Chou …?

Just saw Seymour Hersh on television. Syria is logical, but the US is not? Syria does not play double games, but the US does? What? Seriously, that made no sense. I hope the forthcoming article is better than the last, but I cannot watch him on television anymore. His grasp of the ME is just not sufficient for me to feel comfortable hearing him speak off the cuff. It is a bad sign when Hala Gorani (cute as she is — can i say that?) is the one making more sense.


9 Replies to “Chou …?”

  1. Dave I dont undertsant your critique of sye. Why would you not watch him on tv anymore and why is his understanding of the region naive? if you dont mind elaborating.

  2. Dave you’re being to harsh on Sy.

    At no points does he say that Syria is being rational while US is not. He does not have anything to say on Syria’s way of taking decisions.

    He just say the US is not acting rationally. But this is a judgment in retrospective. Meaning that it may make sense for the administration to follow a policy of support of support to these groups, although it may turn out as a big blunder (i.e. groups are uncontrollable, have their own agenda etc.).

  3. Youssef,

    I agree, although for me, it is the combo makes her maddening.


    Check the links, cause I explain myself there as well as link to relevant articles, but a foreign security guy said it best:

    “Just a final note on Seymour Hersh: he may be very good at researching the US side of a story and exposing bureaucratic debates and infighting over important policy issues. His research and analysis on foreign countries is less impressive.”

    Read that, if you want and then I would happy to elaborate or answer any specific questions you might have … 🙂 If not, I will write something more elaborate when his new article comes out, so that you can see what I mean. I would say in his defense that he has admitted that he says things on tv that he would not write (lower standard of proof) but it makes me cringe when talks about the ME, because he makes a lot misstatements.


    he says it does not make sense for syria to support this group because it is a threat to its ally (HA), but his entire thesis is that the US supports groups that are threats to their allies. That is illogical. You know as well as I that the situation in the North is quite complex. If he is unwilling or incapable of dealing with that complexity, it makes his broad generalizations seem totally out of place in place like lubnan. If there is a fundamental illogic in one’s premise, one has the analytic responsibility to explain away all of the other logical possibilities.

  4. What Hersh is trying to say I think:

    Who are the US’ principal ennemies today? Iran, Syria and their middle east allies (Hamas, Hezbollah).
    So who are the US funding and arming?
    The ennemies of the ennemies meaning: Fatah, Hariri forces, Sunni fundamentalist groups…

    Who are the Syrian’s main ennemy today? America Israel and their middle east allies (Fatah, Siniora, Saudi arabia and any sunni fundamentalist group close to them).

    Is Syria going to arm or subsidize them? I doubt!
    (It’s as if you say that US are gonna arm Hezbollah???)

    The “illogical” thing is that US just think that “the ally of my ally is my ally too”.
    they don’t take into consideration that these fundamentalist groups may turn against them one day …
    The same way they won’t get it if Fatah turns against them one day, The exact same way they did’nt get it when al qaeda turned against them.

  5. interesting video. thanks for the link. i was amused when he said “it’s all very simple.”

    anyway, as for hala … well, rosemary church anyone? no?

  6. boom-boom-boom,

    i had thought you were the smarter of the two brothers … 😉

    it seems my little lebanese family needs me to lay this all out for them, so ‘am apokraphyte will not disappoint … 🙂

  7. I agree. If anything, it’s more illogical for the Americans to be funding these guys than it is for the Syrians.

    We’re talking about guys who have been fighting in Iraq.

    Moreover, a group like this would be unlikely to actually be able to do much to the Hizb, except for maybe provoke them into a larger escalation. The Syrians have a long history of backing more than one horse in Lebanon, so it wouldn’t surprise me if there was some Syrian involvement.

    On the other hand, Hersh’s info seems to be coming from Crooke, who’s got much more interesting things to say about the region than Sy does.

    In any case, whoever is funding and arming these guys, they don’t seem to be in control.

    I agree, though, that Sy seems to give Damascus a free pass when he dismisses Gorani’s question about Syrian control and then puts forward his own hypothesis that could be debunked with the exact same reasoning he used to dismiss Hala.

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