Friday, May 28, 2010

Reuters' Syria makeover

The last we visited Reuters Special Propagandist Correspondent Alistair Lyon, he was equating Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with Iranian dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.  Today, while his comrades at Reuters attempt to make over the public image of Hamas, Lyon is busy at work doing the same for Syria.  One need wade no further than the first paragraph of this muck to catch a glimpse of Lyon's mendacious style:
DAMASCUS, May 28 (Reuters) - Syria, a middling Arab country formally at war with Israel over the occupied Golan Heights, must juggle its alliances to survive in a volatile Middle East.
Like other Reuters stories on the Middle East conflict, Lyon would have his readers believe that war between Israel and the Arab states commenced sometime around 1967 with the casus belli being Israel's control of Arab territory.  Lyon fails to mention that Syria invaded and conquered Israeli territory west of the UN Partition lines two decades earlier in the War of Independence and that Israel only reacquired the land following years of shelling of Israeli communities by Syria culminating in the 1967 war.  Moreover, Syria's dictator Bashar al-Assad demands, in exchange for a peace agreement, not only return of the Golan Heights but additional territory inside pre-1948 Israel which would give Syria control over more than 55 percent of Israel's fresh water resources.  Note also, Lyon's opening sympathetic tack: Syria "must juggle alliances to survive in a volatile Middle East".  Yes, to survive, poor Syria must align itself with a regime (Iran) sworn to genocide of the Jews.  Our hearts bleed.

Lyon continues:
Threats of a new conflict have ricocheted between Syria, Israel, Iran and Lebanon this year, especially after Israeli and U.S. talk of alleged Syrian arms transfers to Lebanese Hezbollah fighters, although leaders on all sides deny they want a fight.
Lyon's timing is unfortunate.  Just today, the Times of London is reporting that it has seen satellite photos of surface-to-surface missiles being transferred from arms depots in Syria to Hezbollah bases in Lebanon.  The handover of SCUD missiles has also been acknowledged by Hezbollah itself and caps four years of the transfer of tens of thousands of other rockets from Syria to Hezbollah in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701 which officially ended the 2006 war between Hezbollah and Israel.  And the notion that Iran or Syria or Hezbollah is publicly averse to war is a risible one.

Lyon then reveals his systematic bias:
In Lebanon, arena of a 2006 Israeli-Hezbollah war, Syria's allies have effective veto power in the government. Hariri's son Saad has visited Damascus twice as Lebanese prime minister.  That alone indicates how much influence Syria has regained in the neighbour it dominated during its 29-year troop presence.
While Lyon refers above to the Golan Heights as "occupied" by Israel, Syria's 29-year military occupation of Lebanon is characterized as a "presence".  And no mention of course, of the fact that Syria still claims all of Lebanon as part of Greater Syria.

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