Tuesday, November 03, 2009

"Hezbollah's Madoff"

Monday, November 2, 2009

Hezbollah in the Larger Scheming of Things

In the early days of last September, Ibrahim Amin delivered a scorcher. The editor-in-chief of al Akhbar, a leading left-leaning broadsheet whose sympathies for Hezbollah are as visceral as they are principled, wagged his caress-worn finger at the Party of God. It was the surest sign yet that the ululating faux pas involving Mr. Salah Ezziddine had indeed the makings of a full-blown scandal.

On the surface of this man’s sin squirmed a group of embarrassing revelations: the mysterious two days and nights Salah spent with Hezbollah before he was sent on his way to declare his bankruptcy to the Lebanese state; the inconvenient detail that this glaringly pious businessman was not the Madoff of the Shiites, but the Madoff of Hezbollah’s Shiites, a community whose blind faith in him stemmed directly from its blind faith in the Party; the absurdly high 40, 50, even 80% returns on dodgy speculative projects that spoke of sloth and greed and gluttony afflicting a sect which still liked to think of itself as deprived; and, of course, Hezbollah’s indulgence in business practices that mocked not a few teachings by Islam....(more)

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