Monday, June 27, 2011

Reuters sanitizes Syrian occupation, domination of Lebanon

In an op-ed masquerading as "Analysis" about Hezbollah preparing for war against Israel to divert attention away from Bashar al-Assad's murder of over 1,300 Syrian citizens, Reuters correspondent Mariam Karouny shows us again why Reuters cannot be trusted to report the news or recount history accurately:
"This is a battle for existence for the group [Hezbollah] and it is time to return the favor (of Syria's support). It will do that by fending off some of the international pressure," he [a Lebanese official] added.
The militant group, established nearly 30 years ago to confront Israel's occupation of south Lebanon, fought an inconclusive 34-day war with Israel in 2006.
Hezbollah and Syria have both denied that the group has sent fighters to support a military crackdown on the wave of protests against Assad's rule.
Karouny wants readers to believe that Hezbollah was created and exists today solely to "confront" Israel's "occupation" of South Lebanon -- an occupation that ended 11 years ago.  At the same time, she sanitizes Syria's brutal commandeering and three-decade occupation of Lebanon, which in many ways, continues today via Syria's sponsorship of Hezbollah:
Syria, which borders Israel, Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey and Jordan, has regional influence because of its alliance with Iran and its continued role in Lebanon, despite ending a 29-year military presence there in 2005. It also has an influence in Iraq.
Note that, for Reuters, when an Arab country is occupying another sovereign, it is merely maintaining a "military presence".  When an Arab country is controlling the political affairs of another sovereign via the use of tanks, terror and assassinations, it is simply playing a "role" there.

So, here is what Karouny won't tell her readers about Syria's "military presence" and "continued role" in Lebanon:
On June 1, 1976, 12,000 regular Syrian troops crossed the border; by September the number reached approximately 25,000 men. Their presence in the northern Akkar region, in the eastern Bekka, at Sofar in the central mountain area and near Sidon on the coast, demonstrated that Syrian policing policy was assuming the form of a comprehensive military domination. By November, 6,000 Syrian troops had virtually taken over West Beirut.
Operating however transparently under the name and guise of the Arab Deterrent Force authorized by the Riyadh Summit in October 1976, Syrian troops acted to disarm some Lebanese militias at the same time that the national army of Lebanon disintegrated to the diminutive size of 3,000 troops. By 1977, the number of Syrian troops exceeded 30,000, with over 200 tanks. After fighting the Palestinian and other leftist forces, Druzes and Sunnis in particular, the Syrian army then confronted the Christian Lebanese Forces. Indeed, if Syria was to control and pacify Lebanon, it would of necessity need to reduce the core Christian community that gave Lebanon its special national distinction. For three months, during “the 100 Days War” in mid-1978, Syria bombarded Christian East Beirut, specifically Ashrafiyya, which led to the flight of 300,000 people; at this time Syrian forces were also capturing Batroun and Besharre areas in the heart of the mountain area. A flood of Christian refugees and the execution of many Lebanese civilians were the direct result at this stage of the intensification and extension of Syria’s ruthless conquest of Lebanon.
In the 1980s, Syria further expanded its military control in the areas of Zahle, Aley, Nabatiyeh, and Jezzine, prior to the ultimate military capture of the presidential palace at Ba’abda, southeast of Beirut on October 13, 1990. In that final confrontation Syrian forces defeated Lebanese Army units under the command of General Michel Aoun, who had failed in his self-declared “war of liberation”. Syrian military occupation of Lebanon, therefore, incorporated the entire country with the exception of the southern “security zone” under the control of the Israeli Army (IDF) and its Southern Lebanese Army (SLA) ally. One reliable source suggests that the Syrians were responsible for the deaths of approximately 100,000 Lebanese and the flight of about a half a million people from the country.
Syria continues to dominate all aspects of political life and decision-making in Lebanon via military coercion and sponsorship of its terror-proxy Hezbollah, but you would never know that reading Reuters.

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