The Syrian Side of the Story You Never Hear, by Ted Snider

Americans, especially those in the government, think tanks, and universities, are pretty darn good at not listening to the other side of the story. From Ted Snider at antiwar.com:

Like a badly written series of romance novels, the plot template remains fixed while just the names of the characters and places rotate through the template. The story of Syria that Americans and Canadians ingest from the mainstream media is the same simplistic narrative of good and evil told by Washington about each new enemy. Every action committed by the Syrian government is evil and every reaction by Washington is good. Guilt can be assumed and assigned to Syria without investigation because the antagonist in the story is always guilty and can always be blamed. America is always the innocent observer who is shocked by Syrian brutality and feels compelled to respond to protect the innocent victims and defend the world.

But the story of Syria in not so simple, and history shows that the assignation of guilt should be much more judiciously distributed.

Democracy Versus Dictatorship: It Might Have Been a Democracy

Accounts of Syria’s history always include the 1970 coup because it fits the desired narrative. Air force general Hafez al-Assad, Bashar al-Assad’s father, led a military coup that overthrew the civilian Ba’ath party dictator, Salah Jadid.

But, though that was to be the last coup in Syria’s history up to now, it was by no means the first. The first coup in modern Syrian history took place eleven years earlier. But the narrative was very different.

Syrians under French colonial rule had long longed for democracy. The Sykes-Picot Agreement had given Syria to France in 1916. But, prior to implementation of Sykes-Picot, Syrians had had a brief taste of democracy. The taste was over, though, by 1920 when Syria was officially given to France in the Treaty of Sevres.

To continue reading: The Syrian Side of the Story You Never Hear

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