Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Filkins on Hizbullah, again

Dexter at this point faces a crucial choice: He was apparently not granted access to Hizbullah “officials” for his New Yorker piece and instead relied on ONE anonymous source (first described as an “officer” then later a “commander”) “Dany” for the entire several thousand word part about Hizbullah and its own thinking (Dani, of course, also seems to turn up with similar quotes in a McClatchy piece a day later, strangely enough).
This Dany, as detailed below on the blog, has numerous, sometimes hilarious, holes in his story which anyone who has been in Lebanon for more than a year or two will spot – Dany seems to have been a child soldier for hizbullah at the age of nine; he forgets to tell the unknowing Filkins that Israel actually would have invaded his border village in 1978 and not 1982 since Israel established its “security zone” in 1978 – filkins apparently does not know this basic history – and Dany says he literally fought the IDF in 2006 at the Hizbullah disneyland museum in mleeta…etc etc)
Instead of coming clean, Filkins goes with Mitchell’s lead in question:
“It’s really dangerous for them, they dont want any one to know about it [fighting for Assad]“
Filkins essentially deceives Mitchell who may have thought that he met with Hizbullah “officials” for his big piece… but actually, he only met an anonymous Dany in their officialdom – also described as a mere fighter – who does not pass the smell test for much of anything – and who is NOT an “official” in any case.
And please, leave out the hope that Filkins could be on OK journalistic grounds with his confident answer of WHAT HIZBULLAH is thinking, deeply, since he talked to two of the most anti-hizbullah “officials” in town – Jumblatt and Shattah (ex-official). Plus, either way, Jumblatt being in government with hizbullah, as any of his dinner party guests know and as all of my students know, has ZERO to do with an objective analysis of course!

Filkins then demonstrates why he was so badly equipped to do a story on a country or two that he has little experience in: he says this: “they [Hizbullah] are helping a largely shiite regime in syria.”"