Alpine Summit

Monday, January 23, 2006

Never What You Thought It Was

Remember that guy from Florida that went to Iraq on a whim and "didn't tell" his parents? Well it turns out his father was involved with terrorism back in the 80's and he was actually able to get to Iraq through his dad's "political connections." One thing that stood out from this piece is where the author quotes an e-mail Hassan sent to his friends before he left.

Like Chalabi, Dr. Hassan has a dubious past and unsettling ties to Iran. But what about the propaganda? That's where his son Farris comes into the picture. Before leaving for Iraq, the Young Republican sent out an e-mail to friends that began: "There is a struggle in Iraq between good and evil, between those striving for freedom and liberty and those striving for death and destruction... Those terrorists are not human but pure evil."

This begs the question: who exactly does he think are the 'terrorists' and who does he think are the 'freedom fighters?' He never seems to answer this and it actually looks like he keeps it purposefully ambiguous when talking about the fighters in Iraq. Then there's the issue of how trustworthy he is.

"With each group of persons I immersed myself, I changed my persona," he told interviewer Rita Cosby. "When I was with Christians, I told them that I was a Lebanese Christian, an American Christian, and my name was Jason.

"And when I met with the Hezbollah leader... I told [him] that I work for a school newspaper and that I wanted to show Americans that Hezbollah is, in fact, a good organization that's fighting for the Shiite people in Lebanon."

So the kid's a chameleon and, apparently, a born liar. I wonder what role he was playing while immersed with Rita Cosby. Oh yeah, it was the idealistic rich American boy who played hooky from school to promote democracy.

The problem with having a reputation as a liar is that people will not only not believe what you are saying is true, but you are essentially in a "guilty until proven innoceent" situation--especially when you openly admit to meeting with terrorists.

More here, here, and here.