The semester is drawing to a close, and I’m looking forward to a long summer of book research and some more consistent blogging. A couple quick notes:
Syria Offed Imad Mughniyeh?
Check out this Foreign Policy article about the assassination of Imad Mughniyeh. The author, Mark Perry, promises a big reveal and doesn’t fully deliver but it’s an entertaining piece. I recall hearing these very same rumors about possible Syrian involvement in the assassination, but dismissed them as wild speculation. There’s also this Al-Akhbar report from earlier this year, and the Erich Follath article in Der Spiegel from a while back.
To my mind, it seems very unlikely that Bashar al-Assad would sacrifice Mughniyeh for the slimmest of prospects of peace with Israel. I’ve argued in the past that the Syrian regime’s resistance credentials are nothing like what its apologists claim they are, but assassinating the senior military figure in Hizbullah by way of making nice with the Israelis seems very unlikely to me.
Why I Hate Twitter
If you once used to follow me on Twitter and now find that I’ve blocked you unexpectedly, please send me a note via the contact page so that I can un-block you. As it turns out, I have a puzzling number of bots following my account. Until recently, something like 40% of my followers were not actual people, so I signed up for an online service (manageflitter.com) to purge as many of them as I could. In a single evening, I dropped over 8,000 followers, some of them apparently real people and loyal readers. If you’re one of them, let me know. And if anyone else can explain to me why my account is a magnet for bots, I’m all ears.
Finally, my dissertation won a prize!