Across the Bay

Monday, January 22, 2007

Stick to Syrian History, Sami

Some of you may not know who the hell Sami Moubayed is. You haven't missed much. Said to be "close" to Asma Assad and the Tlass boys, he's also an on-and-off, quasi-spokesman of the regime for the western media, repackaging the usual regime trash in English as "analysis."

While he is a historian of Syria, his Lebanon material is utter garbage and it shows. He now came out with a pure and unadulterated piece of crap of an article that rehashes the idiotic propaganda of his bosses (and their "media") and sets records in stupidity and factual distortions. Listen to this nonsense:

Lahoud's post was indeed renewed by the Syrians, but who were the deputies who approved the decree in parliament? They were, among others, Walid Junblatt, Siniora and Marwan Hamadeh.

Umm, no Sami, but congrats, you got it wrong on all three. Go learn some recent history, you being a historian and all. Jumblat's bloc resigned in protest over the (unconstitutional) extension of Lahoud's mandate, which his parliamentary bloc opposed. As for Seniora, it's actually much easier: he was not an MP.

But I guess the point about Seniora is to say this: "In fact, the greatest okay - with reservations - came from none other than Hariri himself." Yeah, only Sami boy ignores the history of that, as recounted in the UN reports into his assassination by Sami's bosses, that Hariri did not want to do it, and was threatened, by Bashar himself, into approving it, and then he refused to form a cabinet with Lahoud in office. Minor detail that, you know, for a grand historian like Sami.

I mean, even the BBC got it right:

Mr Hariri had initially opposed the extension to Mr Lahoud's term, but eventually came into line after Syria put pressure on him, correspondents say.

His resignation had been expected, but the announcement he would not try to form a new government surprised many pundits.

Four cabinet ministers from Mr Jumblatt's bloc quit the government in September over the constitutional change.

And there was that other minor thing that happened to Hamadeh, who was one of those who resigned in protest. Bashar dispatched a nice car-bomb to blow him to bits. He barely survived. At the time, some of Jumblat's supporters were arrested as well, etc.

I won't bother with the rest of this pile of horse manure of an article. I have enough trouble holding down the garbage from the Syrian "media," I don't really need to hear it rehashed and sold to me as "analysis." It's insulting. So Sami, and all his "analysts/spokesmen" ilk (Imad Shoueibi, Marwan Kabalan, et al.), both US- and Damascus-based, do us all a favor, and put a cork in it.

Addendum: I must add one last note. So stupid is Sami's article that if I were to pick at it we'd be here for a while and I would need a shower. But this part cannot pass without a comment for its silliness and dishonesty:

When March 14 got a chance to oust Lahoud one year ago, and promised to do so by mass demonstrations similar to those taking place today, they fell short of doing it.

They feared - among other things - that if Lahoud left office then Aoun would replace him as president. And bringing Aoun to power means a strong-minded leader who most probably would overshadow his Sunni prime minister.

Again, Sami, find yourself another area of "analysis." Here's the undistorted account. The reason why March 14 backed down at the time was because the Maronite Patriarch did not want to set a precedent of a President (the office of the Christians) being toppled through street protests. This is Lebanon after all. And there's that other minor thing. At the time, Gen. Aoun himself, who now wants to topple a Sunni Prime Minister, and "bring in" another Sunni Prime Minister of his and Nasrallah's choosing, was barking at the top of his lungs that the President "is not brought down in the streets." Remember that one? Hariri and Jumblat backed down so as not to inflame sectarian relations, and the March 14 Christians deferred to the Patriarch's position, so as not to create a rift in the Christian community.

That much cannot be said about Aoun and the Hezbollah-led opposition today, or for that matter, for Sami's genius "analysis." Here's a lesson in Lebanese politics to Sami, for free, cause he obviously needs it, having shown how much of an ignoramus he is in that field. A Shiite militiaman cannot say "I want to bring a Sunni of my own choosing," when this Sunni Prime Minister has a broad, cross-sectarian Parliamentary majority backing him. And most certainly, nor can an egomaniacal Maronite General, who hypocritically opposed the same when it came to the Presidency (despite its unconstitutional status and its tarnished role given the implication of people close to Lahoud in the Hariri murder). Understood, Sami?

As for Aoun's "strength," there is a thing called the Taif Accord. Maybe you've heard of it. Consult it on this matter. As for Aoun's candidacy and its viability, consult my recent article. Much of it, I'm afraid, is proving rather accurate.

Such utter garbage.