Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Anne Barnard and her daily article on Hizbullah's intervention in Syria

"To justify the unexpected new sacrifices it is asking from its followers, Hezbollah has framed the risky intervention in Syria as crucial to safeguarding its avowed core missions: challenging Israel, empowering its Shiite community..."  Look at the section about "empowering its Shi`ite community.  She has been repeatedly making that claim without ever producing an evidence, just has she has for month claimed that Bashshar Al-Asad portrays his stance in Syria as one against "Sunni extremists", although he never once used the word Sunnis.  Only when the New York Times was alerted to this invention by Barnard, it felt compelled to issue a wishy-washy correction.  The word "empowerment" which is never used in political speeches in Lebanon or in party manuals of Hizbullah was clearly invented by a Westerner.  The word belongs to NGO's discourse.  Not only in all of his justifications of his party's intervention in Syria, did Nasrallah (or any of the leaders of the party) make that argument.  So just made it up. 2) notice the picture: in fact, the Hizbullah salute is one with clenched fists but someone deliberately took this funeral (of a Sunnni fighter with Hizbullah, by the way, although the Times does not report that) to conflate the party with Nazis.  The salute of the Phalanges as is their ideology is Nazi but that is not fit to print. 3) She interviews three people in the article: one is an activist and writer for March 14. A businessman with the Amal movement, the traditional rival of Hizbullah.  And a most important source of all:  "Even in the Dahiya, the group’s stronghold in the southern suburbs of Beirut, a sense of isolation and anxiety is brewing among some of Hezbollah’s deeply loyal supporters...“Where will we go this time?” Umm Hassan said. “There is nowhere to hide. Even if we win there, I don’t see Syria as a safe place for me as a Shiite. We will be killed, if not by the Israelis, by angry Syrians.”" If Umm Hassan turns against the party, the party is finished. It is over for sure.  Stay tuned for tomorrow's daily article on Hizbullah's intervention in Syria. But to be fair to Barnard: she always inserts in passing a sentence or a phrase to the effect that there are Lebanese Salafites fighting in Syria.  To be fair to her.