Sunday, November 13, 2011

Arab League: Syria Suspended - My Take

Syria is in the news. What's different this time is what a televised set of Syrians is protesting:
"Regime backers rally after Arab League suspends Syria"
CNN (November 13, 2011)

"State media showed throngs of demonstrators rallying in support of Syria's president Sunday, a day after the Arab League's decision to suspend the country's membership...."
What's missing from the CNN article is any mention of the usual denunciation of Israel, accusations of America being to blame for the current embarrassment, or riots over a cartoon.

I find this change of pace refreshing, and guardedly hopeful.

I also think that Arab national leaders who kept up with events of the last few decades may be realizing that times are changing. Have changed.

From an old-school point of view, Syria's boss hasn't been doing anything all that unusual. For folks who noticed changes that started somewhere in the 18th century, not so much. Al-Assad's habit of killing subjects he doesn't like is a little extreme these days.

Back to that article:
"...The Arab League's decision Saturday dealt a stinging blow to Syria, and could open the door for broader international sanctions against the al-Assad regime.

"Why did Arab League move on Syria?

"Eighteen of the Arab League's 22 members voted to punish Syria in an emergency session at its headquarters.

"Only two member nations -- Lebanon and Yemen -- voted against the measure. Iraq abstained and Syria was barred from voting....

"...The punitive measures come after al-Assad's failure to abide by an Arab League proposal earlier this month to halt all violence, release detainees, withdraw armed elements from populated areas and allow unfettered access to the nation by journalists and Arab League monitors.

"But none of that has happened, according to daily reports streaming out of Syria...."
(CNN)
There's more:
  • Syrians who aren't thrilled with Assad as boss man say that some of the eager demonstrators were forced to act loyal
  • Assad's enforcers have killed about 3,500 people so far
    • That we know of
  • CNN acknowledges that they can't support Assad's claims
    • He won't let their reporters ask questions
That's pretty much business-as-usual in that part of the world. A news service saying that they can't confirm some boss man's story is a fairly new wrinkle: one that seems to have emerged around the time that folks started getting news from more than The New York Times and its tributaries, and broadcast networks.

But, as I said: The Arab League suspending Syria's membership is an unusual act. I hope it's more than just a publicity stunt.

Related posts:
In the news:

3 comments:

Brigid said...

I think you mean 'confirm': "A news service saying that they can't conform some boss man's story"

The Friendly Neighborhood Proofreader

Brian Gill said...

Brigid,

Oops, found, and fixed. Thanks!

Steve Finnell said...

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