The Mideastwire Blog

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

Dexter Filkins at the New Yorker: Another Newly Minted Hizbullah Expert after his first posting (according to his bios that is)

[NOTE: for the full post, after I got the pay version and compared to the Enders piece and which examines the strange case of the two “dany/danis) see above]

Dexter Filkins piece has these two insights on Hizbullah (I cant get in to the pay version, can someone send the full text to see what else there is in there?):

“In an Arab world dominated by Sunni Muslims, Hezbollah agitates on behalf of Shiite identity—forming, along with Syria and Iran, a column of resistance sometimes called the Shiite Axis.

— Even if Dexter thinks that is the reality, the public effort and PR by the party of course is quite the opposite! Did he listen to folks directly I wonder? [ADDED NOTE – I have the full text now – thanks – but on just this point before I get into the text, the whole idea is that Hizbullah desperately tries – and indeed sometimes fails – to NOT agitate as shiites! or for shiites! That is the ESSENCE of its public effort in fact…. Although that seems to have escaped Filkins. Second, he uses the awkward “shiite axis” – maybe he meant the “shiite crescent” coined by Jordan’s king? It is the Resistance Axis of course – unless you want to use the much more narrow term “Shiite Axis” which the reporter should have clarified for his readers is used by some of Hizbullah’s bitterest opponents specifically – not just “sometimes.”

“Siding with the Assad government has already left Hezbollah’s secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah alone in the Arab world
— No, not alone Dexter. Whether right or wrong is a different issue, and one most of us have little standing to pass judgement on…. but Hizbullah is NOT alone in the arab world. Just look at the pro-american polling (biased and silly as these efforts are!) for one!

Read more:

Well, here is the full bio…. which makes one realize why the insights even in the teaser seem so thin ( NOTE, ZERO EXPERIENCE IN LEBANON…. i.e. the country which he is now deeply picking apart… and yes, friends, I realize there may be something NOT IN THE BIO which is relevant – please do send…. but this is publicly what we have served up and which merits a quick – and correctible – blog post…. Which is to say, I would be glad to CORRECT, if someone spends a few minutes and lets me know that Dexter actually spent several months or years researching and writing in lebanon:

“Dexter Filkins joined The New Yorker in January of 2011, and has since written about a bank heist in Afghanistan and the democratic protests in the Middle East. Before coming to The New Yorker, Filkins had been with the New York Times since 2000, reporting from Afghanistan, Pakistan, New York, and Iraq, where he was based from 2003 to 2006. He has also worked for the Miami Herald and the Los Angeles Times, where he was chief of the paper’s New Delhi bureau. In 2009, he won a Pulitzer Prize as part of a team of New York Times reporters in Pakistan and Afghanistan. He was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University in 2006-07 and a fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government in 2007-08. He has received numerous prizes, including two George Polk Awards and three Overseas Press Club Awards. His 2008 book, “The Forever War,” won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Best Nonfiction Book, and was named a best book of the year by the New York Times, the Washington Post, Time, and the Boston Globe.

Written by nickbiddlenoe

February 18, 2013 at 10:09 pm

Posted in Uncategorized


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