Robert Fisk – an elementary mistake
Today there was an article in the Independent newspaper by Robert Fisk, in which he argued against the hypocritical approach by the politicians, as well as the public opinion in the west at large, towards what he referred to as “the war” in the middle east.
Mr. Fisk started his article by repeating what has become the most overly used, yet favourable, cliché in the Syrian regime-controlled media, unintentionally maybe, since i do not suppose that Mr. Fisk is “privileged” enough to have access to the Syrian TV channel “Aldounia” for instance. Or is he?
Over the last 16 months the regime-controlled media has been telling us that the pro-democracy and freedom-seeking demonstrations that erupted in the streets of Syria were merely the result of a “universal conspiracy” to overthrow one of the only remaining anti-imperialism and anti-Zionist regimes in the middle east. The “evidence” was always there for us to see according to that theory. The uprising is supported by the democratic west (the U.S and the E.U), but at the same time by the Arab gulf autocracies of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, so it can not be about democracy and human rights.
Same argument was used today by Mr. Fisk who said “President Barack Obama and his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, say they want a democracy in Syria. But Qatar is an autocracy and Saudi Arabia is among the most pernicious of caliphate-kingly-dictatorships in the Arab world.” Then he goes further by reminding us that most of the terrorists of 9-11 were actually Saudis!
Mr. Fisk then misquoted Mr. Obama when he claimed that the American president said “given the regime’s stockpile of nuclear weapons, we will continue to make it clear to Assad … that the world is watching” while in actual fact Mr. Obama never mentioned that the Syrian regime has nuclear weapons.
So what Mr. Fisk’s actually suggesting is that no one is entitled to take a moral stand on a regime murdering its own people, for there are other dictatorships and autocracies in the world, some of which are actually on the people of Syria’s side so that cant be the right side!
Indeed, how dare the world condemn the killing of civilians and support their right in freedom and dignity? dont the politicians and the public opinion in the west recognise that by doing such they are actually having something in common with some autocracies of the middle east??
OK, maybe I’m being harsh on Mr. Fisk here. Maybe his real point is that you can not use two (or double) measures when dealing with freedom and human basic rights issues, and thats it is actually immoral and hypocritic to bend the rules according to the country in question, which is a fair point. But then again, what should the world do now? launch a war on all dictatorships and autocracies, or try stop the mad man of Damascus from killing more of his people?
Then, there is one fundamental question, what is the moral or legal ground upon which Mr. Fisk is asking the west to intervene in other areas or spots? was not the Egyptian regime one of the most strongest and closest allies to the west in the region? did the west stand by the regime when its own people rose against it? is there an uprising in Qatar? have the people of Saudi Arabia taken to the streets of cioties across the country demanding the fall of their king? who are you Mr. Fisk, or am I for that matter, to decide for the people of other countries what is in their interest?
In Syria there is a legitimate case for all the world to rally behind the Syiran people who are saying enough is enough. and even then the world is actually being too shy to act. what did the democratic west actually do to help the Syrians? sanctions? it only affected the ordinary people of Syria. Condemnations? it were only words.
The international community has actually failed the Syrians who are facing the regime’s war machines barechested, and those who took up arm did so to defend their fellow citizens. There is NO war in Syria. The war has two sides to it. In Syria there is an aggression of one of the strongest armies in the middle east against its people.
Mr. Fisk goes on to conclude that the west stand, regarding the tragedy of the Syrian people, is not about the west Fund of the Syrians or what they are striving for, nore it is the hate of the suppressive regime, but is a part of a bigger goal to isolate Iran. Rightly or wrongly, Mr. Fisk has got a point. However, if a journalist who spent decades dealing with politics and politicians did, for all that time, think that what moves politicians, governments, and regimes are morals, then he had done some very basic and elementary mistake!