While his latest article includes some material on how bad the situation is in Syria--350 people identified as killed so far by the regime--his latest article reads like a press release by the dictatorship.
Not since the days of the Cold War--probably in the 1970s--has a U.S. government become such an apologist for a repressive dictatorship. What makes the situation truly amazing is that the Syrian government is no U.S. ally but an enemy repressive dictatorship.
Shadid quotes Bouthaina Shaaban, a notorious Assad regime crony as saying, “You can’t be very nice to people who are leading an armed rebellion...." Yet there is no evidence that the opposition has used weapons. Nevertheless, he reports without comment the regime's claim that demonstrators have killed 100 soldiers and police even though not a single such case has been even minimally documented.
Shadid quotes U.S. officials as saying, essentially that Shaaban and Administration officials have said that Ms. Shaaban and Vice President Farouk al-Sharaa are the good guy reformers while President Bashar al-Assad's brother, Maher, is the bad guy hardliner. Poor Bashar is supposedly caught in the middle. What's a dictator to do?
Shabaan ridicules international "sanctions" against Syria and is right to do so. They amount to nothing, nothing except a license for the regime to murder its citizens without fear of repercussions.
Some day the Times coverage of Syria will be compared to its terrible reporting on the Stalinist Soviet Union and its largely ignoring the Holocaust.
Earlier US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini also discussed sanctions against the Syrian leadership because of its violent suppression of unrest in the country.
"We are currently finalizing the list of persons whose assets will be sanctioned and France wants [Syrian President] Bashar Assad to be on it," Juppe said. via jpost.com