The Mideastwire Blog

Excerpts from the Arab and Iranian Media & Analysis of US Policy in the Region

The Syrian Opposition Is Starting to Alienate Western Media; Time for New Ideas!

We are in the middle of our beirut exchange program now (, so blogging will be lighter than normal.

Suffice it to say, having met a large group of reporters in the last few days for major Western media outlets, it is clear that the dangers of “reverse Baathism” is starting to seriously take its toll on the reporters in questions: the fabrications involving evidence in Syria, the constant claims that ALL the opposition is 100% non violent, the highligting of limited examples that are supposed to signal major blow ups/narratives but which really remain limited, the REAL RISK and actuality in some places of civil war – and last but not least how anyone who raises these issues – and reporters who write about them – get immediately termed as regime apologists.

Thankfully enough journos are starting to get pissed off by these tactics that they are starting to change the dominant narrative.

PLUS the regime is clearly getting smarter about trying to shape a counter discourse.

Having just met Hamas and Hizbullah officials one thing is clear – both movements are viewing the events differently, with Hamas MUCH more critical of the regime (for a lot of reasons, including that they and their people are so much closer the the ill effects of events in syria) BUT, that somewhat “reasonable” counter narrative is congealing against the dominant western one which lets both resistance axis leaders and supporters make compelling (non alcoholic) cocktail party conversation (etc.) about why the events in Syria are NOT as they are being interpreted and portrayed by the West.

Up until the last week i would say that the arguments put forward, especially by Hizbullah, rang weak in my US brain…. but there is clearly a lot going on now by the regime and around the issue of the violence and unrest that is attempting to re-inject REASON on their side as well.

I remain mostly unconvinced however…. but the resistance axis getting its footing back – so get ready!

A hilarious and illustrative report from CNN here that underlines the western media problems on Syria:

“…The plans came as Syrian refugees continued Thursday to flee across the Turkish border to escape violence, as world powers amplified their outrage over the Damascus regime’s tough crackdown on peaceful demonstrators.

“The number of Syrian refugees now in Turkey stands at 8,904, Turkish emergency officials said.”

— ALL demonstrators are PEACEFUL….. and the “fleeing” etc….. less than 9,000 souls – a terrible reality, true, but does this number match up with the rhetoric, the word choice and the shrill, almost apocalyptic discourse from the external syrian opposition?

— Final main point – if the Regime does regain the balance – and I am told that Assad may yet call for the prosecution of the Deraa intel head and gov – what are the EXTERNAL ACTORS GOING TO DO???

There is still a great vacuum of ideas on Syria – WHAT HAPPENS after? – do you just go along with the Schenker WINEP PLAN of racheting up pressure all around?

Cuz that is the ONLY idea out there in public it seems…..




Written by nickbiddlenoe

June 17, 2011 at 1:01 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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