Nobody knows Billy’s last name, but even if they did, they probably couldn’t pronounce it.
Billy’s restaurant is called “Sammy’s,” but that’s another story. Chalk it up to a sign of the times and let it go at that.
Upon his return, many of Billy’s customers wanted to know how far he was from the chaos in
Despite that, Billy, like most of his countrymen, is vocal about what he thinks.
But here’s the question. Is Billy giving us good information or not?
Certainly it is relatively first-hand or, at least, more first-hand than we have access to in the
According to Billy, and the opinions of many people in
As Billy observed from roughly 200 miles beyond the Syrian border, Islamists, including al Qaeda, were infiltrating rebel forces against Assad, but several of the talking heads in the
So authoritative was some of that information that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz) cited an important op-ed piece in The Wall Street Journal by Dr. Elizabeth O’Bagy to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week. O’Bagy, a
Quoting from O’Bagy’s column, McCain read “contrary to many media accounts, the war in
Not inconsequential considering the foreign policy decisions being based upon O’Bagy’s words. That sentence had significant impact on McCain as well as John Kerry who were both supporting the Obama administration’s proposal for military intervention.
Only a few days prior to O’Bagy’s interviews, retired four-star Army general Jack Keane, who is Chairman of the Board at the ISW offered the same information. Keane’s statements were not only bold but definitive and contrary to other reports which stated the Islamists had infiltrated the rebel forces.
Suddenly, on Wednesday, the ISW fired O’Bagy after learning she had falsely represented her Ph.D. credentials.
Immediately other journalists spoke up to express how stunned they had been when the previously unknown 26-year-old researcher was presenting expert analysis about a region where she had never worked.
In the end, Kerry, McCain and Keane all had egg on their faces for placing their credibility on the merits of a non-credible source.
The point being that the more accurate information was gathered from a simple Lebanese restaurant owner than the so-called “experts” from whom we are basing our foreign policy.
Says Billy, “I used to go home once or twice a year. Now I will never go back. I have friends who look just like you and me, but they are Hezbollah. They go to
Maybe we should listen to Billy. Maybe he has a better grasp of the world he once called home than the people we rely upon for our information.
We could do worse.
Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe.
This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.