by the stormy present
Wed Dec 5th, 2007 at 03:11:52 AM EST
I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.
So the National Review sent some raving rightwing American "patriot" to Lebanon to rip the lid off of... oh, I dunno, the great Iranian/Syrian conspiracy to take over a nation with nice beaches.
Said "reporter" is exposed as a fabulist by local journalists and others who are mystified by this totally unrecognizable portrait the "reporter" is painting. He has claimed to be The First Western Reporter To Enter Nahr el-Bared Since The Fighting, which is patently untrue. He talked about "an acid weapon" used by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard (?!) on somebody's car. He talked about thousands of Hezbollah gunmen deploying around Christian areas of Beirut in a mysterious "show of force" that nobody else in town knew about. He claimed the Hezbollah protesters in downtown Beirut are "heavily armed." And he has claimed that the Dahiya, the semi-flatted-by-bombs southern suburbs of Beirut and Hezbollah stronghold, are so dangerous that he must have weapons with him as he drives around taking pictures of Hezbollah "installations" and otherwise acting like a spy. He is rightly excoriated. Weeks go by. National Review does nothing. A critical mass develops. National Review must respond.
National Review's response to the scandal? He didn't lie, he was "spun" by his sources. Because, you know, Arabs lie a lot:
As one of our sources put it: "The Arab tendency to lie and exaggerate about enemies is alive and well among pro-American Lebanese Christians as much as it is with the likes of Hamas."
Oh, that's much better. A little racism makes fiction so much spicier.
Hat tip to friday lunch club.