Chuck Norris Joins Hezbollah
As the Syrian civil war drags on, journalists struggle to find new angles that they can sell to their editors. Every story about battles, refugees, destruction, and global diplomacy has already been written and amended dozens of times. It has become very challenging to find Syria scoops, a task that grows ever more difficult when journalists do the bulk of their investigative work from Beirut. (Of course, Beirut is more accessible and has a healthy pub scene, not to mention that it remains less dangerous than Deir Ezzor – for now.)
Beyond scoops, the media also appear to collectively adopt themes in their Syria coverage. The Benghazi Rambo, Mahdi al-Harati, and foreign fighter stories are so last month. This month’s theme is undoubtedly Hezbollah’s presence in Syria, which has “tipped the balance of powers” in favor of the regime according to an article in London’s The Independent.
A Syrian rebel interviewed for the article claims that he “recognized his enemies as Hezbollah by their combat skills and American-made M16 assault rifles.” Bearded men with American weapons and impressive combat skills – the article does not however mention whether they were riding Harleys in which case we’d have a real scoop on our hands. Hezbollah’s secret to success: an army of Chuck Norrises.
According to the 1986 film The Delta Force – which registers a measly score of 5.3 on IMDB – Chuck Norris destroyed an up-and-coming Hezbollah on behalf of Israel and the US. However, as is the case with many Hollywood films, that didn’t really happen. Hezbollah survived 1986 and went on to drive Israel’s military out of most areas it occupied in Lebanon in 2000. Later, in 2006, Israel launched an unsuccessful massive assault on Lebanon in an effort to destroy Hezbollah’s resistance capacity.
Now stories about Hezbollah’s involvement in Syria do go back to the early stages of the protest movement in Syria. But most of these stories have been unsubstantiated.
The stories that have surfaced in the past couple of weeks have Hollywood potential (including this one that marvels at the “particularly muted response from a bombastic group” during last week’s violence, following the assassination of Wissam al-Hassan). So far, none warrant a Chuck Norris film, but at this pace the script for the next mediocre action film will write itself before Norris’ next dye job.
The Delta Force featured a Boeing 707, but that was in the 1980s. Today it’s all about the drones. Just after the story of Ayoub emerged, this story in the Global Post appeared on the radar. Innocently timed, the story filed from Beirut speculates about the origin of drones roaming Syria’s skies. You can surely see the “Made in Dahiyeh” stamp on the Syrian-bound drone all the way from Gemmayzeh, especially now that you have to step outside the bar to smoke a cigarette. It would have been absurd if this could be spotted from inside the bar. The story does casually end on a note that US and Israeli drones are busy over Syria, not to mention the over 20,000 registered Israeli violations of Lebanese airspace.
Despite Hezbollah being a secretive multi-pronged military force that tips the balance of powers in the region, it does seem a bit loose with its planned strategic shifts. Even before they tell the Syrian president “We need to talk,” they run to the Telegraph’s top hasbarist to let him in on their future moves. Why would Hezbollah be so eager to tell the guy who wrote this 2 weeks ago of all people? Perhaps, it’s because he had risen from the dead in the past.
But enough about Hezbollah. Let’s instead play a game of “Abdul Says”. Someone please inform parachuting journalists that, first, the letter ‘P’ does not exist in the Arabic language, which is why many Arabs struggle with their Ps, and more importantly it is why Faez Shoaip can not be a real name. And, second, while the Global Mail may have no qualms about running a story whose sole source is Abdul, Abdul is not a name. It’s only part of a name, it’s like calling Bob, Bo. Or calling Steve, St...
But the parachutist story of the week has to go to Vice. We would call it the Chuck Norris Parachutist Award (CNPA), but we all know Chuck Norris would never need a parachute.
They say the first words you learn in a foreign language are the curse words. Well, the publication that brought you gems like “Paintballing with Hezbollah” shows its knowledge of the natives’ language by translating the only words the young writer understood from the whole event – and they had something to do with the Lebanese prime minister’s relative’s genitalia.