Syria still under the veil

The dangers of untying tethered elephants in the Middle East

I have expressed concern in several previous blogs about the lack of incisive and critical reporting about the situation in Syria.

As if to confirm my suspicions, this detailed piece in Quadrant by Paul Stenhouse, makes me feel no less comfortable with the great big denial going in the West.  What is it about our press that lacks the curiosity to explore alternative views?

A delegation of foreign journalists went to the Alawite neighbourhoods of Homs. Expecting to see peaceful demonstrations, they saw security forces under siege from unidentified gunmen, and impact damage from rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs). They were able to gather testimonials from the local populace who had suffered atrocities at the hands of the insurgents, but “they did not publish these facts on their return, fearing they would be criticised by the mainstream media for breaking with the generally accepted narrative”.

The Syrian model of an Arab society offends extremist and closed Muslim societies. It now seems to offend the USA and its allies. If they have their way, it will disappear along with the Assad regime. That will be a sad day for the Middle East, and a worse one for the Western powers, who will have unleashed an uncertain future on millions of defenceless non-Muslims and non-extremist Muslims.

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7 Responses to “Syria still under the veil”

  1. FatherJon Says:

    The Middle East and all its variations is doing my head in these days. But I’ve seen the pattern developing to overthrow Assad, despite his still overwhelming popularity amongst his people. The Russians and Chinese do well to stay out of this one.

  2. lorenzofromoz Says:

    I read the article: it left out a lot. The Assad regime is politically highly repressive, despite being socially liberal. It has also interfered constantly and viciously in Lebanon and is the main conduit of arms to Hezbollah. The collapse of the regime would be a boon to Lebanon and further isolate Hezbollah and Iran. I suspect that realpolitik is why so many Western governments (and the Turks) are supporting the opposition.

  3. lorenzofromoz Says:

    Lee Smith has a useful piece in The American Interest on this.

  4. FatherJon Says:

    Problem is that the downfall of Assad will influence Israeli politics and ambitions, not necessarily for the best.
    FJ

  5. lorenzofromoz Says:

    Of course, the number rule about commentary on the Middle East — it is all really about Israel.
    *sigh*

  6. FatherJon Says:

    Well, the NYTimes says it so much better than me:-

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/22/world/middleeast/israel-both-hopeful-and-fearful-about-unrest-in-syria.html?pagewanted=all

    FJ

  7. lorenzofromoz Says:

    As this article points out, the only Middle Eastern state where Christians have genuinely flourished in recent decades is Israel.

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