Friday, December 21, 2012

Richard Engel: investigative journalist

Krim sent me this:  "I've been meaning to send you this for a while now, it's 3.5 months old, but in light of the recent events concerning Richard Engel I think it's even more poignant. So this is an article he wrote a while back on Syria and how the "Arab Spring" has basically devolved into a sectarian conflict and so on. But what struck me was the "evidence" he found of Hizbullah's involvement in the Syrian conflict, here it goes:
"In Syria, I saw evidence of Hezbollah’s influence at an army outpost that the rebels had just taken over. Rebels claimed there were 20 Hezbollah fighters in the outpost. They said that they occupied their own room and fought to the death. I saw boxes of unpacked Hezbollah flags.
It’s no longer a situation where Hezbollah is just providing arms and intelligence, but appears to have mobilized and is fighting alongside Syrian forces."

Mr. Engel is neither naive nor ignorant (now that we know has a good command of spoken Arabic), rather he is a willing participant in disseminating propaganda that advance his politics, a la Judith Miller. We've seen this before, journalists who uncritically parrot propaganda to advance some agenda are caught dead wrong, only to hide behind their "sources" after the fact. The good old "I didn't lie, blame my sources" excuse. Well this excuse only works if the propaganda they were disseminating wasn't so obviously contrived."

PS I have ignored for years the work of Richard Engel because it is so undistinguished and cliche-ridden.  But I find this hilarious: that Hizbullah not only sent fighters to Syria but sent with them boxes of their flags.  So funny.