Follow Christiane on social media:

On Twitter + Facebook + Instagram Amanpour producers on Twitter

What time is Amanpour on CNN?

Check showtimes to see when Amanpour is on CNN where you are. Or watch online.

Check showtimes to see when Amanpour is on CNN where you are. Or watch online.

Lebanon in the pocket of Assad, says Former P.M.

October 22nd, 2012
05:24 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

In the wake of a bombing that killed Lebanon’s intelligence chief, that country’s former prime minister is calling on his government to step down, saying that it is in the pocket of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad.

“This government has failed. It is practically dead in the real sense of the word,” Fouad Siniora told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in an exclusive interview. “This is the best solution in order to save Lebanon from instabilities and from any attempt of the Syrian regime to create a sedition.”

Siniora has allied himself with demonstrators who blame Prime Minister Najib Mitaki for failing to prevent the attack Friday that killed Lebanon’s intelligence chief, Wissam al-Hassan.

“This government is in the hands of Syria and Iran at the same time,” he said.

Mitaki has rejected the protestors’ call, telling reporters that it is “unfair” to hold him personally responsible for the assassination.

The attack that killed Hassan is only the latest – though certainly the most serious – in a series of events that have raised concern about spillover of Syria’s sectarian conflict into Lebanon. Lebanon itself suffered a brutal, nearly 15-year-long civil war.

Siniora, who is also a member of parliament, said that he was asking U.N. troops – first deployed in the country after a 1978 war with Israel – to amass along the border with Syria.

The prospect of spillover has only been heightened by the rhetoric of Syria’s Assad, who last year told the Financial Times that “any problem in Syria will burn the whole region. If the plan is to divide Syria, that is to divide the whole region.”

Siniora put Assad’s rhetoric within a familiar history.

“Throughout the past several decades, all dictators in the Arab World, they have been sending a clear message to everybody - to their people as well as to the international community - that either you let me stay in office, and do whatever I want, or the other alternative is chaos or destruction,” Siniora said. “This intimidation and threat to the international community will continue.”

Over the past months, there have been several incidents of Syrian shells landing across the Lebanese border, as well as shootouts with Lebanese border guards.

Many observers suspect that Hassan was targeted for assassination by Syria, because of his criticism of Assad, as well as his rare investigation into a Lebanese official supportive of the Syria regime.

Three days after Hassan was assassinated, does Siniora fear for his life?

“Let me put it this way, I am a believer,” Siniora said. “And I know that irrespective of all the precautions that one can take, if it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen.”

Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Latest Episode
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. john george

    what this man is saying is very true. i believe everything he said. what you need to know is moslems have sects, these sects all want power, all the power they can get so they can destroy all the other no time in moslem history has there been peace between sects. all other religions are there mortal enemies and they, because allah don't like other religions, are murdered in any country they can, in any state they can, in any sect they can and any time they can. to burn a koran you die, to print anything about allah you die, any movie showing about allah you die whats left? whats left is they need to be put in there place period. for thousands of years they have done all of the above. you think there going to change? no! ww3 will start from iran, when they get nukes, and thats not far as you think from being done. they, moslems don't care what you say or do your there enemy. there here in out country, france bows down to them, we bow down to them, this is pure bull. quit bowing down to a religion that wants you and all other religions dead! ww3 will be between moslems and christians. we will win but at a huge price on life. the only out is to blow the problem countries off the map. you say no, you say we can't, why not? they would you? they are killing you now and getting away with it! blaming pictures, books, movies, hell even just talking about them! when all this comes to pass, and it will, then you will be sorry that you could have stopped it and didn't. thank god, now for the backstabbing jews here, but the jews in israel. they are our first line of defense against the moslems. arm them well because it's going to hit the fan very soon. if you can't see that god have mercy on your stupid soul! john george columbus ohio

    October 22, 2012 at 6:37 pm | Reply
    • Their There They're

      Simple, Really.

      October 22, 2012 at 6:47 pm | Reply
    • George John

      Relax there boss. Not every muslim is a terrorist they have women and children and people just like me and you trying to live their lives you know. Most of them living in usa love this country for the freedom and opportunity it allows them, despite having to put up with racist xenophobes like you who advocate mass genocide of like a third of the worlds population. Why so eager for WW3 to start. It doesnt sound like a very fun time to me. And by the way guess who's killed way more people in the name of religion throughout history; thats right christians did; and athiests too if you count communist russia/china's crimes against humanity.

      October 22, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Reply
      • Thinker23

        You're probably right, not every Muslim is a terrorist... But MANY OF THEM ARE. And while many American Muslims are peaceful there are some who are suicidal mass murderers. And while millions of people were killed by Christians throughout history we can not change the past. TODAY, however, almost every terrorist on the globe is a Muslim.

        October 22, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
      • luke

        Dude, do some research on the Timurid Empire and the late period of the Mongol one. Now tell me who killed more in the name if god.
        And of course not every muslim is a terrorist, but they take offence quickly and resort to violence, like they've been brainwashed to. They see us as thieves, but in reality that their govt.

        October 26, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • GM

      What a loser.

      October 22, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Reply
  2. palichampion

    From the article: "The prospect of spillover has only been heightened by the rhetoric of Syria’s Assad, who last year told the Financial Times that “any problem in Syria will burn the whole region. If the plan is to divide Syria, that is to divide the whole region.”"

    This is indeed the plan, as Israel is behind much of the violence in the region:

    October 22, 2012 at 6:39 pm | Reply
    • Thinker23

      Israel DID NOT start a single war in its entire history, genius.

      October 22, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Reply
      • Le Dude

        Really? Israel never started a war?your being sarcastic right? hehe i hope you are if not try opening a history book from time to time or researching online

        October 23, 2012 at 1:10 am |
      • Thinker22

        Israel did not start a single war?!!! yeah that's right, the 'chosen people' came from Poland, Russia and everywhere else to Palestine to kick-out a nation, kill them, call them terrorists, take their homes, divide their country with high walls and change the name of their villages to Hebrew names... when are you going to see the truth people??

        October 23, 2012 at 6:10 am |
      • Thinker23

        I dare anyone claiming that Israel DID start one or more wars to NAME THE WAR OR WARS Israel have started. Good luck!

        October 23, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
  3. Marya Mikati

    It's Najib Mikati, not Mitaki.


    October 22, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Reply
  4. aomarkb

    October 23, 2012 at 4:26 am | Reply
  5. Phil

    Do you really think Israel is influencing Syria and Iran? I think not. The Muslims are killing each other and still blaming Israel. Why don't you educate your children instead of brainwashing them, develop your economies instead of wasting the donations you receive on weapons and move forward. Life is short, make the most of it.

    October 23, 2012 at 6:01 am | Reply
  6. mrdavid

    Any reply to this? Tear a page of the koran
    you die, born the koran you die, talk about mohammed wives you die, draw a picture you die, talk about history just in the 17th century you die. They build their schools no other sect can attend. In this galaxy age, how long will the rest of the world stand and watch? Three quarters of the worlds aid money has gone to them they still kill school girls. They are just world terrorist. The worst thing is that the western powers and media are handling them with kids gloves. Thank to the Jews that stand up to them.

    October 23, 2012 at 9:55 am | Reply
  7. Amer Khan

    so sad to see these comments, no religion allows killing people of other religions or different sects from the same religion. It is so unfortunate that our other worldly goals of power, greed is being blamed onto religions. This only shown the immaturity and our understanding of the history and the facts and figures. Better not to blame the peaceful religions rather than looking inwards and making our deeds better

    October 25, 2012 at 7:33 am | Reply

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.