Ludwig von Gress
One may justifiably ask why revisit the place, where the civil war is not over and not likely to be for some time. The current Syrian sectarian struggle started on 15-03-2011 and according to United Nation’s estimate cost 80,000 lives so far. SOHR estimate is between 94,000 and 120,000. SOHR? Syrian Observatory for Human Rights for the uninitiated and easily impressed. I admit that if that figure was slightly lower, say 90 to 100 thousand, I would use it without much of thought. Still, so big discrepancy attracted my attention, but a first page of Google search showed that somebody has done the work before, in fact already last year. Specifically, CiF Watch asks “A festering ‘SOHR’. Does the word “journalism” still apply to the Guardian?” I would say definitely ‘no’ as far as The Guardian is concerned, but then I would also include 95% of our media. I strongly suggest you read the CiF post if you still believe in the main stream media integrity.
Of course, the other Left-biased and by now largely discredited publications rely on SOHR to support their agenda. For example, The Economist of 6th April 2013 quotes SOHR’s for alleged 6,000 dead Syrians in March.
Numbers are meaningless; just ask Wayne Swan, Tim Flannery, Hussain Obama or Ben Shalom Bernanke. So, let’s say 80,000 to 90,000 dead. The hands-wringing UN and Assad would try to minimise the figure, and the other usual suspects to maximise it. For comparison, the Spanish Civil War, which officially started on 17-07-1936 and finished on April Fools’ Day in 1939 is responsible for estimated 500,000 dead, possibly and very likely including the post-combat executions. Most of the Syrian figure would undoubtedly also comprise these, called, depending on Marxist dialectics, just retributions or atrocities.
In the Middle East it boils down to one question – which murdering gang is more peaceful in the eyes of Western journalists – sunni or shia? Don’t expect any guidance or hints in President Hussain Obama’s (latest) surrender speech. The flag behind him may still look bright on TV screens, but in reality it fades to a dirty white rather rapidly.
It is a sick joke to call the Syrian or, for that matter any “Arab Spring” killings a fight for democracy. As in Spain before WWII, there are two main equally disagreeable sides, and other, even more disagreeable minor players.
Rarely have both parties been as unanimous about a development overseas as they have in their shared enthusiasm for the so-called Arab Spring during the first months of 2011. Republicans vied with the Obama Administration in their zeal for the ouster of Egypt’s dictator Hosni Mubarak and in championing the subsequent NATO intervention against Muammar Qaddafi in Libya. Both parties saw themselves as having been vindicated by events. The Obama Administration saw its actions as proof that soft power in pursuit of humanitarian goals offered a new paradigm for foreign-policy success. And the Republican establishment saw a vindication of the Bush freedom agenda.
“Revolutions are sweeping the Middle East and everyone is a convert to George W. Bush’s freedom agenda,” Charles Krauthammer observed in February 2011. “Now that revolution has spread from Tunisia to Oman,” Krauthammer added, “the [Obama] administration is rushing to keep up with the new dispensation, repeating the fundamental tenet of the Bush Doctrine that Arabs are no exception to the universal thirst for dignity and freedom.” And William Kristol exulted, “Helping the Arab Spring through to fruition might contribute to an American Spring, one of renewed pride in our country and confidence in the cause of liberty.”
… Just two years later, the foreign-policy establishment has fractured in the face of a Syrian civil war that threatens to metastasize into neighbouring Iraq and Lebanon and an economic collapse in Egypt that has brought the largest Arab country to the brink of state failure. Some Republican leaders, including Sen. John McCain and Weekly Standard editor Kristol, demand American military intervention to support Syria’s Sunni rebels. But Daniel Pipes, the dean of conservative Middle East analysts, wrote on April 11 that “Western governments should support the malign dictatorship of Bashar al-Assad,” because “Western powers should guide enemies to stalemate by helping whichever side is losing, so as to prolong their conflict.” If Assad appears to be winning, he added later, we should support the rebels. The respected strategist Edward Luttwak contends that America should “leave bad enough alone” in Syria and turn its attention away from the Middle East—to Asia. The Obama Administration meanwhile is waffling about what might constitute a “red line” for intervention and what form such intervention might take.
... Iraq leaders are talking of civil war and eventual partition. Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah, meanwhile, warned on May 1, “Syria has real friends in the region, and the world will not let Syria fall into the hands of America, Israel or takfiri [radical islamist] groups,” threatening in effect to turn the civil war into a regional conflict that has the potential to destabilize Turkey.
Twelve trees destroyed in Constantinople in order to build another mosque led to, so far, seven days of demonstrations and rioting. The ever-reliable BBC News Service on 3rd June coyly stated: “The protests were originally sparked by plans to build on an Istanbul park.” That the developer is the Prime Minister’s son-in-law doesn’t help. Turkish rather late spring and another Muslim delight?
…The neoconservatives mistook a tubercular fever for the flush of youth in the Arab revolts, to be sure, but they read the national mood right—as did the Obama Administration.
… Francis Fukuyama broke with his erstwhile neoconservative colleagues in 2004, after hearing Vice President Dick Cheney and columnist Charles Krauthammer announce the beginning of an American-led “unipolar era.” “All of these people around me were cheering wildly,” Fukuyama remembers. “All of my friends had taken leave of reality.”
I must have better quality friends than professor Francis ‘The End of History’ Fukuyama, for none of them would even dream of cheering Cheney.