Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Mirror Images in Syria and Exile

Syria: When the Regime Meets its Opponents

By Ibrahim al-Amin
July 18 2011

English translation by Middle East Wire.

Lebanon - How are the Syrian events being covered? This question is not only directed at the official sources that are concerned with relations with the external media. It seems it is now necessary to direct this question at the opposition sources as well. These have started, before even reaching power, to play the role of the guardian following the way of the inquisition tribunals.

Around one month ago, the administration of Al-Akhbar received a verbal resolution to ban it from entering the Syrian lands for good. [The resolution also indicated] that the Syrian government is acting as if Al-Akhbar is not even present on the map of Arab journalism. Two days ago, the same side decided to ban As-Safir newspaper from entering Syria as well…

It is a well-known thing that the traditional administration in Syria adopts special standards in monitoring the incoming media from Lebanon and anywhere else… However, it seems that there is a missing link that makes it hard to talk about a new reality for the official media… Fine: If the general calculations of the regime have led it to this kind of mistake, what is the reason that is pushing the opposition sides… to dare to practice their monitoring all the way to banning and cancelling as well? And how will things be if they [i.e. the opposition sides] reach the decision-making posts in the authority?

Quite unfortunately, a large number of the opposition figures, from within and outside Syria, are carrying choppers rather than pens. Using these choppers, they decide on the nature of this journalist or that, and this newspaper or that. Those they do not like are automatically classified as the followers of the regime and [are accused of] receiving and carrying reports prepared for them in the headquarters of the Syrian intelligence…

The pretext of the regime is that this group of journalists represents the mouthpiece of the conspirers against the unity of the country, or those who are subjected to the authority of the Arab or western powers that oppose Syria… As for those who are in the opposition ranks against the Syrian regime, their pretext is that this group of journalists represents the horn of the regime… As for the objective, it is one:

It is forbidden to mention the killing operations carried out by armed elements affiliated to the regime… And it is also forbidden to mention the crimes of the armed groups that are coming from the same streets as the protestors and that have killed hundreds of the security and military services’ members…

It is forbidden to say that the popular movement in Syria is mostly not subjected to the power of the people conspiring against Syria… And it is forbidden to tackle the American, French and Saudi role in igniting the internal tensions and in pushing the country towards civil war or strife…

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