How did CNN senior editor of Middle East affairs Octavia Nasr celebrate July 4? By mourning the passing of Hezbollah's Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah. Here's what the CNN editor posted on her Twitter account:
Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah.. One of Hezbollah's giants I respect a lot..#Lebanon
Fadlallah "famously justified suicide bombings," as the New York Times recalls in its obituary for him:
In a 2002 interview with the British newspaper The Telegraph, he was quoted as saying of the Palestinians: “They have had their land stolen, their families killed, their homes destroyed, and the Israelis are using weapons, such as the F16 aircraft, which are meant only for major wars. There is no other way for the Palestinians to push back those mountains, apart from martyrdom operations.”
The Times also reports in its obit that Fadlallah is believed to be responsible for the killing of 241 U.S. Marines during the 1983 Beirut barracks bombings:
Western intelligence services, however, held the ayatollah responsible for attacks against Western targets, including the 1983 bombings of two barracks in Beirut in which 241 United States Marines and 58 French paratroopers were killed....The administration of President Bill Clinton froze the ayatollah’s assets in 1995 because of his suspected involvement with terrorists. And in 2006, Israel bombed his house in south Beirut, but he was not there at the time.
In 2008, Fadlallah said on Palestinian TV that "Zionism has inflated the number of victims in this Holocaust beyond imagination."
Is there a chance Nasr is simply ignorant of the evils of Fadlallah? It seems very unlikely considering her biography on CNN's website:
Nasr serves as an on-air and off-air analyst across all platforms of CNN Worldwide. She covers Middle East politics and current affairs, global terrorism and militant Islam...Nasr's experience and deep knowledge of the Middle East put her in the spotlight during CNN's coverage of September 11th and its aftermath. Shortly after the attacks, she spent months traveling in the Middle East region coordinating on-air appearances and forging exclusive newsgathering deals with media partners.
Talk about getting too close to one's subject.