In a blatant hit piece entitled, “The dark, controversial past of Trump’s counterterrorism adviser,” on the highly respected Middle East and counter-terrorism expert and foreign policy advisor to Donald Trump, Dr. Walid Phares, Ishan Tharoor describes him as “once a leading ideologue in an armed Christian faction during Lebanon’s grim, bloody sectarian civil conflict of the 1980s.” Ishan Tharoor, a Yale graduate (2006), who came to the Post from Time, thoughtlessly drags the his new employer into libelous ground. He goes on to quote at length from an article by Adam Serwer in Mother Jones. The main source for that article is Tony Nissi who writes:
I am appalled and totally disgusted that Mother Jones’ Adam Serwer twisted few words, out of an another subject unpublished long interview, in the purpose of attacking Professor Walid Phares, with the goal of tarnishing his image during a Presidential campaign in the US. I also denounce Mother Jones for continuing to fan and perpetuate these false accusations against Phares and referring them to me. I demand a full retraction and apology from Mrs. Rosenthal, Serwer and from Mother Jones as well as a full removal of my name and quotes from the above shady articles in the print and online editions. Furthermore I hereby ask Mother Jones to publish my letter fully, under US laws.
— Toni Nissi, Beirut, Lebanon
Dr. Toufic Hindi, a Lebanese politician, a university professor, and a commentator was interviewed by Dorothy Logan for Family Security Matters. He was the political advisor to the Commander of the Lebanese Forces, Dr. Samir Geagea, from 1986 to 1994 (when Dr. Geagea was jailed by the pro-Syrian regime in Beirut). Hindi played a central role in the LF and in the opposition to the Syrian occupation of Lebanon between 1994 and 2005. In that period, he was arrested and jailed by the pro-Syrian regime of Lebanon before he was released by the courts. Of the smears on Dr. Phares, Hindi has this to say:
Those imputations are false, and the people who are making them either don’t have any knowledge about Lebanon’s history and politics or they are making them with the goal of smearing a public figure in US politics.
[Walid Phares] was not Geagea’s advisor, for the simple reason that I myself was the one and only political advisor in title of Dr. Geagea from 1986 until 1994. Walid was appointed as director of the Department of International Relations from 1986 to 1987 before he was appointed to another department for the émigrés in 1987. (…) I don’t know where Mother Jones got its information, but both I and Walid Phares were in the news and our titles were very clear. A simple research in the press archives would clearly outline our activities to anyone looking. It was all public and common knowledge. I did not, however, see any reference to the Lebanese press between 1979 and 1990 in Mother Jones’ two articles about Walid.
Plunging on, Tharoor attempts to tie Dr. Phares to the infamous Sabra and Shatila massacre. Of this, Dr. Hindi writes:
These seem to me as hallucinations, and of course he [Phares] can sue them for defamation. First of all, Walid was not even in the military. He was a human rights lawyer and a political public figure. How anyone labels him as violent is beyond me. As much as I know, in September 1982 during the days when Sabra and Shatila shootings took place, he was practicing as a young defense lawyer and a publisher. In the days and weeks after, he and his law offices got many Palestinians and other citizens out of jail and defended them. Besides, if you read his book about pluralism, he dedicates it to, among others, the Muslim and Arab peoples. And in his booklet “Democratic Dialogue,” he engages in intellectual debates with all contemporaries, including Muslim Arab nationalists and Lebanese Christian nationalists. Phares had zero connection to military and violence.
The comments on Tharoor’s hit piece are particularly telling:
So what? This only tells me the Phares was correct in his understanding of the dangers of Islam all along. Where do you see the problem? Hillary’s past constitutes allowing Libya, Syria, Yemen and Iraq fall into the abyss, and almost Egypt too. Here in Phares we have a guy who understands the Middle and the core of the problem: Islam as a destructive religion. – rgb111
The Christian Lebanese Forces were created to fight ISIS version 1.0 which was called the PLO back in the 1970s, and thus the barely armed Christians of Lebanese rallied to fight one of the largest terrorist organization of the time. To summarize the entire history of the Lebanese Christian Forces by the Sabra and Shatila massacre which was carried out by a rogue unit of the LF is the same as summarizing the history of the US army by labelling the US Army with “those who committed the My Lai massacre” in Vietnam…. – Gio Andolini
Yes, the media will use any excuse to attack Donald Trump and his advisors. But this piece just confirms what everyone already knows about Trump – he will be smart and tough when dealing with Islamic terrorism. In other words, don’t look for media darlings like Karen Armstrong or Reza Aslan to be part of his advisory team. Trump doesn’t want pc pablum. He’ll leave that to the media, including the Washington Post.
By Rebecca Bynum