Faisal Al Yafai

The clouds of conspiracy are gathering over Syria. With more than half of Syrians supporting President Bashar Al Assad, there has been a concerted effort by the western media to minimise his domestic support while maximising criticism of his failings. In particular, the effectiveness of the observer mission is questioned, to speed the day when the United Nations authorises Nato intervention and ushers into power a more pro-western Syrian government.
That, at least, is the analysis of the situation that has been best articulated by Jonathan Steele in the Guardian and Aisling Byrne of the Beirut-based Conflicts Forum website. It is not wrong. But it is not right, either. Very few of the separate claims of this theory are inaccurate, but the way they are strung together misses the nature of what is happening in the Levant.
… Egypt and Libya were good guys, until one day they simply weren’t. The complicity of western governments in repressing Egyptians and Libyans was forgotten.
There were some hints of culpability, usually phrased as a wistful “we should have known more”, but the dominant narrative was simplified to exonerate the western powers. Questions about the cost of the war and the involvement of the West were raised, but western politicians were always framed as disinterested and impartial. That, for much of the West’s media, was the only conceivable frame.

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