Arab media forlornly blames West for Syria massacre

It is one thing to criticise Obama's muddled Syria policy. it's another for those who routinely slam American "meddling" to blame him for the massacre

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Who's to blame?
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The Commentator
On 23 August 2013 16:36

This week's terrible massacre using chemical weapons against Syrian civilians, almost certainly perpetrated by Bashar Al-Assad's forces, was bound to raise emotions, and understandably so. But some of what is coming out of the Arab media about who bears responsibility (or at least a significant share of it) would beggar belief if we didn't already understand the Arab world's victim mentality.

Across much of the Arab world, but especially in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, Assad is indeed being blamed for the attack, but a heavy burden of responsibility is being placed on America and the wider West for failing to prevent it.

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) also highlights an editorial in the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper which said:

"This horrifying massacre, which resulted in the death of more than 1,000 people, half of them women and children, who were killed in their sleep – was [actually] committed by the international community via the hands of the Bashar Al-Assad regime. [The international community's] silence, and [the fact that] it was content with publishing announcements over the past two years, are the true causes of this outcome."

Will they please make up their minds whether they want the West to police and solve their problems, or whether they're going to accuse us of being "imperialists" if we do? And if anyone should be solving the Arab world's problems why shouldn't the Arabs themselves be the ones to do it?

There may well be a good argument (there may well be a bad one too) for arming the Syrian rebels. There were good arguments (and bad ones) for deposing Saddam Hussein.

But it is hardly reasonable for people who routinely denounce America and the West for foreign interventions to slate them when they do not in fact intervene.

The Arab media and its wider political intelligentsia are mired in resentment and related victim complexes about the West. They're free to voice their opinions. But they shouldn't expect to be treated with much respect if this is really the best they can do.

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