On Tuesday afternoon in muggy Washington, D.C., U.S. President Barack Obama’s nominee to the ambassadorship in Lebanon, David Hale, came out strong. The career diplomat delivered his prepared remarks to the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, which is tasked with confirming him to be the next U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon.

The career diplomat’s remarks were succinct, but direct. His strongest statement was arguably his excoriation of Hezbollah, which he said “is putting its own interests and those of its foreign backers above those of the Lebanese people,” thereby “contradict[ing] the Baabda Declaration, [violating] Lebanon’s disassociation policy, and risk[ing] Lebanon’s stability.”

Hale’s confidence in his remarks reflects in part the ease with which he is expected to be confirmed. “I can’t imagine any difficulty with his confirmation,” said David Schenker, senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, who worked closely with Hale between 2004 and 2008. “He’s a seasoned diplomat, highly professional and knowledgeable.” [Link]