Friday, January 06, 2006

The trend in Syria bashing

An Arab proverb, (and I’m not sure if it is Libyan or not anymore) states that ‘when the cow falls, the number of knives increases’. Basically the number of those ready to butcher it increases when such a massive animal is unable to defend itself.

This allegory in my opinion perfectly fits the situation of Syria currently. Syria is now caught between a rock and a hard place and no one is willing to give it a chance. Moreover, MSM, journalistic pretenders and pundits are riding this wave because it makes good coverage and serves to sell front page news.

I don’t object in principle to constructive criticism and analyses. However, I find it hypocritical to jump on the bandwagon once Syria and its regime are no longer under the aegis of western power who have discarded it like a used towel. That is, to me at least it seems as if western interests do not include Syria anymore and so the shield of respectability it provided for her is gone, uncovering Syria’s raw flesh to the ‘hungry’ masses clamouring for blood.

Bloggers are no exception to what is happening and the Lebanese blogosphere is full of speculations and accusations about Syria’s alleged responsibility in the wave of destructive murders of political and media personalities which have taken place since the killing of Hariri. Hariri’s death is the issue of an ongoing UN investigation, and the famous Mehlis report if you read it carefully does not prove anything but mainly speculates and attempts to connect the strings to find out the truth. As we stand many of the strings lead to Damascus but nothing more. There is absolutely no evidence. So maybe the ‘innocent until found guilty’ and ‘due process’ should be applied in this case as opposed to sanctions, war, unrest, and the democratization process a la Bush to destabilize the country.

“When Lewis Libby [US Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff] was accused [of perjury in October], President Bush said he was innocent until proven guilty. Why didn’t Bush apply the same principle in judging Syria?”

I WANT THE TRUTH just like everybody else.

I can understand the feelings and approach of the Lebanese bloggers, but I don’t think that other bloggers myself included could pretend to know what is better for Lebanon and Syria more than those concerned. And though I do not advocate censoring, but at times silence is indeed golden, sensational blogging no matter how good can perpetuate a lot of myths in the mind of readers unfamiliar with the Middle East.

Sandmonkey, one of my favourite Egyptian bloggers, is a wonderful, witty blogger and his site is one of my daily stops. His humour, insight fill me with amazement even though I sometimes find myself disagreeing with some points, though I highly respect the thought process that leads him to these conclusions. (The guy is a genius , but please don't tell him I said that mish 7and'ar 3aleh 'abadan ba3dein)
So when I saw his recent , loud and frank anti-Syrian rhetoric , I was slightly bemuzzled knowing his usual fairness in treating any issue. This prompted me to change my approach and seek the Syrian bloggers and what do they have to say on the historical events unfolding in their countries. After all, would not they have more first hand experience of Lebanon and Syria than myself or anyone else? I mean I’m not going to stand here theorizing and inciting hatred or love when they could say so much better.

If I thought that the Tunisian blogosphere was varied and interesting, I was amazed at the quality of the Syrian blogosphere. The spectrum of opinions is large, to name but a few randomly : Karfan (against everything is he for real?), Catherine (courageous with thorny subjects), Sasa (budding journalism), Damascene ( her family's Iraqi ordeal), Ayman (check the tallest Christmas tree in the ME) and numerous others. I have a whole new world to discover, their links will lead you to other unimagined riches.


programmer craig said...

Hi there Highlander :)

Good post. I alos have mixed feelings on the Syria/Lebanon issue. But not as mixed as yours, I think.

Innocent until proven guilty is a legal concept that is embodied in the US constitution. It's meant to apply to court proceedings, but has been abstracted (improperly, in my opinion) to public opinion. Well, that's a different discussion, anyway, but I assure you investigators and prosecutors do not take the stance that they have to believe somebody is innocent until the judge pronounces him guilty :)

That's just not reality. And we all know how the public loves to jump to conclusions.

About the Syrian blogs... I read 2 of the ones you linked... Damascene said in her top post "Bush just wants to kill Arabs" and the other one I read said equally inflammatory things, mainly that Jews contol America. So... I'm sorry, but I didn't read any further. They may or not be good blogs, but they were both decidedly anti-American, so I don't trust their objectivity.

Whew... OK. Now onto the actual Syra/Lebanon thing. I don't think the murders themselves are evidence of Syrian involvement. Political murder has been the name of the game in Lebanon since the 1970s. The murder of Gemayel in 1982 directly caused the revenge murders of Palestinians in refugee camps, the re-deployment of the Marine contingent of the international peacekeeping forces after they had been withdrawn, and generally sent Lebanon into a tailspin that it never pulled out of.

Amd that's just one of hundreds of political murders.

So... I think it's quite likely Syria was involved in Hariri's murder. But I think people are just piling on, blaming the rest of these recent acts of violence on Syria. The most likely perpetrator is another entity, in my opinion. The recent murders do not help Syria, they hurt Syria... so I don't think Syria is responsible.

I have so much to say on this subject, but that's enough for now. I'm glad you brought it up. Your viewpoint is a lot closer to mine than Sandmonkey and many others have been :)

7mada said...

Assallam Ulykum,

Sorry for straying from the Syria/Lebanon issue. But where abouts Tripoli are you from? Im from 'Bab Ben Ghasheer' near the Itihad Stadium.

Highlander said...

Hi Programmer_Craig:) ok so we basically agree on this topic ? I guess if i needed to add something it is that you should not have been putoff by those blogs you checked they were only 2, try the other links they might prove more helpful.Their 'anti-americanism' does not mean they cannot be objective about Syria can it? I don't think that one implies the other. Let me know what you think

7mada, I see you first time here, so welcome, but what does it matter where I come from in Tripoli? and do you have a blog ? coz ur link does not work.

7mada said...

Sorry for causing any confusion.
Thank you for welcoming me.
I am new to the blogging concept, however after reading various bloggs from around the world I though it would be a great idea to try it out. I have correctly typed my link to my new blogg this time. My blogg is in the first stages at this time, but hopefully with others ideas, thoughts and guidance I will create an innovative, informative yet simple blogg. I congratulate yourself for meeting all the above characteristics with your blogg.
I was just wondering, maybe one could tell me more about Libya and Tripoli, having been living and brought up in Europe and the UK, it would be great if one could express their experiences of life in Tripoli and Libya. I am sorry if the question caused any inconvenience, but knowing more about my country and its people is a great interest.

Kind regards.

Anonymous said...

There are rules for engaging in any type of debate, I might hold an opinion that would not reflect someone else's thought or way of thinking. Being creatures of comfort and ego, we tend to see our own grass and lawn as the greenest, if we actually step up the ladder or climb the roof we might be able to see other pale, green, and lawns, but not to endanger your selves, you can just walk safely on a side walk and still see the same, it is more fun this way you might bump in to one of the lawn keepers and understand how they do things on their lawn, or maybe they invite you for a Krispy Kreme doughnut ( try it if you visit the U.S or Canada)one day. Craig some in the west choose to stay on their lawn and never venture to see other's lawns and their efforts to make their lawn greener, some have difficulty accepting the fact that other's are capable of doing so and reserve the those rights as a copy right and them, but only them can know how to mind the lawn I learned a proverb it goes" the rooster surrounded with shit yet still sings in the morning" no offense to the rooster.
On the same note factually and observationalistically speaking, history is the judge for the whole region, you harvest what you seed, I do not think that Syrians will cry after the baath regime, Baath have exploited the region and their hands are bloody, on the other hand, Craig, bloody handed Bush and "cabal"(copy write holder Collin Powell's chief of staff Lawrence Wilkerson) is also not immune to persecution one day. I would like you to differentiate between the actions of the administration on one hand and the American people and America on the other, the same for Syria applies.
Independence from blinding self protectionism requires bravery, bravery only comes when you speak the truth, speaking the truth requires the one self to rid it self of it's destructive ego. My words are not directed towards any one( NO baby sitting required), what might not suite you is a valid opinion, I might not agree with your opinion Craig but I will defend the right that you always say it. In the end the understanding of the situation is idiot proof.
Truly Yours
Free Dance

Anonymous said...

After your permission Highlander,

A message for 7amada:
"Invite me over for dinner for the first time with out giving me an address or even show me how to get there"
Open your blog for anonymous posts 7amada

7mada said...

Thank you for the important note Anonymous. Much appreciated.
You are more than welcome to post on my blogg. Marhaban Beek.

programmer craig said...

Hi Free Dance-

Well, I certainly differentiate between the Syrian people and the Syrian regime. I do that, because they don't have democracy in Syria, so the government is acting on behalf of the people.

I *do not* do that with the United States. We voted for Bush (twice) and we elected the current members of the House and Senate. There's a minority of people who are not represented by the actions of this administration, but the majority ARE - this is true every election - so I think you'd be wrong to try to make disticntions between government policy and US public opinion.

You are, of course, free to do so anyway, though.

I don't give the French a pass for what the French government does, for the same reason.

Anonymous said...

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Numbers are not a problem
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Truly Yours
Free Dance