I used to admire Abu Khalil's principles on a lot of issues, but with regards to Syria his position has been lousy and confused. He is against the regime, and against the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, and against the lousy SNC, and against the Free Syrian Army. Yes, we understand, thank you very much. Me too. But his coverage of Syria is just lousy. Personally I think he has far more pro-Assad people feeding him crap information - or at least they might pretend to be pro-reform for him. I say the Syrian revolution is an orphan that nobody wanted, and that is why it is being pimped. Here's an example of why I think the Angry Arab has become unreadable when it comes to Syria:
1.Here he says he doesn't know what happened in Homs. He knows what happens in Gaza almost instantly. He knows what happens in Bahrain almost instantly, but with Homs:
I don't know what happened in Homs. Syrian regime and Free Syrian Army both lie about their murders. But I get the feeling that the Syrian regime may have committed a massacre there. Syrian TV kept yesterday posting a message that footage from Arabic channels are not what they seem they are.2. This is a nice one. Of course the story is utterly rubbish and typical sensational Free Syrian Army nonsense, but notice that he has decided that shabiha here means Alawite, because he heard that "many" in the opposition call them so. OK, "many". But of course let's take the piss out of al Jazeera for lousy reporting and lack of accuracy.
3. Here's a post following the now familiar "al Jazeera is lousy" line. Of course the reason these journalists resigned, like the lousier Ghassan Bin Jiddo, is because they are very concerned about their professional and journalistic integrity. It is not that they are pro-Assad at all. No, no, perish the thought. Reading this post you would think the real tragedy of what's happening in Syria is that journalistic standards in the Middle East have declined.
4. Never mind that the Syrian regime forbids the international media from freely reporting in the country, and that it blows up journalists to pieces by triangulating their positions using their satellite phones, let's just make fun of Nada Bakri for saying what a four year old could tell you about the difficulty of covering Syria. Oh, and Abu Khalil wouldn't shut up about the French journalist who was possibly killed by a stray FSA shell, but let's just selectively quote things about Marie Colvin to show that she supported the Iraq invasion or that she might not have been pro-Palestinian.
5. When was the last time that the Angry Arab posted a picture of a Syrian casualty? But immediately he puts a picture of somebody who was killed in the recent Israeli attacks on Gaza. Of course he supports the Syrian people against the lousy Syrian regime and supports its violent overthrow by all means necessary except what is absolutely necessary by any means possible.
6. Notice here that As'ad's "witness" - not like al Jazeera's witnesses, he tells us - tells him knowingly that there are [shock/horror!] sectarian idiots in the Syrian revolution too. And the Angry Arab thinks that nobody knows this...Notice also that As'ad never hears from those witnesses - not Angry Arab witnesses and not al Jazeera witnesses - who would tell him that Assad's shabiha and thugs have sacked parts of Homs and are raping, pillaging and murdering their way through the city. And you see Youtube videos are not very reliable and the Angry Arab takes great care to use reliable sources, look at how quickly he gets news from Gaza or Bahrain - it's so good he doesn't even need to check the source of the photos or the videos and it goes straight on his blog.
7. Oh, here we go! The token post which makes fun of the Syrian regime or its propaganda channel. Here, and here.That means the Angry Arab is about to go on a roll and poo-poo the Syrian revolution again. But of course - as he always reminds us - he supports the Syrian people against the lousy Baath party. Notice in the second link that he reiterates again and again his absurd belief that the Syrian regime really supported the Bahraini repression of the people's revolution there. That was why I was nearly assaulted by pro-Assad thugs at a pro-Bahraini revolution protest in London a few months ago. I was going to tell the thug who wanted to hit me that Assad's regime supported the Bahraini king, and that he was at the wrong protest. I was going to tell him that if he didn't believe me then he should just go and read what the Angry Arab said. Because a pro-Assad thug in London would really have done some soul searching and decided to attend an anti-Bahraini government protest in London without permission from his shabiha bosses at the Syrian embassy.
8. Here he makes fun of that US soldier who went nuts and shot people in Afghanistan:
NATO has investigated. They said the soldier is in fact a Syrian Ba`thist, and the US government held the Syrian regime responsible.Notice that if the same thing had happened in Syria - oh wait, it is happening in Syria!
9. Angry Arab has a point here. Not only will I write a strongly worded letter to Ghalioun, but I will also tell every Syrian who is being blown to pieces by Assad's war (only against the Syrian people) machine to reject the cheap "Western and Zionist exploitation" of the Syrian revolution. Stop interfering with Assad killing us you filthy imperialists!
10. Here the Angry Arab expresses sympathy with the poor victims of Assad's stupid regime, suffering in...1967...