The Australian's foreign editor, Greg (Jerusalem Prize) Sheridan writes:
"Bob Carr's suggestion that Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad be allowed to stay in office if it facilitates an end to the bloody fighting there is a sharp and sensible departure from the US and European consensus... Carr believes it is no longer realistic to demand Assad's removal from office as a precondition to a peace conference. This analysis reflects the sober realisation that, with Russian, Iranian and Hezbollah support, the Assad regime has been making progress on the battlefield and there is little imminent prospect of its overthrow. Carr also expresses 'serious reservations' about Western nations arming the Syrian opposition. He says the al-Qa'ida-affiliated al-Nusra group has grown stronger within the Syrian opposition and 'there seems very little doubt they will get a share of the arms' available. He also expresses concerns about the treatment of Christians and other minorities in the region. The Foreign Minister is right to make this point and it is a sad commentary about political correctness in much of the West that almost no one raises a voice in defence of the increasingly beleaguered Christians of the Middle East." (Carr's Syria stand makes sense, The Australian, 3/6/13)
Let's hear that last bit again:
"[I]t is a sad commentary about political correctness in much of the West that almost no one raises a voice in defence of the increasingly beleaguered Christians of the Middle East."
Now why is that?
My guess is if, like Sheridan and his great and powerful mates in the US, you spend much of your time cheerleading for Jewish supremacism in Palestine, and ignoring the cries of its indigenous Christians, embodied in the Kairos Palestine Document,* for an end to Israeli occupation, you're probably not that well-placed to take up the cause of Christian minorities at the hands of a Muslim supremacist group such as the Islamic State of Iraq & the Levant.**
If Sheridan had had any real interest in the plight of Syrian Christians, he might have taken the trouble to talk to Syria's Mother Agnes-Mariam de la Croix, here in October last year to talk on that very subject.
After all, the Australian's Rowan Callick did. He even wrote a profile of her for the paper, Christians 'emptied from Middle East' (6/10/12).
Did Sheridan bother reading it? If he had, he might have discovered that Mother Agnes-Mariam's late father was "a Palestinian who fled Nazareth in 1948 when the state of Israel was established."
And if he'd talked to her, he might've found that she'd been born in a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon.
Ah, but that'd be to invite an attack of cognitive dissonance, wouldn't it?
[*For the KPD, see my 25/12/09 post A Not So Merry Palestinian Christmas; **See Iraqi al Qaeda wing merges with Syrian counterpart, Sami Aboudi, reuters.com, 9/4/13)]