[Marxism] What happened in Houla?

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Aug 16 18:30:27 MDT 2012

What happened in Houla?

August 16, 2012

On May 25, when regime militias entered the town of Houla and carried 
out a gruesome massacre killing 108, including 49 children, something 
very strange happened. Despite the fact that Channel 4 had entered the 
town the very next day and collected on-camera testimonies from 
survivors, Stalinist outfits like MediaLens, media watchdogs like FAIR, 
and some left luminaries, including our friend Tariq Ali, started 
blaming the victims. There is no reason why official stories shouldn’t 
be doubted, but given the heinous nature of the crime, one would’ve 
thought they’d be careful with regard to their evidence. As it happened, 
all of them were relying on a single article appearing in a German 
publication, written by an author who never visited Houla or met a 
survivor. This was no innocent mistake: it was pointed out to both 
Medialens and FAIR that their source was dubious and its claim highly 
questionable. The source was discredited soon afterwards, and Der 
Spiegel and the UN have since both confirmed the original reports. 
Neither Medialens nor FAIR has apologized. Here meanwhile is Al 
Jazeera’s investigation into the massacre.


On May 25, 2012, the once serene region of Houla in Syria became the 
scene of events that shocked the world – the massacre of around 100 
civilians, almost half of them children. The Syrian regime blamed the 
massacre “terrorist” groups, but this investigation paints a different 

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