Since I arrived in Beirut last week, the Internet connection at home has been either unreliable or completely non-existent. Uploading photographs has been near impossible, but eventually it will happen. In the mean time, I wanted to share this before the connection disappears again.

Someone I know runs a website that contains Hizballah material. This renders him susceptible to all sorts of insults and love letters in times of crisis, such as the summer of 2006. It did not take long before the trouble in Iran brought him into its orbit and he received the following email yesterday, presumably from Iran:

Assalamu Aleikum va rahmatullah va barakatuhu

I just wondered if it’s true that you sent soldiers to our country to kill our people..people who helped your people in any way… many here say that they brought Lebanese soldiers…it’s very cruel of you to do that if you really did it .. any way i dont agree with helping other countries and to give even a rial of mine as long as we have poor people in our country and they are forced to sell their children or dignity because of poverty….it’s not fair.. I believe you’re just like other selfish politicans who are stuck in the ridiculous political world  ….I wonder how you will meet Imam Zaman or even God?!!!!

The reference is to the news that 5,000 members of Hizballah had been helping brutally suppress demonstrators in Iran. The source for the Der Spiegel article is supposedly Voice of America, but I have been unable to locate the piece of news on their website.

Abu Muqawama debunks this story, but I think it is worth stopping at another aspect of the email quoted above. The logic set out in it — that the Iranian government is helping the Lebanese people at the expense of the poor in Iran — is one I have heard several times before from Iranian friends and acquaintances. Of course, in the true tradition of Lebanese navel-gazing, the bitterness that support for Hizballah generates inside Iran matters little when discussing our politics.