Propaganda and Coverage of Syria

After months of intense and feverish coverage of Syria, it is high time that we ask: how bad has the coverage been? How much have we been served as readers by the coverage? To what extent has the Arab (Saudi and Qatari) media converged with Western media? And why do Western media toss out all token adherence to minimum standards of professional journalism when the coverage targets an enemy of the US (and Israel)? I keep waiting for an article in the Columbia Journalism Review to no avail.

Thus far, Western media has been playing games in its coverage about Syria. For the first few months, Western media insisted (against claims to the contrary by the repressive regime) that the Syrian uprising was peaceful: that is, it was part of the touted “Arab Spring.”

Western media insisted that all claims about armed elements of the opposition were mere fabrications by the regime. Yet, when an opposition “army” was announced, and when news of armed clashes in Homs and other places appeared, there were no explanations in the Western press. There was no attempt to reconcile the claims and the later reportage.

But what is also curious is that Western media was desperate to deliver propaganda services to the cause of the Syrian National Council (there is opposition in Syria beyond the council, of course). Western media have been mere cheerleaders for the Syrian National Council. (This criticisms also applies to the news media of the Saudi and Qatari ruling dynasties). Every demonstration is massive, and every strike is successful, and every Friday has topped the previous Friday in the size of protesters. But how true is that? Has there been a demonstration that was not massive? Has there been one Friday that has not been successful?

Of course, in Arab media it is even worse: demonstrations are declared a success even before they take place. Thus, Aljazeera and Al Arabiya declare a demonstration massive the day before it starts. Not once, have the media stated that a particular demonstration was not massive, or that protests this week were less intense than last week, when protests—naturally—go through ups and downs.

Furthermore, Western media rarely covers demonstrations in support of the regime: and those protests have often been rather massive. Western media felt that it would be useful to the regime to admit the obvious: that the regime has some bases of support.

Western media’s propaganda (not coverage) has been so useless from the information point of view that there was no explanation provided for the resilience that has characterized the regime thus far. How does one explain that there has been not one diplomatic defection and no major government defection (notwithstanding the defection of an inspector general in an accounting department of the Syrian government.)

Why is it difficult for the media to even inform the readers of what is happening? Why are they insisting that the token Christian representative in the executive body of the Syrian National Council is a true representative of all Syrian Christians. Why do they view their mission as primarily political and propagandistic?

Of course, one does not expect the truth from the Syrian regime media. But, would one expect any better from the Saudi and Qatari regime media? Are we now to trust the propaganda outlets of the ruling dynasties of Qatar and Saudi Arabia? Have the rules changed and are we to follow the thrust of Saudi media that only Arab republics are undemocratic and that the Gulf kingdoms, princedoms, sheikhdoms, and sultanates are an oasis of freedom?

There are attempts at telling the truth. In Arabic, New TV of Lebanon tries to cover both sides and has snuck its correspondent into Syria. New TV has been criticized by both sides in Syria. In the US, Anthony Shadid and Nir Rosen have tried to cover aspects of the uprisings that are not covered in the mainstream press. The coverage is largely lazy: the unverified claims and wild exaggerations of the pro-Saudi Syrian Observatory for Human Rights basically fill in the space in all Western articles on Syria.

The regime has stayed in power thus far, at great cost to the Syrian people. But the story about Syria is not being told. We don’t have an explanation. People are afraid of defying the will of Syrian National Council and its propaganda message. But the readers are not being served. It is understandable that the Syrian regime and the Qatari-run Syrian National Council are lying. But it is less so that the media partake in the lying charade.

Comments

. "How does one explain that there has been not one diplomatic defection and no major government defection (notwithstanding the defection of an inspector general in an accounting department of the Syrian government.)"

Well how does one explain that there has been not one diplomatic defection and no major government defection in Bahrain As `sad. But in Bahrain it was of course a genuine Uprising.

"Western media felt that it would be useful to the regime to admit the obvious: that the regime has some bases of support."

Of course it has Bases of support like Sadam Hussain had. Christians and Sunnis cronies that would end up in jail, tortured or killed if the shia uprising in 90`s succeeded. Plus the opportunist. Plus ordinary people that don`t want a sectarian war. Like the Bahrain King have and had and Saleh in Jemen(As` sad never talks about the huge Support Jemen Dictator Saleh has which would fit btw exactly in case of Butcher Junior Assad. He does n`t make fun of As`ad woman and human rights cheerleader wife either in his Blog btw.. .

"Of course, one does not expect the truth from the Syrian regime media." oh really. S this is what you have of this soviet style propaganda apparatus. One sentence.

"the unverified claims and wild exaggerations of the pro-Saudi Syrian Observatory for Human Rights basically fill in the space in all Western articles on Syria."

The broken Hands of Ali Farzat( i pray to god that he reads this column so he can know you better.) The tortured and dead children nearly from the peaceful beginning. You call this exaggeration. Sunnis are humans too As `sad. Not only Bahraini shias and leftist Atheists. Btw. why you believe every accusation of human rights violation coming from the west against the sunni Taliban. Then you quote them with pleasure.

" ( i pray to god that he reads this column so he can know you better.) ".. That's sounds as an amenace.. So it seems the way of perpectuate your dictatorship suported by terrorists for the future rule in Syria.-

Mr. Abu Khalil is inconsistent in his views. He has stated on a number of occasions in his blog that he is against the notion of peaceful protest and supports resistance, even by military means. The notion that you have to be peaceful with people who are shooting at you is ridiculous. Even in Egypt's revolution, people resorted to violence. Look at what happened in the town of Suez for example. Abu Khalil even noted this on his blog approvingly. So how come the Syrian people cannot use violence when it is being used against them. Who would deny that right to Palestinians or Lebanese when confronted by Zionist military force, for example.

I think we must differentiate between the Syrian people's right to protest and overthrow their dictatorship, and the opportunists who are part of the Syrian Opposition. The fact that some of the Opposition might be unsavory characters with links to KSA, does not invalidate the Syrian people's right to be free of the Assad Regime. Nor does it make Assad's crimes any more acceptable.

Last time I checked, Egyptians, Lebanese and Palestinians used arms (justly) NOT with NATO/Saudi support. They were NOT given arms by Zionist USA, on the contrary, they fight AGAINST Zionists and USA backers of Zionists. While Zionists were bombing Lebanon and Gaza, WHAT USA said? Has USA supported Lebanese and Palestinian fighters, or has USA supported Zionist criminals? WHOM USA supported in Egypt - people or SCAF? I suppose it is clear enough that USA support means there is NOT the same fighters in Syria as in Egypt. On the contrary. Egypt people called for USA to STOP support regime. USA never payed attention. But the same USA greatly support 'revolutionaries" in Syria. Sure, USA is proven best friend of Arabs and their freedom, right?

And if there are REAL Syrian revolutionaries, why they do not say clear that they are AGAINST meddling, be it openly by USA, or covertly by "Arabs". Why do they call for Egyptian army (the SCAF murderers) to help them?

What is this great USA support for the revolutionaries. They have been getting killed for months now. The USA is only verbally condemning the Syrian government. Your accusations are false. Also, so what if some Syrians call on neighboring countries to help them. Isnt this what Arab countries are supposed to do. Support one another. For decades we have been condemning the Arab countries for not doing enough to help the Palestinians. Now, we ask them not to get involved in Syria's business. Look I hate the Gulf governments, but if they do something positive we should give them credit for it. Bottom line, the Syrian people do not want to live in repression. We should respect that.

If some hypocritical governments like the USA or UK or KSA, want to use this for political means, it should not take away from this fact.

Plus, lets not get carried away with Bashar Assad's revolutionary credentials. He has had Israeli jets fly over his Estate and has failed to even fight back. His army sat back as Lebanon was devastated in 2006, only to watch Hizbollah fight Israel. Syria has a much larger military force than Hizbollah. He is content with having his land occupied by Israelis for over 40 years now. Not much of an "Assad."

I will support Assad when he actually fights Zionists. But kill your own people and act like you are an Arab hero.

Because they have no weapons to fight against a minority sect that is armed with tanks and fighter jets and helicopters from your country and Iran and Iraq. that why they need the weapons. And thats why the Libyans needed this help. Otherwise it would be like in Chechnya.

OK, I get it. The murderous SCAF is going to save Syrians in time free from murdering Egyptians, just "like in Libya", when NATO "saved" Libyans in time free from murdering Iraqis, Afghans, Pakistanis, Yemen people and so on. No better guard from murder than the mass murderer. I got it. By the way, I have also heard that NATO murdered a lot of people in Libya, and that in "saved" Libya they still murder civilians, esp. Blacks. What a wonder future for Syria.

Of course, kh is sectarian, so he does not mind mass-murder of NATO the Zionist backers and by Saudis and other "democratic" kings.

you getting nothing. And you don`t answer my questions. How are the russian Puppets doing. People like "Ex" KGB Karimov and the russian elitists in non russian countries. How is your cooperation with NATO and Iran is doing on war on Taliban. Are the Taliban american Puppets too. Are the Chechens american puppies too. How about the growing white slavic fascist organizations doing that tied themselves with european fascist groups. You are just envy because the americans tricked themselves in to you Backyard. There is now a puppet master competition in Putins Backyard. Have the russians not other Problems than building a Deep see Harbor in arab Lands. I mean seriously russians talking about human rights. Thats comical. You people have and had hundreds of Abu Ghraibs. You have murdered how many Afghans again?. How many died in the Gulags back that. The so called Soviet Union was nothing more than a russian Empire.

P.s: " Libya they still murder civilians, esp. Blacks. What a wonder future for Syria." I saw rebels that looks more black than coke. have you ever heard the syrian Assad Media referring to Arabs as Sandniggers in Discussions of course not since you are not an Arab..

It is disturbing to read the emotional and poorly considered responses here to Dr. AbuKhalil. He doesn't hate Syrians. He isn't a friend to Hizbullah (he criticizes them often). He doesn't trust the SNC perhaps and with good reason. As much as you or I, I believe he hopes for true freedom for the Syrian people and I think it's wrong to put words in his mouth "that Assad is the lesser evil" - he did not write that. His point is that we should look at the regional powers and their interference in the situation. It could well be that Qatar and Saudi Arabia are using the media for their own purposes, or that the interventionist types in the U.S. are as well. My view is that it is too late now, and that the death toll will rise even higher unless a safe no-fly zone is established & I think that will lead to the end of the regime. It's not a neutral or a perfect solution -- the perfect solution would have been if Assad had woken up long ago and opened the country politically. Now, all he can do is to hope for a Saleh-like solution. Russian ships bearing ammunition to kill his own people and blatant lies - are no solution. But that's my view - not Dr. AbuKhalil's.

yes, sure, no-fly. Just like in Libya, right? By the same USA/Saudis, right? Of course, NATO ships and planes would NOT kill Syrians. Or at least they would kill just the right kind of Syrians, like in Iraq, or Afghanistan, or Libya, or Yemen, or Bahrain.

It is almost funny how somebody who at least is able to read As'ad and understand it, then turn up and calls for imperialist intervention in his(?) own country. Of course, such intervention would help greatly - almost as great as in Iraq, but never mind. At least Syrians would be killed NOT by Russian arms, but by NATO ones.

What about the russian invasion of Afghanistan?

It is almost funny how somebody who at least is able to read As'ad and understand it, then turn up and calls for imperialist intervention in his(?)

Russian Intervention is imperialist intervention too.

What about Brzezinski bragging that he had snared Russians to intervene in Afghanistan against their will? The most reactionary fundamentalists from all the world were not only waging terrorism against USSR ally, they threatened the USSR itself (over the border). Imperialist intervention in Afghanistan was one by CIA, Saudis and Pakistan LONG before USSR was called to help. Bin Laden was originally one of imperialist tools in Afghanistan, a CIA asset.

"The most reactionary fundamentalists from all the world."

What is exactly the iranian Regime and all the hardcore shia Brigades like the Moqtader Sadr Brigades if not reactionary. Just because Leftist don`t mention it does`t men that they are not reactionary.

"not only waging terrorism against USSR ally, they threatened the USSR itself (over the border)"

Do you mean the russian puppets in Afghanistan or the russian Puppet Regime in the Region back than. You use exactly the same Terminology of the imperialist americans.

This is where you dogmatic leftists lose me. Justifying the soviet occupation of Afghanistan is absolutely unforgivable. Please, spare me

Fact: anything written in the international sections of western media, major news outlets, is always filled with propaganda. Conclusion: people who actually care look elsewhere for answers, like Al Akhbar or the angry arab blogpost. All others don't really care, and accept this information as is because, honestly, they don't care.

Question: would western governments led by the United States not have invaded Iraq if we didn't have the same type of failed journalism we are seeing now with Syria? I think they would have. Would the anti-war movement been in a better position to oppose the war and lead a wider anti-war movement? I don't know, but by 2004, we all knew there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, but we still re-elected G. W. Bush. So either way, it remains to be seen what good journalism would produce in terms of results versus what failed journalism and propaganda achieves.

"Question: would western governments led by the United States not have invaded Iraq if we didn't have the same type of failed journalism we are seeing now with Syria?"

that was the problem. If it did n`t had intervened there would n`t be no problems in syria. But it´s war on sunnis gave Persians the power to intervene in Arab Affairs. That`s the problem. They have broken Iraq and they had to fix it. But they don`t care.

The battle of Syria is not about the truthfulness of media coverage as Mr. Abu Khalil has been consistently pressing. The self determination of the Syrian people is what Mr. Abu Khalil and his patrons in Hezbollah fear most!. Instead of dwelling and criticizing the Qatari and Saudi news outlets and promoting a rubbish theory about their coverage, he should stand firm in demanding the all news media be allowed access into Syria-something obviously Mr. Abu Khalil dreads most.
Promoting a tainted pro-Assad Lebanese TV outlet (known as the New TV) known for its flagrant pro-Assad bias wouldn’t do the trick! : Simply you can't fool us with a reporter who does not meet people freely in the t brave Syrian town revolting against the regime. And by the way, what is the merit of allowing a New TV reporter roaming in Syria with Assad’s thugs? The truth is that Mr. Abu Khalil pay lip services to western readers about the "the repressive regime" in Damascus while his hearts goes all the way to support the regimes’ practices, allies, and policies in Lebanon and elsewhere.

BintJbail, Southern Lebanon.

BintJbail eh?? So let's see you hail from the heart of the heartland of Lebanese resistance but you're anti hezbollah. I guess that makes you objective, fair-minded, rational and oh so righteous. I am so curious to know what shapes your courageous opinion. I mean what does it take for someone to have lived through what Bintjbailis have lived through and witness first-hand the criminality of the zionist entity, and now sees clearly all western and their poodle arab allies salivating over the prospect of ending a regime that has helped the Mukawama. To suggest that the Syrian uprising is only propelled by shear self-determination is delusional. It survives because of all the life support that it gets from a sea of anti-shia arab wealth as well as anti-mukawama american and zionists determined on avenging their failed plans in the region.
As for attacking abukhalil, what I find interesting is that you used words such as "the truth is Mr. Abu Kalil pay lip services to .... while his hearts goes all the way to support the regimes’ practices, allies, and policies in Lebanon and elsewhere....". So the truth according to you is based on your seemingly outstanding ability to sense supernaturally what is in the heart and mind of a human being and contrast it with their public pronouncements. That's just fascinating. Ok ya jnoubi. Let's hope that when the Syrians break free, they come and liberate you all the way down there in Bint Jbail. Sit tight.
PS: Just for kicks what's in my heart. :)

What has your Text to do with syria in the first place. It`s not up to Hezbollah nor to Iraqs Maliki nor to Iran and nor to the US to decide in Syria.

"and now sees clearly all western and their poodle arab allies salivating over the prospect of ending a regime that has helped the Mukawama"

"To suggest that the Syrian uprising is only propelled by shear self-determination is delusional. It survives because of all the life support that it gets from a sea of anti-shia arab wealth as well as anti-mukawama american and zionists determined on avenging their failed plans in the region."

So this "helping out" in Lebanon justifies the backing of Iran and Iraq and imperialist russia for the regime according to your logic. Than what about Sadam Hussain than. He was a staunch arab nationalist and anti-imperialist. I mean unlike Iran he fired rockets directly in to the zionist entity. He slaughtered shias like Hafez Al Assad slaughtered sunnis.He tried even the wet dream of Leftist in the failed attempt of overthrowing the gulf states. What was the reaction of iran and shia Iraqis that were complicit in the NATO Invasion of Afghanistan and the Toppling of Sadam and the Baath Party. They insisted on the establishing of Democracy and on the Debaathification of Iraq while Maliki refuse the same Principles in Syria. In fact Iran and Iraq help the sectarian syrian Baath regime. Or let say it this way:It survives because of all the life support that it gets from a sea of anti-sunni persian/arab wealth as well as russians.Guess what. I insist on the same principles in Syria. Democracy and Debaathification. OK.

And spare me this anti-imperialist rant. Hezbollah never crossed the Border of the Zionist. It'`s not in there Carta. And Iran will never cross the Border of the Zionist. If it get "the Bomb". What will it do with it. They can not attack the Zionist since they got "the Bomb". And even Norman Finkelstein would argue for western military intervention if Iran threaten the zionists. It can not attack Turkey since Turkey is a member of NATO. But it can blackmail the sunni Arabs. And it can fund Puppets like Karzai of Afghanistan what Iran is already doing. What about the Hazara Shia minority in Afghanistan that works closely with NATO while on the other Hand love Nasrallah and his anti-NATO speeches. Shias profited the most of the war on Terror since it is a war on sunnis. Thats the truth. if NATO Intervention serves the interest of Shias and Iran they stand silent or even secretly helping NATO, like in Afghanistan. When it is the other way around they use this dogmatic leftist anti-imperialis chants.

Quote of former iranian parliamentary legal affairs(2001-2004): This was Iran first major Effort to help the United States to topple the Taliban and Al Qaida. This would be impossible without Irans help.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIq4n7-jQsM

Quote of Maliki in the Newspaper The Australian on December 16, 2011 in the article "the end to a bloody chapter": At the end of a recent meeting with a Western visitor, Mr Maliki described his personal priorities in terms that would worry many Iraqis. "I am Shia first, then Iraqi, then Arabic, then Dawa (his political party)," he said.

He don`t said Muslim which would have included the Sunnis and Kurds. He said shia. Of course it was a big mistake to admit the obvious. But he will soon change his rhetoric like the shias in Saudi Arabia did. You can watch it on youtube. The first youtube videos in qatif were purely sectarian with the usual labyka ya Hussain chants. Now they have improved. In recent Youtube clips they have adopted the occupy Movement iconography with placates promoting democracy and minority rights and Freedom. They have even youtube channels with a picture of V for Vendetta Icon in there youtube channels to get western attention.

Can you see the difference between this protesters:

A) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smrKCPB7-sI

B) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxinAxWxXo8

Of course you can't. Like As`ad Abu Khalil never mention the sectarian nature of shia uprising while counting every Beard-hair of a salafi in Libya or Syria. He speaks too about how the secular revolutionaries in egypt are badly treated but never mentions how secularist like the Tudeh Party are treated in Iran or Iraq.

You proved nothing with those videos of the Qatif protests. So what if some of the residents were engaging in praises for Hussein, who cares? Only a sectarian would care. You claim leftists (I'm not a leftist btw) belittle and attack Sunnis but then commit a double standard with your subhuman characterization of Shias. As if your "evidence" about Qatif justifies how the Saudis oppress them.

I also want proof regarding your accusation that Norman Finkelstein would support western intervention in Iran. I doubt you have any.

You also highlight ignorance again regarding AbuKhalil's position on the Tudeh Party in Iran. He has (in his blog and other places) stated many times how the Tudeh Party has been repressed in Iran, and he also calls for the overthrow of the Mullah regime in Iran. Are you really unaware of this? Or are you just making up lies to try to paint As'ad AbuKhalil as a Ba'ath-loving Shia?

Very good points.

Such garbage from As'ad AbuKhalil.

The "armed gangs among the demonstrators" is pure regime propaganda. Listen to the testimony of soldiers who were ordered to fire on civilians.

It is not surprising that, after months of massacre and torture, Syrian soldiers began defecting. The international media coverage has not ignored them at all. Everyone knows about the Free Syrian Army.

So As'ad hates the Syrian National Council, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, etc. Does he support anyone at all among the Syrian opposition - those who haven't been killed or imprisoned by the regime?

As'ad, you are not a friend of the Syrian people and have never been.

I am a president Asad supporter, like most of the President Asad’s supporter seldom went to the government news outlets to source news. This subject was discussed by me with high ranking Syrian officials since the 80s. I once told them why our fathers have had the BBC Arabic radio news as the sole source of knowing what is going around? One of them said it loud and clear we are a propaganda network and not a news source. Now is the pay time, I do believe that today 80% of the Syrian Government TV coverage is true but how many do believe them? Or in other words how many watches it and from this many how many believe what they see. Here one can repeat the our parent`s story to prevent us from lying (The shepherd boy and the wolf). But it does not mean that the other news outlets recite the Koran or the Bible, due to the high cost of running news outlets (TV Newspapers ..),it is impossible to have an independent news sources. You may find different opinions in a news paper but on TV forget it. Read news gave away to seen news, thus access to independent news is being out of reach. In our case the attack on Syria is the least of concern to those who are running the media war, does any one believes (other than Saad Alharir) that Qatar, Saudi a , UAE, Turkey, BAHRAIN , Sudan, UK, France, and the USA formed an alliance to support democracy in Syria. Please wake up. But any way I do not blame them, I blame ourselves for leaving too many windows open (such as corruption) that enabled these thugs to sneak on us through. It will be difficult as President Asad said today to go over this soon but we will prevail because our cause is right, the path to democracy has been laid out and the propaganda outlets went too far that they exposed themselves and joined the lamming reputation of the Syrian governments newscast.

Democracy was killed by Hafez al As`sad.

Can't understand why you find it hard to understand the western media don't give both sides. The western media are an integral part of one side. Exactly as in Libya, 24x7 one-sided propaganda for months on end. There is the Arab Spring, which is now almost subtextual; and there is the Nato Spring, which is the media narrative, from one end of the spectrum to the other: the only rider is that the Nato Spring propaganda must never mention Nato.

When it comes to his view about the Syrian revolution , As'ad takes the stance similar of the liberal zionist takes when supporting Palestinians. In fact you can take his words and those he supports within the Syrian opposition and they are verbatim what Mahmoud Abbas and Dahlan say when it comes to Palestine
(ironically those are the 2 Palestinians he criticizes the most)
The uprising is peaceful and to say it is not , is a lot like the Zionist who claim that the second intifada is "armed" because Palestinians used AK47 against Tanks and Apaches.

OK, so Syrian opposition is peaceful armed with AK47 and some car bombs. And they are fighting tanks and warplanes? ANY evidence? Or just like in Libya, it is simple "known". Nice try. Last time I checked, Palestinians are fighting by all means against foreign colonization. And second intifada did use arms, albeit small ones. It does not mean it was not-legitimate, it just mean it was poor armed. No one in their right mind could call group who boast having 20 000 soldiers "peaceful".

I still don't trust Haytham Manna`. He's jumping from foreign capital to foreign capital almost daily. Who is funding him? Why does he never come to Damascus to speak? He can easily embarrass the regime if they don't allow him to speak, but he knows he's been wanted for heinous crimes against children since the 70's, so he'd never come in without assurances.

At this current stage, I am 100% with Bashar al-Asad. I grew up in the diverse city of Lattakia and I heard how the terrorists tried to get the residents to kill each other in Lattakia, and I can never forgive that. I also went to Anis `Abbas elementary school in Lattakia. Anis `Abbas is one of the countless martyred Syrian soldiers in the Golan in 1973, and during the current events, terrorists killed his son, Hani Anis `Abbas from the security forces. Those terrorists and the Zionist terrorist army are two sides of the same coin. I trust no one that supports them or tries to portray them as peaceful freedom-lovers, and regardless of how retarded many of the Syrian expats are being, I hope the Syrians still inside Syria never forget the actions of these terrorists.

1)kh knows what "the zionist argue secretly". Or kh is a Zionist himself and heard Zionist secrets himself, or Zionists are not being VERY secretive. As a matter off fact, Zionists are quite open about desire to topple Assad and it is not for nothing that SNC is calling openly for "new" Syria under Zionist/Western?Saudi patronage.
2) As'ad NEVER said words kh ascribes to him. But kh is known to me by his name-calling. Nothing new here.
3) if kh is right about Europe Syrians, it explains why SNC is such NATO/Saudi/Zionist puppets. I still cannot get why kh does not admit they are.
4) kh said NOTHING about the matter of the article, so I will add my two cents - As'ad seems surprised by Western media turned openly into propaganda machine. I am NOT. I know very well what the same media wrote for ages about USSR, for ex. Western media are just as rotten as Saudi one, maybe their rot is otherwise colored :(

1) I rather think that you are a zionist playing devils advocate or Persian dream of the future takeover of Syria and Lebanon.

2) You don't have to say words openly. You can can say think like: sunni Islam is BS. Than that would imply that shia Islam is right or the laser eveil.

3) How the ordinary Syrians can fight a sectarian Army that is backed militarily, monetarily and diplomatically by imperialist like Iran, Russia and China?

4) Yeah unlike russia that killed Anna Politkovskaya for her writings about russian slaughter in Chechnya.

What As`ad is saying here actually is that the Assad-Regime is the lesser evil. Exactly like the zionist argue secretly. Better the devil you know. Sure he gives the Assad-Regime credit to the killing of at least 47000 Muslim Brothers in Hama in 1982 according to the east german secret service Stasi which was aligned with the regime.

Brother Karim,

I do not think that by any means did Mr As'ad indicate or hint that the Assad Regime is the lesser evil. If you follow all his work, especially his blog, you will notice that he had fairly and reasonably criticized the Assad-Regime, the same way he criticizes fairly and reasonably every single matter he opposes.

Despite the presence of a true, but practically incomplete, revolution in the streets of Syria, I am afraid that the western + Arab (Aljazeera and Arabia) media have brought more damage to this revolution than the brutal regime itself did.

BS. if there were not this media coverage of As`ad by AJ he would switch to the the Hafez al Assad mode of operation. The calamity of graves. As`ad and accuracy is an oxymoron. For example. There were huge Pro Saleh demonstrations in Jemen. Where is his coverage of this incident.

stop throwing those figures about what happened in Hama in 1982. Stasi or not, the total population of Hama then was not even 47000 dead. Thomas Friedman, who started inflating the figures in his "From Beirut to Jerusalem" puts it at 20000 dead. Mind you it was in the same book that he described the Israeli soldiers as the "innocents abroad" during the 1982 invasion of Lebanon! Let me ask you this Karim, is there a list of names not of 47000, not of 20000 dead in Hama, but of 4700, if not dead then at least missing (so that you don't say that no one knows what happened to them). In any case if one innocent civilian is killed, this is tragic enough. If one soldier manning a check point, or a sentry at in front of a public building is killed that is ALSO tragic.

"Thomas Friedman, who started inflating the figures in his "From Beirut to Jerusalem" puts it at 20000 dead." You believe in the guy that have said over and over again that the arab uprisings have no foreign policy dimension even as the zionist embassy in egypt was destroyed by protesters. Instead of the List of an aligned secret service which was overthrown by it`s own people that had no grim feelings against Hafez al Assad what so ever.

Thomas Friedman, who started inflating the figures in his "From Beirut to Jerusalem" puts it at 20000 dead. Mind you it was in the same book that he described the Israeli soldiers as the "innocents abroad" during the 1982 invasion of Lebanon!. So you mean that because he is a zionist he would put the numbers much higher for the dramatic effect?. This were anti-Zionist Muslim Brothers and not christians. If christians where slaughtered there, there would had made a Hollywood Movie about plus a Museum Plus legal charges with you denies the Hama Holocaust. They killed the wife of the former leader of the syrian Muslim Brotherhood in his exile Apartment in Germany in the city of Aachen. and thats enough for me to show there Blood thirstiness. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOBLMc6pRoM&feature=related

"Let me ask you this Karim, is there a list of names not of 47000, not of 20000" Ask Haitham al Malih the human rights advocate who was himself imprisoned for 7 Years. Can you please give me a list of the shia that are tortured in S.A please or the Sunnis that were tortured and slaughtered in Iran or the list of names of the victims in Dir Yassin or the shia victims of Sadam Hussain. Since when do dictatorship admit there massacres. Even Hitlers Olympic Games where according to visitors without any atrocities. They re felt in love in Berlin back. They still wants to visit there children in Harvard or Berkley and that there wife's give talks about human rights at UN or in Davos or sitting in fashion shows in paris or invite a second class Hollywood actress to there Birthday Party`s

.As´sad mentioned Haitham al Malihs name shortly in his blog without introducing him in detail. I mean the prisoners that were tortured were all muslim Brothers or being accused of this. You can kill as many sunnis "extremest" as you like since they worked against As`dad Abu Khalil favorite dictator Nasser. You have the approval to kill even there Intellectuals like Sayyid Qutb. Btw. Even if Nasser himself smelled back in the days the sectarian nature of Assads regime btw: http: //www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhiZiwJuaFA&feature=related he don't mention Nassers views on the Assads regime in detail since it does not fit in his political frames.His wet dream is a leftist takeover of egypt. In a time when even Cuba try to reform itself and you can hardly find any Communists in china or russia. And he himself lives in the self declared mother of capitalism.

He writes a lot about racial and social discrimination in the USA. And the accusation are true to some extent at least. There are lists in the west Anonymous.But can he please write also of how it is to be a black guy in russia or china. But I have no "list" to prove it Anonymous. He never mentions Chechnya of course for ideological reasons. Nobody mentions Chechnya in fact. Not even AJ. Or the russian puppets like Karimov that loves to boil Islamist in Water. I can send you pictures Anonymous if you like. But hey it`s war against sunni Terror. And even Iran admits this fact. The bad Taliban and Al Qaida and the good Sadr Death squads.I don`t want to mention Kashmir and all the other Bric-countries human rights violations.

I agree with you Karim. As'ad, like most Arab leftists, is dogmatic and contradictory with alot of his views. I don't trust alot of Islamists in the Arab world, but I also don't trust leftists who insist that any gains by Islamists is a "US-Zionist conspiracy".

But all trust Shia Islamist and Iran. Arab leftist just love them even though iran cracked down on the iranian leftist secularist with an iron fist. they love to mock the taliban that fight NATO forces. They cheered the crackdown on all sunni Islamist. From Chechnya to Cairo. While on the other hand shia minorities work together with NATO in Afghanistan and Iran approved the crackdown on Sunnis in Chechnya. Shia cleric insists on the implementation of democracy and debaathification in Iraq while on the other hand dismiss democracy and is Pro Baath Party in Syria. Shias don`t allow any secularist weakening their faith while Sunnis do.

Amen brother, as a Syrian watching all this bru-ha-ha this regime is really a nightmare, and this Syrian national council are the biggest group of losers I've ever seen. Keep pushing the message of haythaim al-manna he is a true patriot.

Brother. The Problem is this. The Problem with syrians living in exile is this. Syrians are the must successful Arabs living in exile and thats the problem with success abroad that you forget your homeland. I live in germany and Syrians are mostly silent part of the Bourgeoisie here. They are all professionals. They cut themselves off from the majority working class Arabs and Muslims from other countries which makes them quite isolated.

Precisely, they would see no difference between a Saudi puppet beheading criminals instead of al-Asad, since they hardly get out of the 4 season hotel of Damascus.

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