the capital only.
    @R2D2, Yes my friend Money in order to cater fro my son and leave him with something after I pass. As simple as that.

    Posted by marillionlb | September 20, 2011, 4:55 am
  43. I note that the zionist sympathizers are too embarrassed to talk about how the Lion of Damascus has successfully chased israhell’s agents and agitators out of Homs, Daraa, Latakia and Aleppo, etc. Once again, it is only SHN and the Resistance that had the courage to speak for Lebanon’s interests and oppose the usurpers.

    Posted by dontgetit | September 20, 2011, 9:02 am
  44. @43..


    Posted by danny | September 20, 2011, 11:43 am
  45. R2D2 #34

    You misunderstood me. What I meant was that when Hariri returns to politics, I’ll return to criticizing him. Right now, he is a nonfactor.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | September 20, 2011, 3:12 pm
  46. AIG,

    We miss you.

    Netanyahu 4ever!

    Posted by R2D2 | September 20, 2011, 3:24 pm
  47. As an atheist Jew, you obviously have a strong attachment to your community but no Biblical beliefs. Right?

    In that case, why don’t you and your whole community move to the US where you can live in health and prosperity together.

    I only ask that because you are an Atheist … but a Jew at the same time, and would like to comprehend that definition.

    Posted by R2D2 | September 20, 2011, 5:49 pm
  48. Let’s be honest.

    The Europeans didn’t want you … and the Arabs don’t want you either.

    Let’s spare ourselves another Holocaust and discuss the “price” we need to pay to get rid of you modern European style.

    Posted by R2D2 | September 20, 2011, 5:53 pm
  49. Whatcha been smoking lately R2D2? Your comments are getting increasingly bizarre.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | September 20, 2011, 7:55 pm
  50. Lately ? this guy has been an idiot from day one. he is also a transparent racist scum bag, one day he spews his stupidity against the Shi’a another against the Sunni and of course the Jews never escape his bigotry. he is the dumb ass version of Iceman.

    Posted by Vulcan | September 20, 2011, 9:31 pm
  51. Vulcan,

    You forgot GE, Lady Gaga and Sir Jumpalot.

    Posted by R2D2 | September 21, 2011, 3:23 am
  52. Short circuit. 😛

    Posted by danny | September 21, 2011, 6:24 am
  53. Easy with Iceman… its not fair, he is not there anymore (on this blog) to respond.

    Is it me, or the news are not inspiring anymore? Maybe you liked when Jeffrey Feltman litteraly butchered the arabic language the other day lol

    Posted by 3issa | September 21, 2011, 1:01 pm
  54. Yeah. Things are pretty quiet these days…

    In other news, someone explain to me the hypocrisy of the USA’s position with regard to the Palestinian bid at the UN?
    I mean, all logistics aside (I certainly understand that the USA will never agree to approve such a bid)…just the simple contradiction in the fact that the USA’s stated policy is that of “A 2 state solution. One for the palestinians and one for the Israelis”. Yet when the Palestinians say “Recognize our state”, they say no.
    Obama even uttered the words “The Palestinians are entitled to their own state” today. So on what grounds can you look us straight in the eye and say “But we’re gonna veto it”???

    /end rant

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | September 21, 2011, 1:58 pm
  55. BV,

    Put your hands in cold water.

    SHN and GE are “telling” you it will all be alright and that you just need to trust them.

    I mean, come on … what’s a $50 Billion headache in front of a $2 Trillion one?

    Posted by R2D2 | September 21, 2011, 3:06 pm
  56. Ever heard of an American Trillionaire?

    We’ve got Carlos Slim Helpou. One check and we’re scott free.

    Posted by R2D2 | September 21, 2011, 3:10 pm
  57. Sorry .. Helou. Helou. Helou !

    Posted by R2D2 | September 21, 2011, 3:11 pm
  58. It’s a money world, Habibi.

    Half a million US$ can get you away with spying for America in Iran.

    Khoubi ? Khabam !

    Posted by R2D2 | September 21, 2011, 5:06 pm
  59. It’ll cost you between $2,000 to $10,000 cash and a couple of important phone numbers on your Iphone or Blackberry to get your kid out of jail for testing positive for drugs in Lebanon.

    It’s all relative, I guess.

    Posted by R2D2 | September 21, 2011, 5:15 pm


  1. Pingback: Hizbullah: Special Forces of the Lebanese Safavid Zoroastrian Persian Army? | Qifa Nabki - June 25, 2013

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