Michael Totten

I Am Not a Spy

Okay, it isn’t funny anymore. Let’s just get this out in public and out of the way once and for all.
I am not a spy. Got that? I. Am. Not. A. Spy.
Almost every frigging day in this country someone accuses me and/or one of the other Westerners in my presence of being a spy. When Christians make that accusation I get the sense that they’re half-joking. (Emphasis here on half rather than joking.) When Muslims do it the sense of humor in their voice is notably lacking. When Hezbollah does it I know good and goddamn well they aren’t joking. The flaming eyes, the screaming, and the physical belligerence kinda sorta gives that away.
So let’s get a couple of things straight.
Spies speak Arabic fluently. They know classical Koranic Arabic and the local dialect.
Spies don’t carry around $500 digital cameras from Circuit City.
Spies don’t pretend to be journalists.
How about all my Lebanese readers tell their friends and family that accusing every foreigner they see of being a spy is only funny the first 29 or 30 times that it happens. After that it’s stupid. After that it’s offensive. After that it makes your country look barking mad.