Wednesday, December 28, 2011

alienating my readers: blogging on Syria

"As’ad AbuKhalil, the author of the very popular Angry Arab blog, has refused to support the institutional elements of the Syrian opposition, alienating many longtime readers. But even he issues a constant streamof criticism against the regime itself."  Alienating readers?  I am not doing my job right if I don't alienate my readers.  The last thing I want to do is the give my readers--whoever they are--what they want. But let me add this to the observation by Elias.  Yes, he is right: there has been a shift in blogging on Syria from support of the regime to opposition.  There were some who were apologists for the regime who became opponents.  But I would add that based on Arabic writings on Syria: the other side (staunch support for the regime) is well represented but in the Arabic language.  I argue with people in the opposition side this all the time: that they refuse to believe that there are Syrians who genuinely support the regime and who are not shabbihah or mukhabarat or henchmen for the regime.  I see those people on my Facebook daily: if I write against the regime, they are quick to respond and defend the regime, just as the opponents of the regime are quick to respond whenever I attack the Syrian National Council.  It is fallacious to think that the regime does not have bases of support--still.   I still maintain that the sign of that (among others) is the fact that not a single person has defected from the government or from the diplomatic circle (I know, someone will mention that there was a a deputy to the assistant mayor of a little town near Dir`a etc).  It is also partly due to the calculation made by those people that the regime is not falling yet--or not any day soon.  The Syrian crisis is a very long crisis--even if the regime falls.  Just think that there is Lebanon: half of Lebanon will provide shelter for the ancien regime from which it can fight for power or seek revenge.  The notion that Lebanon won't be drawn into this--after the Hariri family declared open war on the Syrian regime--is folly.