The Mideastwire Blog

Excerpts from the Arab and Iranian Media & Analysis of US Policy in the Region

Sharon Weinberger’s exaggerated copy on Mleeta

Here, Wired’s Sharon Weinberger dropped into town and has an unfortunate article on Hizbullah’s Mleeta museum. She writes:

“Although sanctioned by Lebanon’s Ministry of Tourism, getting there still requires going through a series of military checkpoints, and many taxi drivers from Beirut are hesitant to drive to Mleeta, given the country’s continuing sectarian issues.”

— This reminds me of the michael totten brand of journalism…. where reporters write that armed, hizbullah soldiers use google to check people’s name entering dahiye to falsely add color to their reporting.

— Sharon knows that there are not a “series” of military checkpoints – there is ONE only right at the entrance to Sidon – nowhere near mleeta is there any checkpoint.

Next – Reporters should not try to go beyond descriptive writing and into analysis if they don’t even bother to read – it seems – the main work on their subject at hand.

In this regard – download the excellent: “CULTURE AS HISTORY AND LANDSCAPE: HIZBALLAH’’S EFFORTS TO SHAPE AN ISLAMIC MILIEU IN LEBANON” by Mona Harb and Lara Deeb for a great work up of Mleeta and beyond. Its online of course.

Sharon, however, writes:

“All wars end in tourism,” says author Tom Vanderbilt, but Mleeta proves perhaps a slightly more nuanced axiom about the nature of armed conflict and sightseeing. Mleeta is about encouraging the Lebanese civilian population to continue support for an ongoing conflict, which for Hezbollah won’t end until Israel is destroyed.”

— This is the Thanassis Cambanisis line – ENDLESS war…. Why sharon, then, was hizbullah willing to accept AN ISRAELI EMBASSY IN DOWNTOWN BEIRUT almost exactly 12 years ago to this very day when Syria and Israel almost went to peace (as nasrallah told several newspapers)? This sounds like your concept of endless can also not be endless…

— She also writes: “Mleeta is a carefully constructed showpiece for Hezbollah, which combines a militant philosophy with social services intended to win support among the local population. The museum and accompanying exhibits feature both these tenants, highlighting examples of Hezbollah’s war prowess with a repeated theme of civilian protection.”

— I dont know what museum she visited, since Mleeta’s great flaw – of several – as Mona, the expert on the subject, points out, is that MLEETA IS ENTIRELY A MILITARIZED version of Hizbullah – cutting out the social service aspect, women’s role etc… I challenge Sharon to find one aspect in Mleeta that actually does “feature both these tenants.”


Written by nickbiddlenoe

March 30, 2012 at 6:30 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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