Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Anne Barnard on Hizbullah spy

This is exactly the origin of the story: "The accounts in the Lebanese and Arab news media, relying on unnamed sources, identify the mole as Mohammad Shawraba".  But Barnard forgets to add an important qualifier: that these were pro-Hariri/pro-Saudi media.  In other words, the story appeared "exclusively" in anti-Hizbullah Arab (oil-funded) media.  That is an important qualification.  Here, she is wrong: "The admission from Hezbollah’s deputy chief was startling". She says that Qasim's general statement is the first admission. She is, of course, wrong. The middle-level Hizbullah figure, Ghalib Abu Zaynab, was the first to conceded the story of the spy when he called a Lebanese TV station to make this correction: he recently resigned from his post as the man in charge of Hizbullah's liaison with Christian parties and figures, and the same pro-Saudi media had said that he resigned because he is the brother-in-law of the Israeli spy, Muhammad Shawraba.  He made this correction: Shawraba is not married to one of his sisters because he has no sisters.  Most of Barnard's story is based on the account of Nicholas Blanford (whose credibility on all matters related to Hizbullah is as big as the guy who paid local men to play paintball with him to publish an article about "painballing with Hizbullah") in the Daily Star. So do you see how the Beirut correspondents operate: stories and rumors appear in the highly unreliable Saudi/Hariri media,  then one of them write about it in English, and then the rest rush to write what the English language writer had written and it becomes a "reliable story".  Welcome to the world of Western journalism in Beirut. 

PS As for the post that Shawraba holds within Hizbullah, no one really knows. All what was written has been mere speculation and those who know have not said a word.