Failed Logic: The "Addounia TV" And "Syrian News" Channels


16 Feb 2012

By Mshari Al-Zaydi

Those able to watch the Syrian media speaking on behalf of the regime will find wonders and marvels being recorded and broadcast.

For example, there are the "Addounia TV" and "Syrian News" channels that are waging a campaign against Gulf States, particularly Saudi Arabia, in the belief that these states are leading the campaign against the Bashar al-Assad regime, whose tanks and troops are attacking the Syrian cities of Homs, Hama, Idlib, and elsewhere.

These channels have filmed more than one news report including comments from the Syrian "man in the street" on the recent speech issued by Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal to the Arab League. During this speech, Prince Saudi al-Faisal spoke about the tragic situation in Syria, and how remaining silent about this crisis represents an embarrassment to the Arab and Islamic world, particularly as the humanitarian conditions are deteriorating due to the horrific killing and displacement of the Syrian people, as well as the indiscriminate bombardment of Syrian cities by al-Assad regime forces, targeting families and unarmed civilians under the pretext of pursuing "armed elements."

The Syrian citizens being interviewed launched verbal attacks against Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, as well as against Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal. However this is understandable, for some Syrian citizens truly do support the Damascus regime, and do not want to see this regime under siege or punished. We therefore cannot say that all Syrian citizens who appear on such reports have been "forced" to make such statements, for we must recall that even Gaddafi had his supporters in Libya, even after he was "executed" by the Libyan rebels.

However it is important to focus on what these Syrian citizens said, as well as the focus of Syrian television channels and media aligned to the Bashar al-Assad regime, with regards to portraying Syria as a civilized country and the cradle of democracy and culture. In addition to this, the Syrian citizens called on Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal to look to the state of women in Saudi Arabia, who are not allowed to drive cars, rather than speaking about Syria! The statements made by Syrian envoy to the United Nations [UN], Bashar al-Jaafari, were not far-off from this logic; he even quoted the poetry of [Syrian poet] Nizar Qabbani during the fateful UN meeting [on the fate of the draft resolution on Syria]! Al-Jaafari also said that Gulf rulers are not capable of being as eloquent as the Syrian president.

Let me tell the Syrian people that the people of the Gulf, away from rivalry and bickering, are not as you imagine, and they are well-educated. You believe that the Gulf does not enjoy the same civil history as Syria; however this history has been distorted and ruined by the al-Assad regime.

Let me tell the Syrian people that yes it is true, women in Saudi Arabia cannot drive, and that they have only now been allowed to work in stores catering to women after a bitter battle. Indeed let me pre-empt your future comments regarding Saudi women being unable to travel without the presence of a mahram, even if we are talking about a female university professor or respected lawyer who had been educated abroad.

Despite this, the people of the Gulf have not seen their cities surrounded by tanks, or their people being starved or their children being killed. The people of the Gulf have not seen a protest singer being killed, his throat slashed, merely for raising his voice against the al-Assad regime.

The people of the Gulf have not seen their states turned into bastions for intelligence agencies and security apparatus. The people of the Gulf do not trade with the blood of the Palestinian people in a cheap manner in order to justify suppression and corruption.

How can we compare between an eloquent ruler who allows women to drive cars and one who does not kill his own people, but rather attempts to resolve this situation, regardless of the difficulties? How can we compare between a ruler who wants life for his people, and one who wants death?

The Syrian president is killing his own people…so what difference does it make if he is eloquent or permits women to drive?

This is truly failed logic.

 

A Saudi journalist and expert on Islamic movements and Islamic fundamentalism as well as Saudi affairs. Mshari is Asharq Al-Awsat's opinion page Editor, where he also contributes a weekly column. Has worked for the local Saudi press occupying several posts at Al -Madina newspaper amongst others. He has been a guest on numerous news and current affairs programs as an expert on Islamic extremism

 

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