Arab League Monitor Mission Heading For Failure
It is a contradiction in terms for the Syrian government to guide Arab League monitors around the country, since it is the government that is accused of a brutal crackdown on protestors that has killed an estimated 3000-4000 people since March 2011.
Independent results cannot be expected from this mission, which was headed for failure from the very beginning. Sana News Agency, the Syrian government's mouthpiece, has reported that the monitors are visiting various cities like Daraa and Homs and meeting the injured in a clearly orchestrated tour of what the Syrian government wants them to see.
In a more sinister development, two 'terrorists' confessions' have been broadcast on Syrian state TV. What did they confess to? According to Sana, they participated in demonstrations in Homs, shouted slogans against the government, smuggling weapons, threatening neighbors, shot at the army and demanded 'the freedom and reforms'.
Nobody can believe Sana's obvious propaganda and sheer manipulation of public opinion when the evidence to the opposite is so overwhelming. Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators are turning out every day to protest against Bashar al-Assad, and reports from hundreds of activists clearly contradict the official position that terrorists are causing the trouble.
The word 'terrorist' cannot be applied willy-nilly to anyone who disagrees with a government. Just ask the 35 civilians who were killed in Iraq by a Turkish air raid in December. It is a falsehood, a serious miscalculation, and denigrates the memory of people who were killed in actual terrorist attacks.
The Syrian government should not expect that the international community will be fooled by such transparently self-serving claims, and can most likely look forward to more opposition, sanctions and resistance to its leader Assad.
For the Arab League monitors to claim any credibility, they need to break out of the guided tour and see what's really happening. The only way for the Syrian government to truly clear its name is to let foreign journalists freely enter the country and report the news. The government's refusal to let international reporters into the country only shows that they have something to hide.
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