Response to “Inside Syria”

Response to “Inside Syria”, 360 Documentaries, RN, 10/12/11

Hoping for a discussion or even a debate about events in Syria, I posted the following comment onto the 360 Documentaries webpage. It is yet to be published, but I’m hopeful.

(There has been quite a vigorous debate spanning weeks on the local Amnesty International page, so I was hoping to replicate that in some small, healthy way.)

For the debate of the Amnesty page, go to –


To the 360 Documentaries team

Reece Erlich’s picture of Syria presents a few new pieces of the jigsaw, but many remain missing.

A more thorough report would examine-

1.the killings of soldiers & the manner in which many have been killed (ambushes, snipers, mutilations etc)

2.the scale of the terror & killings of the ‘militia’ since March (including stories of the relatives of Syrian Australians  being killed or abducted): kidnappings of school children; assassinations of academics, surgeons, air-force pilots, family members of army officers, and people belonging to particular sects; killings of civilians taken from public mini-buses etc etc

3.the fatwas of very powerful, extremist clerics calling on people to overthrow the Syrian Government, to kill in order to do this (never mind the number of dead), and to call for foreign intervention

4. the arming and training by the US and France of fighters to enter Syria; weapon smuggling

5. the propaganda war waged against Syria & led by Al-Jazeera; the use of fabricated videos and false witnesses; the resignation of respected reporters in protest over this ‘smear campaign’

6. the manner in which evidence is gathered against the Syrian government by the UN, Amnesty etc, while evidence of the killings, abductions, and rapes perpetrated by militias is generally ignored; the politicization of Amnesty with the appointment of Suzanne Nossel, former State Department official and author of ‘Smart Power’, as US Executive Director

7. the support Syria gets from its neighbors, Lebanon and Iraq, and more recently Jordan, in the Arab League; the forces behind the AL stand on Syria; the ‘legality’ of the AL decisions re Syria

8. the manner in which sectarian strife is stirred up by a combination of terror and rhetoric in Syria & how rhetoric used outside Syria can reinforce the belief that the regime is an “Alawi regime” even though a close examination of this would suggest that it is not

9. the chants at some demonstrations (“Send Christians to Beirut and Alawis to their graves”; “No to Iran,No to Hezbollah; Yes to Islam”) & calls for separate ’emirates’

10. the supporters of the overthrow of the regime and their possible motives, eg Hariri, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, France, US, Turkey

11. the support the Kurdish community in Syria gives the government, and the possibility that Kurdish leader, Mashaal Tammo, was assassinated by Turkish ‘agents’, not by the government.

Reece Erlich’s report is just a beginning to an understanding of Syria, but by failing to address critical issues it also distorts the story of Syria today.

Please see below a link to a document I have written with an extensive reference list which can help answer questions above:

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