Thursday, April 5, 2018

The SMH Editorialist Does Syria

The Sydney Morning Herald's April 2 editorial on Syria, Forget the politics, this is a catastrophe, plumbs shocking new depths in editorial ignorance.

Some gems:

*"Has any country had a more unfortunate history since the end of World War II than Syria?"

Hello? Ever heard of Palestine? Once part of Greater Syria - southern Syria - it was torn from the whole by the Britz and handed to the predatory Zionist movement on a platter. At least today's Syria wasn't flooded with French colons.

*"Granted its independence from France, which had ruled the territory since 1920, in 1946 the new republic enjoyed three years of democracy before undergoing three separate coups in 1949."

Oh, so French "rule" of Syria began as some sort of immaculate conception, did it? Apparently, there's no need to trouble the reader with the inconvenient fact that la belle France mugged Syria's first ever independent and representative government when it brutally invaded and occupied Damascus in 1920. As for the coups of 1949, it was the manifest failure of the Syrian 'democrats' to adequately confront the Zionist usurpation of Palestine in 1948 that prompted the army to enter politics on the basis that the way to Tel Aviv lay through the Arab capitals. But what would the Herald know about that?

*"A loosely defined aggregation of widely disparate peoples, cultures and territories set out under the self-serving Sykes-Picot agreement to carve up the Turkish empire between Britain, France and Russia in 1916, Syria was always going to struggle to achieve unity."

Not at all. Syrians shared, and continue to share, one Arab culture, and one language, Arabic - despite the best efforts of la belle France to divide one sect against the other during the period of its mandate, not to mention the more recent best efforts of the US and its regional clients to do the same. But, of course, you wouldn't expect the Herald's editorialist to be on top of that - too much reading to do!

*"Its population includes Syrian and Palestinian Arabs,* Syriac Christians,** Syrian Kurds, Assyrians,*** Circassians, Turkmens,**** ethnic Greeks and ethnic Armenians*****... The majority Muslim population is predominantly Sunni and Sufi,****** it also includes a large number of Shiites and Alawites."

*Now how did they get there? (Hint: something to do with the Britz)
*** Now how did they get there? (Hint: something to do with the Britz)
****Now how did they get there? (Hint: something to do with the Russians)
***** Now how did they get there? (Hint: something to do with the Turks)
****** Sufis??? You're kidding me!

*"This unworkable degree of ethnic, religious and cultural diversity has proved a recipe for chaos."

Or multicultural, multi-sectarian acceptance?

As for the rest of the editorial, "the al-Assad dynasty" (1971-2018) - father and son - is reduced to the current demonising label of "malign dictatorship prepared to use every available tool, including chemical weapons, against its people," while "Russia, America, Iraq and Saudi Arabia are just some of the nations still intent on using the conflict to advance their own interests."

Exactly what American and Saudi Arabia "interests" in Syria could possibly be is not even hinted at. Nor does the editorialist explore how those powers have gone about furthering those alleged "interests" - by the fostering of sectarian, takfiri gangs, many of them foreign imports, intent on ripping to shreds Syria's secular, multicultural, multi-sectarian fabric.

What a juvenile, Wikipedia-cribbed effort this is. Better off sticking to the local scene.

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