Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Anne Barnard, tirelessly

Unfailingly, for the entire time that Barnard covered the Syrian war, she has been writing consistently that the fortunes of the regime are sagging and that he is in trouble and that the rebels are making progress.  The funny part is that even when the regime makes progress (from his standpoint) on the ground, she never concedes that but may refer to it in the past tense as in :the regime is really in trouble unlike two months ago when it was progressing on the ground: and you want to scream here: but two months ago, you also said that the regime was in trouble.  Her pitch on Syria is purely propagandistic and like other Western correspondents in Beirut, she presents the talking points of Fee Syrian Army without any qualifications or equivocation.  Look at her opening paragraph:  "The fortunes of President Bashar al-Assad have suffered over the past two months, with battlefield setbacks and new signs of doubt emerging within his political base, as the civil war in Syria drags on with no end in sight."  How has the regime fortunes suffered when it has consolidated its military advances in the area that it has focused on and routed the rebels from Qalamun?  And the reference to "signs of doubt in his political base" is quite hilarious: but here is her evidence: "recently staged a rare demonstration in Damascus demanding stronger action to release hostages held by extremists."  This is quite disingenuous because Ms. Barnard did not mention that those "protesters" cheered Bashshar. What she refers to as "signs of doubt in his political base" is in fact a faction within the regime which wants Bashshar to be even more brutal in the military campaign. That is hardly a sign of decline in the political fortune of the regime.  Those people who were critical on social media were never critical of Bashshar--she does not tell you that--but were in fact critical of particular military units or commanders and want Bashshar to sack them.  This is an entirely different picture. Here citations of the comments of Amin Hutayt, I guarantee you, are so taken out of context and I can easily call him to verify that.   And notice that nowhere in the article does she mention that no one is doing worse in Syrian conflict than her allies in the Free Syrian Army. Talk about sagging political fortunes.