Ok, let’s stop the accusations, Annie, of ‘you seem to take it very personal’ :). A few further clarifications
I avoid posting on Syria because I do not consider myself an expert, as I have repeatedly asserted. I come to Mondoweiss for news & analysis on I/P, though it would be great if Mondoweiss decided to start publishing posts by those who are knowlegeable about Syria/ a range of Syrian voices. In the meantime, I want to address what I see as an alarming trend by commenters here for the sort of rhetoric best exemplified by Danaa above.
That brings me to my next point. Saying Danaa sounds deranged in the comment above is not ‘referencing my hurt’. I seriously, objectively, non-personally, and without referencing-my-hurt believe the ideology espoused by Danaa is deranged. So, if you don’t mind, stop suggesting I am just led by by my emotions!
Why did I copy and post some old comments on this thread? The first is a link to FAIR, and the others are similarly links to/endorsements of the insidious slur that the victims in Houla are making up their stories, and an example of the very disturbing propensity by some on the left to, as Pulse says in the same post linked to above, blame these victims: ‘Despite the fact that Channel 4 had entered the town the very next day and collected on-camera testimonies from survivors, reactionary outfits like MediaLens, media watchdogs like FAIR, and some left luminaries, including our friend Tariq Ali, started blaming the victims.’
Annie, I actually find yours a relatively moderate voice on Syria compared to those around you unwittingly repeating Ba’athist regime propaganda, but are you saying that in an exchange with the aforementioned ideologues the fact you copied an posted a big chunk of text about how ‘The massacre in Houla is the predictable outcome of Washington’s promotion of these reactionary forces.’ is not an endorsement of this? It certainly looks like it. The article you link to states confidently: ‘Responsibility for the deaths of 108 people massacred in Houla lies not with the Syrian army, but with the Syrian “rebel” forces the US is arming against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, according to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, a leading German daily… The implications of this revelation go far beyond the atrocity in Houla. They undermine the rotten foundations of the US-led campaign for war with Syria’ That does leave much room for doubt.
Call me naive, but I do not having doubts as to who perpetrated this massacre of innocents: Syrian government forces and militia.
Do I think you were ‘fools’ to be taken in by this lie about Houla? No, it is far more serious than that. Let me give an example to be found on this thread alone. Israel apologist, OlegR is delighted to find such hypocrisy, and I can’t blame him/her. On Mondoweiss, we draw attention to serious human rights abuses perpetrated by the apartheid state of Israel, and the indifference or collusion of other governments, we express compassion and empathy with the victims of this brutal occupation and inhumane siege, we expose the geopolitical machinations that maintain the status quo, and entrench the occupation, etc. Then Assad turns on his own people, bombing whole cities within his own country, and people try to defend themselves, organise, and fight back. Leaving aside the fact that I have never sought to condone any HR abuses committed by the rebels, and am gravely alarmed by cynical foreign meddling, why is the outrage at this Syrian regime horror unleashed against Syrian people so muted, if not largely absent on Mondoweiss? Why does it look like the narrative of blaming the victims is encouraged here, rather than robustly challenged? (I do not speak of you personally Annie).
In the words of Sharif Nashashibi on Guardian CIF recently: Hamas opposes Assad, but some seem more interested in being anti-Israel and anti-US than standing up for human rights. And “it is misguided and offensive to view the suffering of Syrians in terms of whether or not this benefits Israel, the US or the Palestinians.”
For the record, I am not an ‘interventionist’ either – I honestly do not know the solution.
This is not a competition as to who knows Syrian people better and I never meant to suggest that. I mention my background to explain that my opinions are not formed entirely by trawling the Internet.
Oh, as for this: ‘but i do not take swipes at what i perceive as your blind spots in a condescending way’, what is this then if not condescension?
“do you know the meaning or implication of ‘a Manufactured Atrocity’? it doesn’t mean, or imply it wasn’t an atrocity. you’ve set yourself up as the (only) ‘friend’ of the syrian people here as if we just do not care, because our assessment doesn’t jive with yours.. and this is not helpful.” You might have ended that with ‘you poor dear – so naive and emotional’ just to make sure I got the point ;)
So, no this is not personal, this is political.