Jeffrey Goldberg has a great piece in the Atlantic today about the coverage of, and the response to, the Gaza war. Why is it, he asks, that the war in Gaza is covered in exquisite detail by news agencies around the world while a far bloodier war, right next door to Israel in Syria, rages on.
“I was struck, over the weekend, by the lack of coverage of the Syrian civil war, in which the death count recently passed 170,000. By Sunday night, it had become clear that the weekend in toll in Syria would stand at roughly 700 dead—a larger number, obviously, than the weekend toll in Gaza (and more than the total number of deaths in this latest iteration of the Gaza war to date.) I tweeted the following in response to this news out of Syria: “I sincerely hope the @nytimes covers the slaughter in Syria – 700 dead in 48 hours – in tomorrow’s paper. Very important story as well.”
This was my sincere hope, and it was to my sincere surprise that Monday’s newspaper contained no information whatsoever about the weekend slaughter in Syria.”
Ouch, the Gray Lady had that coming.
Continue reading “Jeffrey Goldberg Asks a Damned Good Question About the Response to the Gaza War”
Reasonable people can disagree about the merits of intervening in the Syrian conflict. As I said before, I’m not all that keen on helping the Syrian opposition win, since it’s not obvious that they’re better than the Assad government. Frankly, if either side wins outright, the likely outcome is the mass slaughter and exodus of the losers, meaning that the “best” result is that both sides slug it out for a few more years before negotiating a peace agreement that slices up Syria like a Christmas goose along religious and ethnic lines (i.e., the Yugoslavia solution). That’s not a good result, since in the meantime tens of thousands (or more) Syrians (mostly civilians) will die, but in this fight there are no “good” outcomes, just better or worse outcomes.
But when it comes to punishing the Assad government for its use of chemical weapons, that’s a whole different story, which makes the fact that the Obama administration is waiting until, at least, next week, to unleash the hounds all the more baffling. Continue reading “What the Hell is Obama Doing? Why hasn’t Assad been bombed yet?”
I had a nice long, serious, moderately thoughtful piece prepared on why the West shouldn’t intervene in Syria. It was going to talk about how, despite my view that Western armies (principally American, but be fair, Canada has punched above its weight in the last century) are one of the great forces for peace and civilization in the modern era (in particular, how, notwithstanding the conceits of the Euro-philes, the secret to peace in Europe for the past 7+ decades was the presence of Anglo-sphere armies in Germany – just remember Germans, we defended you from the commies for four decades, but we weren’t invited there), I couldn’t get over the sense that any intervention in Syria is just going to be a complete and total clusterfuck. It would probably end up with the West propping up an opposition government that differed from the Assad government only in the target of its human rights violations, but only if the whole thing didn’t degenerate into a Lebanon-style schmozzle of ethnic and religious cleansing in a country jammed pack with Russian weapons and chemical munitions. Continue reading “The REAL reason why the West shouldn’t intervene in Syria”
More Republicans, Harvard and, oh my god, Bob’s got something good to say about the Muslim Brotherhood and the UN! At the same time!! Here’s a look back at some of the more interesting stories from last week (yeah, I’m late, hey it’s a long weekend).
Continue reading “September 3, 2012 – Week in Review”