Wednesday, December 14, 2016

My colleagues in Middle East studies in the West on Syria

A friend noticed that there is strong peer pressure on Middle East academics to express emotions about Aleppo, and almost in a similar fashion, and the same expressions.  Sentiments are part of a consensus to condemn the Syrian regime, the Iranian regime, Hizbullah and Russia--but no more.  But what about the Syrian rebels and their sponsors? Do they deserve any criticisms and scorn at all?  Are they blameless in the blood and destruction "game" at all? I am not talking about ISIS here because that is the only easy one to condemn in the West. I am talking about "the moderate rebels" and the non"moderate" rebels, and their supporters. Some of my colleagues in Middle East studies can read Arabic: have they read the grotesque crude sectarian language and calls for sectarian genocide emanating from those who tweet in Arabic?  But the consensus is such that i see progressive academics carrying articles from Daily Mirror and some are even retweeting Charles Lister. Charles Lister, for potato's sake.