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.