Saturday, July 15, 2006

Nasrallah's Profile in the Washington Post. I don't understand what people can understand about somebody who is talking to them through an interpreter, especially if they insist on writing a "profile" of that person. If you want a profile of Kim Jong-Il, don't send me to North Korea. I am not your man. This article is a good example. I know that Robin does not know any Arabic, so I wonder how much of this take is based on translation and mistranslation during her one interview with Hasan Nasrallah. I could not even recognize the statements and expressions that she attributes to Nasrallah here. I will give you one example: when Chomsky left the meeting with Nasrallah he was under the impression, as he told a friend in Beirut, that Nasrallah had told him that he believes in distributing Palestinians around the Arab world. My friend immediately realized that this must have been an error in translation by Nasrallah's interpreter, as this position does not reflect the views of the party. Like does anybody really believe that Nasrallah told her that "only suicide bombers can secure that democracy"? Say what you wish about Nasrallah, but it is impossible that he would say something that dumb. There are so many inaccuracies in this account, that I don't have time to correct. She says that Nasrallah did not join Hizbullah until after the 1982 Israeli invasion. Ya. It is because Hizbullah DID NOT EXIST PRIOR to the 1982 Israeli invasion. In fact, he was a member of the Amal Movement and was one of those who split form the movement after the Israeli invasion to join the new group. She talks about him being "[t]rained in Islam at the top seminaries of both Iraq and Iran." That is not true either. His studies in Najaf were not completed; he had to flee Najaf when Saddam ordered a crackdown on Lebanese students at Najaf. He attended classes at an improvised school formed in the Biqa` valley by his mentor `Abbas Musawi, who was assassinated with members of his family by Israel in 1992. And on and on.