Ghosts of Beirut, a Showtime thriller series, declares at the outset that it is a fictionalized account of true events and that its creators did extensive study before drawing any conclusions. The series’ creators may have adopted a diplomatic stance because, in today’s society, no one wants to be held responsible for lying about the truth. In addition, calling the series a fictional account also gives them some latitude to exercise creative freedom and add specific scenes or elements solely for entertainment. However, after viewing the first episode of Ghosts of Beirut, we can state that it largely adheres to reality, accurately portrays the Middle East’s problems in the early 1980s, and explains how a particular person confounded the most potent intelligence services in the world. The Middle Eastern countries’ status quo from the early 1980s to the 2000s is covered in great detail.
Imad Mughniyeh, one of the most important Hezbollah party members and the man who founded the Islamic Jihad Organization in Lebanon, is profiled in the book Ghosts of Beirut. Whatever has been presented, at least in the first episode of the series, is actually the true, word for word. When Imad rose to power, the intelligence services weren’t even aware that he could be such a significant threat at first. In 1982, Ahmad Qassir, a young child, was chosen by Imad to carry out the bombing of the Israeli embassy in Tyre. Imad and other fanatics like him always selected similar types of people for such suicide missions, who were going through a lot in their lives and were suffering primarily because of the actions of the enemy they were asked to wage war against. Obviously, the conversation between Imad and Ahmad may have been dramatized for the screen, but the essence of it is kept intact. Several testimonies later proved this. They were selected for the straightforward reason that their mental states were disordered, making it simpler to brainwash them into thinking that what these so-called leaders were saying was true. They generally had unhappy lives and endured appalling conditions, which made it somewhat easier for them to decide to take their own lives and hold out hope that a better world—a paradise—was waiting for them.
Imad had the option to just detonate a bomb and leave the Israeli government building, but he wanted the impact to be so great that the Israelites would realize their potential. Imad had created his contacts and network from scratch, and he was just as crafty and shrewd as he is shown in Ghosts of Beirut. Imad was employed by Yasser Arafat and joined Force 17, a specialized division of the Fatah movement. Although he had quit the group owing to various disagreements over ideology and viewpoints, he still respected the PLO commander, and in a scene from Ghosts of Beirut, he was shown debating this with Asgari and Mohtashami-Pur. Imad had a purpose for everything he did, and he was well aware of the effects his choices might have on the geopolitics of the Middle East, thus every action was well considered. He may have been able to elude the intelligence services for more than 15 years for this reason. He was considered to be quite a smooth talker and had the ability to quickly sway anyone, according to CIA agents and even Mossad officers. In the film Ghosts of Beirut, he persuaded Ahmad Qassir to give his life for his cause, demonstrating his persuasive abilities. He was aware that nobody would want to endanger their life in the first place, but Imad was always able to find people’s weak spots and manipulate them into doing what he wanted.
In theGhosts of Beirutseries, Dermot Mulroney as Robert Ames, a peace messenger who is modeled on the real-life CIA director and is likely the only one who thinks he can restore peace to the area. Robert was a skilled negotiator, and his bosses were aware that he had accomplished the seemingly unachievable by nearly reaching an agreement with the Israelis and persuading them to leave Lebanon before a tragic event altered the situation. When Imad Mughniyeh put a suicide bomber into the American headquarters with a van loaded of explosives, killing more than 50 people, Robert was ordered to return to Beirut for the last round of negotiations. The U.S. officials described the attack as cowardly and acknowledged that Ames died in it, but they refused to leave the area and said they wouldn’t do so until peace had been restored. William Buckley, whose character is likewise based on a real-life person, will succeed Ames as the series’ next leader. In 1985, Imad’s Islamic Jihad organization claimed responsibility for the murder of William Buckley, who had actually been abducted by the Hezbollah party in 1984.
The focus of discussion is whether Greg Barker is able to maintain an unbiased approach and not have a preconceived notion about the characters and leave it up to the audience to decide what they want to feel. We know that he has an excellent research team, and whatever he shows on the screen will be supported by real facts and events. We don’t want “Ghosts of Beirut” to be turned into a corny nationalistic movie in which we see the struggle between good and evil. We already have a large enough selection of shows and films for that, therefore we don’t want Greg Barker to join the already-exhaustive roster. We were reminded of the television show Waco while debating these points because, until the very end, it was impossible to tell whether the evil character was mistaken in believing that he was the good that society needed or whether the group who thought they were on the right side was aware of how mistaken they were. We anticipate a situation like that in Ghosts of Beirut, and we hope it lives up to our expectations.