Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Levant Report

For some time now, I have refrained from commenting on the deteriorating situation in Syria (and Egypt, for that matter.)  The political circus that was the 2012 election cycle distracted me, to be sure.  But beyond that, I was truly depressed over the whole affair--the loss of innocent life in Syria, the destruction of churches and property, the refugee status of some acquaintances there, the almost universal misinformation (at least in the U.S.) about the true nature of the conflict.  I could not help but believe that the Devil we know was preferable to the untold demons we were doing our best to unleash.  Perhaps the most discouraging aspect, however, was watching helplessly as American foreign policy does what it always seems to do, regardless of the party in power.  Secretary of State Clinton breezily assures the world that Assad must go and that "democracy" will prevail, while  the media paid court to John McCain and Lindsey Graham (as if they know what the hell they are talking about) who howl that we are letting the rebellion slip away by not pouring more money and weapons into the conflict.  Yes, the tent of American Exceptionalism is broad indeed.

I was encouraged by a bit of news last week.  We learned that President Obama rejected the advice of Secretary of State Clinton and the Pentagon, who urged him to ramp-up support for the Syrian rebels.  That is a start.  But American voices should continue to question the accepted wisdom on the Syrian crisis, and what our response should be.  One certainly won't find this in conventional U.S. new sources.  But there are independent voices, such as the well-known, for example. 

I also recommend my good friend's new blog, here.  He is a young man with a connection to Syria who is passionate about the subject.  Bookmark his blog and encourage him to continue his postings.  I know I look forward to what he has to say.