[Marxism] Fwd: The story of a teacher evicted from Raqqa illustrates so much about the conflict in Syria | Voices | The Independent

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Feb 23 06:59:37 MST 2016

(These are the lead paragraphs in a Robert Fisk article in the 
Independent that pretty much epitomize the pro-Assad reporting that we 
have learned to expect from people like him. I direct your attention to 
the final paragraph, which ends "Some said they rode in aboard Turkish 
tanks." A preposterous notion that allows a confronted Fisk to simply 
say that he is just reporting what someone said. The "some said" allows 
him to say just about anything, including that it was the Turkish 
military spearheading the assault. Or maybe it was Martians. His brand 
of "journalism" is not fact based. It is a highly skillful form of 
propaganda that is developed over years and years writing for the 
bourgeois press. People like Fisk, Seymour Hersh, Patrick L. Smith--the 
turd who writes for Salon, Patrick Cockburn, his brother Andrew, Robert 
Parry are all highly regarded "investigative journalists" yet their 
reporting has been deeply flawed over Syria. Shame on them.)

A few days ago, on a hilltop above the Mediterranean city of Latakia, 
with the sun going down and the whisper of jets – Russian jets, of 
course – high in the sky, Samah Ismael told the story of her eviction 
from Raqqa. It is one small tragedy in a million – but it seemed to 
illustrate much.

This was long before Isis existed, when the Nusra Front – which 
represented al-Qaeda in those days – was growing in power and when the 
people living in the little town of al-Sabha on the banks of the 
Euphrates thought that even then, in 2013, the war which had consumed 
much of Syria might not touch them. Samah was a 39-year-old government 
teacher at the Ahmad al-Azawi school and had been happy taking her 
English classes with 17 and 18 year-olds. Education is free in Syria.

Samah, I should add, is an Alawite, the Shia minority from which Bashar 
al-Assad comes, although it does not dominate the teaching profession in 
Syria. She had been living just outside Raqqa for four-and-a-half years. 
But in March of 2013, she had stayed in the city until 10 at night and 
noticed that all the government buildings appeared to be empty. There 
were no police in the streets, no lights in the police station.

Then three days later, just as she was leaving her school after evening 
class, another teacher, a friend called Ahmad, told her that 8,000 men 
had come to Raqqa from the east, dressed in black uniforms with guns. 
Some said they rode in aboard Turkish tanks.


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