Hezbollah, Lebanon, Syria

Dissertation Prizes, Fake Twitter Followers, and Imad Mughniyyeh

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?

MughniyehCheck 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!

More soon.

Discussion

7 thoughts on “Dissertation Prizes, Fake Twitter Followers, and Imad Mughniyyeh

  1. A thousand congratulations! How can we read the dissertation? By the way, your last name is interesting to me because some Shi3a families from South Lebanon also share that name. I recall a Dr. Muhanna from Bint Jbeil I think.

    Posted by rpver | April 29, 2013, 2:50 pm
  2. Mabrouk ya doktor. 😀

    Posted by danny | April 29, 2013, 5:02 pm
  3. “but assassinating the senior military figure in Hizbullah by way of making nice with the Israelis seems very unlikely to me.”

    What if making nice with the Israelis was just one of the benefits of getting rid of him? There were others….

    Nice article BTW

    Posted by Maverick | April 30, 2013, 2:36 am
  4. Yes, mabruk! indeed! And another ‘mabruk’ for the Brown position! I always enjoy your blog.

    Posted by dianabuja | April 30, 2013, 7:28 am
  5. Congratulations! May the Force be with you (or Sultan Baybars, at least).

    Posted by James Reilly | April 30, 2013, 9:03 am
  6. QN,

    Congratulations! Live long and prosper. 🙂

    Posted by Vulcan | April 30, 2013, 9:28 am
  7. Shukran shabab wa shababettes.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | April 30, 2013, 10:12 am

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