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'Dreamy-eyed' coverage of Syria's troubles
Rev Peter Mullen, writing in The Telegraph, doesn't wish to take sides. Perhaps he should:
Every day, it seems, there comes news of fresh massacres in Syria. Assad’s men are reported to have killed a further two hundred people this morning. There is no doubt that Assad is particularly persevering in his malevolent self-interest, but it is the naivety of our media which rubs me up the wrong way.
Listen to the BBC, read most of the papers, and what you get relentlessly is something like this: the brave and idealistic young rebels, armed only with raw courage and mobile phones, are daring to challenge the evil dictator Assad and promote democracy in their land. Yes, yes, there is some truth in this. But the larger truth is that the Westernised kids with their tweeting and twittering are very similar to those Soviet sympathisers in the West to whom Stalin referred as “useful idiots.”
The reality in Syria is that Assad is fighting desperately against an extremist Sunni revolt which aims to exterminate alike Allawites, Christians and Druze. Naturally, al Qaeda is opportunistically lending them a hand.
The media – and especially the BBC – presents the same simplistic account of all that has become known as “The Arab Spring.” But the same complexities that exist in Syria are replicated all across North Africa and the Middle East. The Libyan rebels we helped by our bombing campaign against Gaddafi have attacked British officials in that land. In Egypt, the smiling teenage radicals on their mobile phones have been replaced by the Muslim Brotherhood. There are powerful elements in Egypt which are determined to exterminate all the Coptic Christians. They have already begun this work.
Similar scenarios exist in Yemen, Bahrain and another half dozen countries from Tunisia to the borders of Iran.
Look, I’m not taking sides. I’m just asking for a bit more reality coefficient from our dreamy-eyed media who insist on describing a most complicated and dangerous scene as a simple contrast between black and white: the glorious “democrats” against the nasty dictators.
At least the "former Rector of St Michael, Cornhill and St Sepulchre-without-Newgate in the City of London" is standing up for Christians, rather than batting for the other side, Archdruid-style.