Hogwash: "Asia Times Online :: Exposed: The Arab agenda in Syria," by Pepe Escobar

Lot's of times, I've agreed with Pepe Escobar. This time though, he's frankly spinning. It's obvious.

He says this about the "League of Arab States Observer Mission to Syria: Report of the Head of the League of Arab States Observer Mission to Syria for the period from 24 December 2011 to 18 January 2012":

The report is adamant. There was no organized, lethal repression by the Syrian government against peaceful protesters. Instead, the report points to shady armed gangs as responsible for hundreds of deaths among Syrian civilians, and over one thousand among the Syrian army, using lethal tactics such as bombing of civilian buses, bombing of trains carrying diesel oil, bombing of police buses and bombing of bridges and pipelines.

Asia Times Online :: Exposed: The Arab agenda in Syria.

Well, perhaps he didn't think anyone would actually read the thing. Think again. It actually says the following:

27. In Homs, Idlib and Hama, the Observer Mission witnessed acts of violence being committed against Government forces and civilians that resulted in several deaths and injuries. Examples of those acts include the bombing of a civilian bus, killing eight persons and injuring others, including women and children, and the bombing of a train carrying diesel oil. In another incident in Homs, a police bus was blown up, killing two police officers. A fuel pipeline and some small bridges were also bombed.

Now, how Pepe went from that to concluding that the Syrian government is clean and those fighting the Assad regime are the ones committing all the atrocities is beyond me. Do you see "hundreds of deaths among Syrian civilians" caused by "shady armed gangs" (that aren't covert government "gangs") there? I don't see it either because it's not there. Pepe made it up.

"...the Observer Mission witnessed acts of violence being committed against Government forces and civilians...." Look, that doesn't say that the same people did all the violence. Even if that's what it means, which is not clear, one can't justifiably get from there to Pepe's position.

I'm not saying that Western operatives aren't fomenting trouble. I'm saying that this Report sure is no smoking gun. In fact, if you bother to read the whole thing, you find that it's rather self-deprecating and highly suggestive that one would be a fool to take it as authoritative on such a weighty matter.

However, I don't summarily reject the whole thing. I'm sure it's accurate that there has been exaggeration. Some of the psychological hypothesizing is probably valid too.

Regardless though, Pepe Escobar jumped to way too many conclusions about the Report. As for whether he did that with malice, that I can't say.

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  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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