Monday, September 2, 2013

Our relationship with Syria: "It's complicated"

Sometimes I think that the scariest thing about world politics in these fractious times is that it's hard to know who to trust.

Even in the mainstream media, what agenda lies behind any given article?  I'm no tinfoil-hat type, but I've spent enough time in journalism to know that one's own attitudes and prejudices can't help but color your reporting. And when "news" shifts into "analysis," how can we know where the writer is coming from, whose ax is being ground and what water is being carried?

But all that said, this article from The Washington Post strikes me as a seemingly balanced and even-handed analysis of Syria's situation in the world today and the challenges that beset any U.S. response.

It's well worth the read, at least. If you have insights, relevant thoughts or doubts, please post.
9 questions about Syria you were too embarrassed to askBy Max Fisher, Published: August 29 at 12:50 pm 
The United States and allies are preparing for a possibly imminent series of limited military strikes against Syria, the first direct U.S. intervention in the two-year civil war, in retaliation for President Bashar al-Assad’s suspected use of chemical weapons against civilians. 
If you found the above sentence kind of confusing, or aren’t exactly sure why Syria is fighting a civil war, or even where Syria is located, then this is the article for you. What’s happening in Syria is really important, but it can also be confusing and difficult to follow even for those of us glued to it. 
Here, then, are the most basic answers to your most basic questions. First, a disclaimer: Syria and its history are really complicated; this is not an exhaustive or definitive account of that entire story, just some background, written so that anyone can understand it.