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Arab League monitors in Syria will only be a disappointment

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Once again, the credibility of the Arab League (AL) is being questioned, after ‘news’ that General Mohammed Ahmed al-Dabi, the leader of the observers currently in Syria, has been accused of human rights abuses.

What did people expect anyway? The whole of the Arab world is ruled by corrupt regimes, so the idea of the corrupt investigating another corrupt regime is ludicrous. Prior to the intervention in Libya, many world leaders have encouraged the AL and the rest of us to believe that only the AL should be investigating other Arab countries, and that their permission is needed in order for something to be deemed as successful.

Let us take Libya as an example. Those in favour of intervention continually pushed this line that if the AL were in favour of intervention in Libya then that made it OK – it was justified. The same is happening in Syria. Thus, the general public forgets the glaringly obvious fact that they are all ruled by dictators. And they are selective in their approach.

Look at Bahrain. Something similar is happening there, but where is the media? We are told that journalists are not allowed in Syria yet we receive footage daily (albeit from members of the Syrian opposition) of the brutalities there. Why do we not receive any such footage from Bahrain? If you do not believe me, just go on to the Guardian website, for example. Even when you click on links for news of Bahrain, at least ¾ of the stories are about other Arab countries.

The role of media is crucial in all of this. Jeremy Salt, in Palestine Chronicle, de-bunks many of the reported myths surrounding Syria, observing that we are made to ‘disbelieve the claims of government and believe the claims of rebels, often made in the name of human rights organisations based in Europe or the US’. Take this article for instance. The headline is misleading – it states that something has happened, when in fact it is a claim by Syrian activists. Journalism 101: always ensure your headline is notmisleading!

Troops fired on crowds on Thursday, but al-Dabi said he had so far seen “nothing frightening”, dismaying some activists and Western observers. Allowing the AL observers in the country will not solve anything. The violence and bloodshed will continue. For how long though is anyone’s guess.

 

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Written by Iram Ramzan

January 12, 2012 at 10:20 pm

Posted in middle east, USA

Tagged with , , ,

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