NYT, WaPo absent from big Midlle East story

Leo Rennert
There has been no coverage  in recent days  in the New York Times and the Washington Post of a sharp escalation of tensions between Egypt on the one hand and Hezbollah and Iran on the other.

The Egyptian media have published  extensive reports on Egypt arresting dozens of Hezbollah operatives and accusing their leader, Nasrallah, of sending them from Lebanon into Egypt to pick targets for terrorist attacks, including strategic spots along the Suez Canal, to run weapons to Hamas  in  Gaza, and to recruit Egyptians to subvert and destabilize their government.

Egypt has called Nasrallah an Iranian puppet.  Nasrallah, in turn, has admitted that, yes, he sent Hezbollah agents into Egypt, but claims they're there only to send supplies to the "resistance" in Gaza, since Cairo is cooperating with Israel.  Given Nasrallah's admission of direct interference in Egyptian affairs, Cairo now accuses Nasrallah of trying to turn Egypt into another Lebanon. 

Charges and counter-charges have been flying thick and heavy.  Egypt also seems to be stepping up Sinai raids on Gaza-bound weapons smugglers.  A truck driver has been killed transporting weapons.  A metals factory making rocket parts has been shut down.  Egypt, in short, has become acutely aware that its security is threatened as much as Israel's from Iran stoking extreme radicalism throughout the region via its two terrorist proxies, Hamas and Hezbollah. 

And all this is being played out against a growing test of strength between Iran's bid for regional hegemony and Egypt's attempt as the most populous Arab  nation  to  halt  Tehran's intrusion into Arab affairs.

I smell a story.  How come these two newspapers don't?

Could it be that, while the Times and the Post often pound the Egyptian regime of Hosni Mubarak, they have been far more gentle in reporting on Hezbollah's leader, portraying him as a rising regional star -- not as an obedient Iranian puppet extending the reach of Tehran's mullahs? 

Update:  State-controlled Egyptian newspaper now calls Nasrallah ''a monkey sheikh'' and Egyptian parliamentarians call for Nasrallah to be indicted along with the 49 Hezbollah operatives he sent to destabilize Egypt.  Iran, for its part, is coming to the defense of Hezbollah and charging that Egypt is making all these charges to weaken Hezbollah in upcoming Lebanese elections.
Plenty of attention elsewhere a day later to the escalating tensions. Still no coverage in Sunday editions of NY Times and Wash. Post
There has been no coverage  in recent days  in the New York Times and the Washington Post of a sharp escalation of tensions between Egypt on the one hand and Hezbollah and Iran on the other.

The Egyptian media have published  extensive reports on Egypt arresting dozens of Hezbollah operatives and accusing their leader, Nasrallah, of sending them from Lebanon into Egypt to pick targets for terrorist attacks, including strategic spots along the Suez Canal, to run weapons to Hamas  in  Gaza, and to recruit Egyptians to subvert and destabilize their government.

Egypt has called Nasrallah an Iranian puppet.  Nasrallah, in turn, has admitted that, yes, he sent Hezbollah agents into Egypt, but claims they're there only to send supplies to the "resistance" in Gaza, since Cairo is cooperating with Israel.  Given Nasrallah's admission of direct interference in Egyptian affairs, Cairo now accuses Nasrallah of trying to turn Egypt into another Lebanon. 

Charges and counter-charges have been flying thick and heavy.  Egypt also seems to be stepping up Sinai raids on Gaza-bound weapons smugglers.  A truck driver has been killed transporting weapons.  A metals factory making rocket parts has been shut down.  Egypt, in short, has become acutely aware that its security is threatened as much as Israel's from Iran stoking extreme radicalism throughout the region via its two terrorist proxies, Hamas and Hezbollah. 

And all this is being played out against a growing test of strength between Iran's bid for regional hegemony and Egypt's attempt as the most populous Arab  nation  to  halt  Tehran's intrusion into Arab affairs.

I smell a story.  How come these two newspapers don't?

Could it be that, while the Times and the Post often pound the Egyptian regime of Hosni Mubarak, they have been far more gentle in reporting on Hezbollah's leader, portraying him as a rising regional star -- not as an obedient Iranian puppet extending the reach of Tehran's mullahs? 

Update:  State-controlled Egyptian newspaper now calls Nasrallah ''a monkey sheikh'' and Egyptian parliamentarians call for Nasrallah to be indicted along with the 49 Hezbollah operatives he sent to destabilize Egypt.  Iran, for its part, is coming to the defense of Hezbollah and charging that Egypt is making all these charges to weaken Hezbollah in upcoming Lebanese elections.
Plenty of attention elsewhere a day later to the escalating tensions. Still no coverage in Sunday editions of NY Times and Wash. Post