This post by Max Blumenthal, in which he announces his decision to stop writing for the pro-Hezbollah Lebanese newspaper, Al-Akhbar, is well-worth reading. It provides a fascinating window into the mindset of the pro-Hezbollah Left. Blumenthal never had a problem with the paper's virulently anti-American and pro-Hezbollah propaganda; what disturbed him was the paper's defense of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whose regime has killed somewhere on the level of 15,000 Syrians since an uprising began against him last year. "The apologia for Assad and his crimes has reached unbearable levels," Blumenthal writes, laying out a rather devastating case against the paper.
One shouldn't give Blumenthal too much credit, however. The paper, according to a New York Times profile last year, "operates under the tacit protection of Hezbollah, Lebanon’s most potent military force," and is thus little more than a propaganda instrument for that armed faction and its interests. Hezbollah, as a paramilitary funded and equipped by the Syrian regime, has been muted on the whole Syria crisis, obviously intent on seeing its sponsor remain in power. Hezbollah and the Assad regime—along with Iran—form the crux of the Middle East's "resistance axis," which seeks to displace the influence of the United States and its allies in the region. Blumenthal knew all this, of course, when he first started writing for the paper over a year ago, and the Assad apologetics apparently didn't even bother him two weeks ago, when he told Newsweek's Eli Lake that, "I'm proud to write for Al Akhbar English, one of the best independent papers in the Middle East." His latest admission that the publication is but a "playpen for dictator enablers," sounds even less convincing then Captain Renault's "shock" that there's gambling going on at Rick's bar.