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Syria: Vapid Descriptions from the Ivory Tower

When interviewed about Syria on the PBS NewsHour last night, two scholars were weak and vapid. Asked who the rebels were in Syria, the description by one was that they wwere "the Free Syrian Army" and "largely Sunni," which doesn't tell us much. A better description would have described them as originally former soldiers doing the right thing: defecting rather than shooting at innocent civilians. As defectors they were marked by the dictatorship. They have been fighting for their lives, and they have been joined by others in fighting to defend their communities and fighting to overthrow a bloody, dictatorial regime.

One of the two scholars, Mona Yacoubian,attempted impartiality. She focused on a lack of coordination among the so-called rebels as if it were reason to reject them. "I think, given the chaotic situation on the ground inside Syria, it doesn't make sense to either arm the rebels or undertake broader military intervention," she says. Her solution: continued diplomacy and dependency on the Russians.

Copyright © 2012 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.