Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Blaming Others

Washington continues to ridiculously blame Iran for the ongoing repression in Syria, even though United States Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice refuses to provide any evidence to back up this claim. Alas the American public will believe what it wants to believe, not what is true. But this immature tactic is not washing in the region. As Robert Fisk suggests, "Many Arabs [have been] appalled that Mr. Obama would apparently try to make cheap propaganda over the tragedy—there is, in fact, not the slightest evidence that Iran has been actively involved with the events in Syria—when he might have been dignified enough to have sent his sympathy to the mourners and told the protesters that America was with them."

Of course, the Syrian government is also foolishly blaming "outsiders" and "terrorists" for the democratic uprisings in selected cities. Last week state television even aired the "confessions" of several protesters who claim that a Lebanese politician aided the so-called armed insurrection. While the purported evidence of checks written by the Saudi Prince to the very same politician may or may not prove that he is a corrupt stooge, this should never be used as an excuse to silence the marginalized voices of those calling for justice in Syria and who have been brutally repressed.

And finally, the government of Bahrain is trying to blame both Hizbullah and Iran for encouraging the overthrow of the royal regime. The sad truth is that this piece of fabricated news will probably be reported more widely in the American media than the horrific abuses against Shi'is in Bahrain that are still being committed by the increasingly autocratic regime and our closest friend in the region Saudi Arabia. The protests in Bahrain were peaceful and the leaders of Hizbullah and Iran behaved respectfully, offering diplomatic statements of support for the protesters and nothing more. Let us not forget that this is exactly what the United States has been doing to demonstrate support for the protesters in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and now Syria.

These days there are double standards all around.

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