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View Diary: Has Anyone Bothered To Ask What The Majority Of Syrians Want? (210 comments)

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  •  Big enough to be a rebellion (1+ / 0-)
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    Lawrence

    Taking up half the country.  

    But there were major protests ahead of the we and during the initial phases

    http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/...

    Which is considerable considering that the Shabiha were still active and disappearing people   http://www.haaretz.com/...

    I'm sure a little searching can get you more

    •  Large Chunk (1+ / 0-)
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      YucatanMan

      I see a picture of several hundred people. I see ABC News telling me "tens of thousands across the country". I don't just believe ABC News, or any other broadcast news, when they tell me crowd counts that suit their own agenda. They no longer constitute a credible source without harder documentation, especially when every large demonstration I've ever been in that ABC or other broadcasters counted has been counted wrong, always in favor of the broadcaster's agenda.

      I cannot claim that there were not tens of thousands, and I do not make such a claim. But that ABC News source does not mean there were truly tens of thousands.

      But let's say there were. There are 21 million Syrians. Even 30 thousand of them across the country is only 0.1% of the country. I don't know if that's a "large chunk". Especially compared to literally millions of refugees, something like 10% of the country, or the 100,000 killed (a more or less reliable figure since it's been counted by several sources, including various humanitarian groups with longstanding credibility as well as multinational security orgs who agree).

      I don't think you can say that a meaningfully "large chunk" of Syrians stand one way or another on doing something to remove Assad. I do not think that lack of certainty is an argument for or against removing Assad. I do think it makes even more meaningful the question asked by this diary: "what do the majority of Syrians want?"

      I think we don't know. I don't know if anyone knows. I'm certain that a lot of people are talking as if they know but don't. And I think what the majority wants matters, crucially. And so talking and acting as if we know, when we don't know, is crucially mistaken.

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Sat Sep 07, 2013 at 09:57:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We can place some bounds (0+ / 0-)

        You are clearly correct that we really sont know hard numbers and those numbers are essentially impossible to get in a war zone.  We don't know and we won't know, even though it would be correct

        Ill stand by my original statement.  Thwre is a aignificant chunk that supports the rebels.  It clearly isn't zero, since this kind of rebellion cannot be supported without significant civilian support.  Reporting from rebel controlled areas by Kelly McEvers and others shows/suggests significant popularity for te rebels.  The rebel fighters want support from outside, which may or may not tell us anything

        I think we also know that the regime has significant support

        There is no way to be sure which group is a majority, but the facts on the ground are pretty good support for both statements.  

        I have never seen any support for the proposition that there is majority opposition either.  I'm hoping LaF has more success digging stuff out than I have had.  (The links to the stories are proving hard to dig out

        Finally, I don't give much credence to your rejection of media sources, because it presumes they have any agenda and are engaged in as one kind of conspiracy.  Frankly, back in 2012 when the link is from no one in this country except maybe John McCain, gave a shit one way of the other. Certainly Obama was having none of this talk of getting involved in any way. Sorry, but when the twosomes to what evidence we have is to reject the messenger as a conspiracy, I start to feel the discussion isn't worth having.  Sorry, but that's my reaction

        •  Bounds of Credibility (0+ / 0-)

          I don't think your references for bounds are reliable, either. You're effectively saying "where there's smoke, there's fire". But a lot of the rebels, especially among the most effective fighting forces, are people groups that coerce civilian support, from the people they conquer along the way. Like the Taliban in Afghanistan did. I am not claiming the Taliban are in Syria, but those are the methods, and there are indeed consistencies among successful jihads, back to the earliest one, and indeed to Alexander's conquest, all among these same people now mostly Muslims. Just because the rebels are getting supplies from the locals doesn't mean the locals would support them given a choice.

          It doesn't mean the locals oppose them, either. The point is that there is no actual knowledge of popular support here. But that isn't stopping people from talking like they know there is - or isn't. The indeterminacy of the question is very important, especially when analyzing the massive actions and certainties going on without even addressing that question.

          As for the "media conspiracy", none is necessary. Except business as usual, which is corporate mass media's common interests with American military power. I don't think there was a star chamber running up to and throughout the Iraq War, or the Vietnam War, or any other American war, generating that day's scripts and itineraries. That's now how we do it in America. War is mediagenic, especially one with a "ragtag band of rebels" who "are secretly supported by the oppressed countryside". It's our standard story (except when they're "the insurgency" or "terrorists"). The DC momentum is for war, so the mass media sees support for war wherever it looks, except among America's old enemies like Russia/China/Iran, and among the American people so there's a horserace in Congress to cover.

          Again, none of that means there isn't support, perhaps majority support, for a US military strike in Syria, among Syrians or perhaps even among Americans. It just means media sources aren't reliable, unless they're very specific and almost entirely self consistent across reports, with few contradictions from non-media sources without common vested interests with the media organizations. In other words, overwhelmingly common facts, cross verified across a diverse (and probably competing) collection of reporting groups. The US broadcast media is essentially untrustworthy because it lacks that diversity and competition. And we do not even have a critical mass of facts that could be cross verified outside the corporate media.

          So, much as we'd like to think we know there's large support (or that there's not), we do not. This is the depths to which America's media and government have sunk. We don't even have what we'd need to know we should go in, even if the facts were on the side of going in.

          "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

          by DocGonzo on Sat Sep 07, 2013 at 11:33:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  links time (0+ / 0-)

            show my your links, because what you are claiming flies in the face of virtually all reporting out of Syria.  YOu do realize the "rebellion" started as peaceful protests until Assad started shooting at people, right?  That already tells you a great deal.  Also, the reporting does not indicate that support is coerced, so if you want to make claims that contradict reporting out of Syria, I'd like to see sources.

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