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Category: Eye on the media

 

On this link, Voices of America posted yet another interview with another "defector" from the Syrian Army. I have read so many of these interviews that nothing surprises me anymore. I will not go through a long political debate with the content of this interview. Instead, I will just outline the points I find either outrageous or hilarious, or at the minimum, not convincing.

 

 

1.       The article title says: Why I defected from "Assad's" army. Well, it is not Assad's army, it is the Syrian Army. Western media just cannot keep ignoring the massive marches supporting this SYRIAN army. Saying it is Assad's army is the protesters way to justify their actions against its soldiers and officers, such as the crime that happened Thursday Nov 24, resulting in the assassination of 9 officers and soldiers.

 

2.       Mr. Deek, the "defector", mentioned that even animals were not spared in these events. I am sure he is referring to this famous video, where Syrian soldiers appear killing a herd of donkeys. What he, and Cecily Hilleary as well, conveniently forgot to mention, is that donkeys are well known for being used in smuggling "goods" between Syria and Lebanon. I have witnessed this myself in the past, and Syrians who live near the Lebanese borders all know this. It is obvious that the donkeys in the video were used in smuggling weapons.

 

3.       Mr. Deek mentions that his father was imprisoned and tortured. I feel sorry for that. yet he links this easily verified fact with other claims about "what keeps happening to women and children", making these claims appear as if they were facts, without bothering to provide any evidence to support these claims.

 

4.       Instead of using descriptive terms, Mr. Deek uses flashy terms, such as "Tyranny" to describe what he claims is happening in the Syrian prisons. I am pretty curious to know how tyranny can be something an individual is subjected to in prison.

 

5.       Mr. Deek says: "We have received many corpses with signs of torture." Could he please explain who "we" are? And how come "we" are being handed corpses? And in what capacity? Dead bodies are handed to their families, is he a relative to each and every person who he claims died in prison?

 

6.       Mr. Deek says: "First, I have not followed any orders that were unjust because I am a human being and I reject any injustice that could befall any other human being. This is the most important thing." So he is claiming that he was given orders that were unjust, but he refused to obey them. Yet, he managed to stay in the army, safe and sound, until just last week! Anyone else finds this hilarious? It is either that he was not given any such orders, or he did obey them! Anyone who served in any military forces knows that disobeying military orders would take the soldier or officer to prison immediately.

 

7.       Is it just me, or is the story he gave as an example of "unjust orders", I mean the story of Seif Abdullah threatening to cut the throats of people who say Allahuakbar, so not in place? This is NOT a military order. It could have been used as an example of death threats perhaps, but not military orders.

 

8.       Mr. Deek says: "random firing on all protesters, all peaceful protesters." Yet, every week, we see numerous videos of protesters gathering in Homs or some Syrian towns, chanting, cheering, without any shooting. Am I missing smething here?

 

9.       Mr. Deek says:"a regime that brings other fighters from outside the country and elements of Hezbollah and other terrorist elements." I would really like to see some evidence to these outrageous claims. Mr. Deek is a big shot officer in a prestigious big shot SFA, no? One would think he is capable of accessing some evidence to support these claims. Protesters have been claiming there were Hezbullah and Iranian fighters in Syria since March 25th, they even claimed they had arrested 7 of them in Deraa last April, yet we saw no evidence. To me, this is clear sectarian incitement, and for Hilleary to participate in spreading this sectarian propaganda, without bothering to ask for any evidence, is unprofessional in the minimum.

 

10.   Mr. Deek says:"First, we are Muslims. Our deeds are governed by religious law." This one gave me a good chuckle. I would really like to see Hilleary or any other American reporter condoning such a statement when it comes to Mr. Deek's counterparts who are fighting against the American Army in Iraq or Afghanistan, also attributing all their acts to the "religious law". Isn't it funny how Islamists like Deek are back to being "freedom fighters" rather than "terrorists" in the American eyes? Does this remind you of anything? Afghanistan in the 80s perhaps?

 

11.   In the same statement, not a sentence afar, Mr. Deeks states "we are Muslims", then :"We have Christians, Alawites, Shi’a and Druze." I am puzzled, are you Muslims or not? Are your acts governed by "religious law" as you said or not? Because I know for a fact that religious law prohibits "aligning with the infidel". The infidel, AKA, Christians, Alawites, Shi’a and Druze!

 

12.   Mr. Deek "confirmed" that FSA has 15,000 soldiers. He confirmed that "the number is true". But wasn't this number released months ago, and accompanied by the statement that the number is "increasing everyday"? I see it is still on 15,000. Also, where are these soldiers? Who are they? What are they doing? Who provides them with weapons and other supplies? Who funds them? I mean, if Mr. Deek, as Hilleary said on top, is "headquartered" in Rastan, yet he describes how Rastan is "surrounded by over 36 checkpoints", and that "Inside the city, people are not allowed to get out of their homes. Every day, there is a curfew from 8 pm to 7 am. The curfew forbids people from getting first aid." It really does not add up in my head that the headquarters of the most important brigade in the FSA that counts over 15,000 soldiers is under such conditions.

 

13.   It is really a bliss for Mr. Deek that Hilleary, and many other western journalists, don't speak Arabic. Because if they did, they would understand what his friends at Khalid Bin Alwaleed brigade write on their Facebook pages every day. If Hilleary could read Arabic, she would see for herself what Deek's friends say about other religious sects, and the type of actions they brag about. I tried once to make it easier for western journalists, by translating a few quotes from that page in this article. Hilleary may still read some quotes there, and see for herself the type of people she described as "moving".

 

I would really like to see some western journalists show the minimum effort to verify what they publish, specially under the big title "exclusive". Publishing based on one side's story is tricky, and it could cost a lot of credibility.

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