A second look.
You know, looking at the picture above, I'm somewhat torn. I mean, when it comes to Bashar al-Assad, I'm Hater #1 as far as anyone's concerned. The guy hasn't done anything good for Syria, but is, rather, what you'd call one of those, how do you say -- ruthless murderers.
So when I see photos like these, I can think to myself one of two things: Gee, these poor Syrians look so oppressed, I'm so glad that the Red Crescent is there to help them.
Just moseying about.
Or, I can look at who these "refugees" are, and about how they want to (some slightly graphic) hide their faces, and I can begin to sit down and wonder: Is it possible, is it even remotely possible, that Bashar al-Assad could be telling the truth?
Could Syria really be just another front in the Islamist-led Arab Spring, and by supposition, these "refugees" really are the Jihadists that Bashar says they are?
I've gotta say, it's an intriguing possibility, and it's one that our wire stringers don't seem to be curious enough to try and find out.
Top photo, which I'm pulling from the AP with apologies:
Wounded Syrian refugees help each other as they head toward an ambulance outside a makeshift hospital in a newly opened camp in the Turkish town of Yayladagi in Hatay province, Turkey, Wednesday, June 22, 2011. The U.N. refugee agency said that 500 to 1,000 people a day have been crossing from northern Syria into Turkey since June 7, and more than 10,000 were being sheltered by Turkish authorities in four border camps.(AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
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Two Syrian injured men talk with an AFP journalist at a hospital in the southeastern Turkish city of Hatay, on June 7, 2011, close to the Syrian border. The men claim to have been injured by the police gun fire during an anti-government protest on May 20 in Syria. Some 120 Syrian refugees fleeing repression, mostly women and children, have arrived in Turkey where they were looked after by police, an AFP journalist witnessed. AFP PHOTO / MUSTAFA OZER (Photo credit should read MUSTAFA OZER/AFP/Getty Images)
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Further note re: the AP photo above -- I feel that this AP photo is one that illustrates the other side of the way the media has been handling the Syrian issue to date. That the press has spent plenty of time showing truly innocent women and children crossing the border into Turkey, but none of the "protesters" that the Syrian government is fighting themselves. As such, I think the photo is very relevant to the discussion, and that due to the layout of the frame, it's not possible to acceptably crop a subportion of the photo. Therefore, I've elected to use it in its entirety for the purpose of raising this discussion. As always, please contact me if anyone feels this is an issue, and I'll resolve it immediately.
Also: the Syrian government has been leading foreign diplomats and journalists on a press tour of a "newly discovered" mass grave. I'm linking the photos below, but please be forwarned, some of them are extremely graphic. I've been debating talking about that press tour since Monday or so, and have generally shied away from it due to the fact that it is so graphic, but I think in the context of our jihadist-looking "refugees" above, it's definitely germane now.
What do you think of these "mass graves?" Do the bodies they're finding look consistent with victims of some kind of terrorist attack? Do they look like they're recycled directly out of the nearest morgue? I'm no expert on "unusual" end-of-life circumstances, so I'd definitely be interested in hearing from someone who is!