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Shooting the Messenger in Syria

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Shooting the Messenger in Syria - by Stephen Lendman

Arab League observers were sent to report fake evidence of regime violence. Mission head saying something else.

At issue is discrediting Sudanese General Mohammed Ahmed Mustafa al-Dabi. He's Arab League observer mission head in Syria. More on him below.

The phrase "shooting the messenger" is centuries old. Shakespeare wrote "Don't shoot the messenger" in Henry IV, part two. In Antony and Cleopatra, she reacted to Antony jilting her by threatening to treat the messenger's eyes as balls.

In Antigone, Sophocles said, "No one loves the messenger who brings bad news," and Plutarch's Lives noted that a messenger bearing bad news "had his head cut off for his pains."

Today, corrupt politicians and media scoundrels vilify truth-tellers of all stripes. Among others, they include social justice activists and whistleblowers. Even Washington-approved generals heading pro-imperial missions aren't spared when they fail to deliver the goods.

Al-Dabi was considered safe. Sudan backed NATO's Libya war. Assuming automatic anti-Assad support appears misguided. At least so far.

Instead of reporting regime violence, his comments included:

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  • "The situation seemed reassuring so far;"

  • "Yesterday was quiet and there were no clashes;" 

  • "Some places looked a bit of a mess but there was nothing frightening;" and

  • Assad's government has been "very cooperative."

In other words, he contradicted Western propaganda and confirmed evidence of an externally generated insurgency. As a result, he's now assailed as unreliable. Efforts are made to discredit him. Media scoundrels cheerlead it. It's their customary role. "Shoot the messenger."

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On December 27, State Department spokesman Mark Toner stopped short of vilifying al-Dabi but came close saying:

Arab League monitors "bear a heavy responsibility in trying to protect Syrian civilians from the depredations of a murderous regime."

Because Al-Dabi points fingers elsewhere, he's assailed for not cooperating.

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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