Sunday, August 31, 2008

Saudi media want to bring Dahlan back. Ghassan Shibil was a reporter for An-Nahar (the right-wing, sectarian Christian, anti-Syrian (people), anti-Palestinian (people) newspaper in Lebanon). He is now editor-in-chief of Al-Hayat, the mouthpiece of Prince Khalid Bin Sultan. He is a good writer and knows how to conduct interviews. But his lengthy interviews with Muhammad Dahlan are rather odd: there is no preparation on the part of Shirbil and they are published as if clearly for a political purpose to revive the sagging fortunes of Dahlan. I used to read with great interest interviews by Shirbil, but this was not something to be proud of in his career. He did not challenge him at any point, and even wrote things that he knew were untrue. Mr. Shirbil: you compare `Arafat's relationship with Dahlan to his relationship with Abu Hasan Salamah? Are you kidding me? `Arafat used to regularly slap, literally slap, Dahlan, and would send him away for months and years and stayed away from him in the last two years of his life, and called him Karzai and traitor. Nothing of that was published in the interviews. My favorite part of the interview was when Dahlan referred to his Fath Movement as "liberal." Shirbil did not even ask him about his gas stations' liberalism.