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Sundries
...a sweatshop of moxie

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Farris The Republican

Farris Hassan Update

Those of you who have your attentions elsewhere (perhaps on that sad, but intriguing murder mystery in Massachusetts, involving a British national whose wife and child were recently killed), may have forgotten about young Farris Hassan.

You remember, the Iraqi-American 16-year-old who showed up in Baghdad one fine day, having played a mean game of hooky from school.

After he arrived back home in Florida, safe and sound, it seemed the story would die a welcome death.

But as commenter Darrell relates, there might be more to this story, than met the eye.

The linked piece above drops the bombshell that young Farris was never enrolled, or had been taking the so-called "immersion journalism" class, which he and his family had stated, was the impetus for this extremely dangerous journey.

Since many details about Farris' father, Dr. Rehda Hassan, have been leaked now, you might be aware that the good doctor had been arrested for attempted passport and ID forgery, but the charges were dropped.

This article makes sinister allusions, which should be read cautiously, however.

One, that Dr. Hassan was involved in this forgery operation with a pro-Khomeini activist.

Two:

Obligingly, Farris spent ten days in Beirut, and while there, met with a media relations officer of the terrorist group Hezbollah at their Central Press Office. This meeting was arranged through the assistance of his hosts – the family’s friends.


Three, the post ends with this damning question hanging over Farris' adventure to Iraq:

Could it be that Hassan was going to Iraq to join Hezbollah to fight against the "American occupation?"


Obviously, this story has more hooks and ladders than a fire station, but I have to say, even with the little that we know about Farris; his sometimes contradictory story; and his well-to-do but shady family...

...I don't think he's a John Walker Lindh type.

In fact, I think it's a bit ludicrous to even suggest that.

Unlike Lindh, he seems an eminently well-adjusted boy, despite also having divorced parents.

But his surroundings are not of the ultra-liberal Califronia enclave which Lindh grew up in, but a conservative Florida one which includes private schooling, a 4-million dollar home, and no sense of shame about his background, which Lindh exhibited by claiming at one point, amongst other lies, that he was a black man.

Nor is there any kind of religious angle to the story, or to his family, which seems to be the impetus for many of these "jihads" (the other being money, which also doesn't compute here).

His relationship with his parents is also much closer than many normal teenage kids to theirs.

It might be remembered that John Walker Lindh had allegedly turned to Islam, in part because he found his father's newfound homosexuality distressing (perhaps turning psychologically to the most overtly punishing anti-homosexual monotheistic religion around).

If anything, the one thing that has come out of this event, was that Farris had an enabler-dad, who followed his son every step of the way, including getting in touch with relatives in Lebanon, to help guide his son to Iraq.

And, of course, there his published essay which states categorically that he was going to Iraq because he felt that life wasn't about the superficial, but about combating "evil forces".

He said plainly:

“There is a struggle in Iraq between good and evil, between those striving for freedom and liberty and those striving for death and destruction. You are aware of the heinous acts of the terrorists: Women and children massacred, innocent aid workers decapitated, indiscriminate murder. You are also aware of the heroic aspirations of the Iraqi people: liberty, democracy, security, normality. Those terrorists are not human but pure evil. For their goals to be thwarted, decent individuals must answer justice’s call for help … So I will.

A bit later, he also states he was going to volunteer with the Red Cross, and that he would give his body and mind to helping Iraqis with their quest for freedom.

These responses, however, leave open-ended questions.

- If the family, or at least the father, knew of Farris' trip to Iraq, why did they advertise it to the media, as allegedly desperate parents in the dark about their son's whereabouts?

- If the family had made the essay public soon after the disappearance, which makes no mention of immersion journalism being the impetus, why did MSM give such emphasis to this fallacious motive?

- If, as the article infers, Farris went there as a possible recruit for the insurgency, how can they reconcile that with the fact that it was known Farris Hassan was a member of his school's Republican Party club?

Let's get one thing clear:

Being a Republican, does not automatically make you pro-the-Iraq-War.

But it would suggest that perhaps this boy would not be as likely to be anti-the-Iraq-War either.

To me, this saga looks all the world like wealthy parents who wanted to make a media splash in the worst way, via their charismatic and intelligent son (who was more than willing to oblige them), but they failed to get their stories straight beforehand.

Once the story was out, they improvised, and perhaps the mother was not as privy to the facts as the father was.

With Dr. Hassan's connexions, and previous activities in the region (some which may not be readily understandable to Americans used to black-and-white allegiances), it might be that he wanted to draw attention to the Iraq War, by putting a human face on the story:

The way Cindy Sheehan has done...for the other side.

And what better way, than to show what Americans can do no matter how young, when their ideals are engaged, and their minds and bodies willing to face a challenge?

Perhaps, who knows, the father and mother also wanted to make an impact on Iraqis in Iraq, who might see what America has done for the Hassan family.

Made them wealthy.

Made them intrepid.

Made them free.

That's a 16-year-old soundbite even Al-Jezeera cannot ignore.


ADDENDUM: Ever since I saw photos of Farris arriving home in Florida, who he reminded me of, has been gnawing at me.

Today, I got it!

Call me crazy (not that you don't already), but you know who Farris Hassan is the spitting image of, especially about the nose?




Prince William.




Stop laughing.

8 Comments:

  • hmmm...the Prince looks like a cross between Ben Stiller and Matthew McConaughey!

    BTW, I call McConaughey, "McChuckleBucket." Go ahead, say it aloud, it's funny!

    By Blogger Ron, at Sun Jan 29, 11:31:00 am GMT-5  

  • Not to mention that his school doesn't even have a journalism program...

    Many questions left to be answered. Anyone can join a club at school, even those attempting to hide their true loyalties. Was Farris simply a mule, delivering money or something else to pro-Iranian insurgents, or someone in Jordan or any of the other places he visited? We will never know for sure, unless he made it on the radar for some intelligence agency.

    By Anonymous Darrell, at Sun Jan 29, 11:44:00 am GMT-5  

  • Gadzooks, Victoria!
    I think you're onto something. William is the salt shaker; Farris is the pepper shaker.

    By Blogger Ruth Anne Adams, at Sun Jan 29, 01:34:00 pm GMT-5  

  • hmmm...the Prince looks like a cross between Ben Stiller and Matthew McConaughey!

    Hmm. I see where you're going with McConnaughey, but what part of the face reminds you of Ben Stiller?

    It's always a question of features, don't you think?

    Like Ruth Buzzi and Ruth Bader Ginsberg (hi Ruth Anne!).

    BTW, I call McConaughey, "McChuckleBucket." Go ahead, say it aloud, it's funny!

    All day today, I've been saying McChuckleBucket in my head.

    Arggh! It's worse than an Earth Wind & Fire song.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Mon Jan 30, 12:44:00 am GMT-5  

  • Not to mention that his school doesn't even have a journalism program...

    Serious question:

    Was it the AP journalists who made this angle up completely?

    Maybe, as in Farris came in to the office, and started speaking about wanting to interview Iraqis in the market, and suddenly they said, "Hey, that's immersion journalism 101".

    Know what I mean?

    Because, TTBOMK, it's a competely fabricated detail.

    Many questions left to be answered.

    This has "Movie of the Week on TV" written all over it, Darrell.

    With Freddie Prinz Jr. as Farris.

    Anyone can join a club at school, even those attempting to hide their true loyalties.

    I know what you're saying, but you know, at some point, one can't second-guess everything about the young man.

    The letter's sentiments jibe with something a Republican might say. Yes, even a young Repub.

    Was Farris simply a mule, delivering money or something else to pro-Iranian insurgents, or someone in Jordan or any of the other places he visited?

    That angle is interesting.

    It would explain why he went to 4, count 'em, 4 countries once in the Middle East.

    Kuwait, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq.

    But again, I harp on the point I mentioned in my post:

    If the family were up to no good with the insurgency, et. al., why on earth would they encourage or plan for Farris to leave with 5 days still left before Christmas break...

    ...and then advertise the fact that he had gone missing, when they knew that would mean all eyes would be on the kid, and subsequently, on the family.

    That makes no sense:

    Stealth being a prerequisite for doing nefarious things in life, and all.

    We will never know for sure, unless he made it on the radar for some intelligence agency.

    Oh I'm sure the whole family's records are sitting on some security agenct's desks -- or were for a while, anyways.

    We haven't heard the end of this saga, as I keep saying.

    Thanks for the tip, Darrell!

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Mon Jan 30, 12:53:00 am GMT-5  

  • Gadzooks, Victoria!
    I think you're onto something. William is the salt shaker; Farris is the pepper shaker.


    *LOL!*

    What an elegant way of putting it, Ruth Anne. :)

    For me, the resemblence is in the nose, the longness of the face, and the general lankiness of the torso.

    It helps both boys slouch.

    Believe me, when I came up with the name, I was completely dumbfounded, because in the first photo we saw of Farris, in Baghdad, with that stubble, he looked about as Windsor-like as Saddam Hussein.

    But he cleans up well.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Mon Jan 30, 12:56:00 am GMT-5  

  • Arggh! It's worse than an Earth Wind & Fire song.

    C'est moi! My friends think I'm Earthy and full of Wind, but I know I'm on Fire! (like the Richard Pryor!)

    By Blogger Ron, at Mon Jan 30, 01:39:00 am GMT-5  

  • We will never know for sure, unless he made it on the radar for some intelligence agency.

    Oh I'm sure the whole family's records are sitting on some security agenct's desks -- or were for a while, anyways.


    MI5 Digital Communications Inc
    416-398-5404
    3701 Chesswood Drive,
    North York, ON M3J 2P6

    Just wait until Oprah gets at it him, after James Frey she has the taste of blood in her mouth.

    By Blogger Renato, at Mon Jan 30, 12:49:00 pm GMT-5  

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