ISIS, Syria & Journalism
Ever since the uprising against the Assad regime in Syria began in 2011 the country and its people have endured one horror after another. The carnage has led to not only a quarter of a million dead, and many more wounded, but the worst refugee crisis in recent memory. Adding to the mix of chaos and violence are Saudi Arabia, Turkey Iran, Russia, and the U.S. Washington searches in vain for what are called “moderates.” The Syrian cocktail of unrelenting violence is made even worse by the emergence of ISIS and its ability to hold large areas of territory. Atrocity follows atrocity with no end in sight. Words such as appalling and horrifying have lost meaning.
Interview by David Barsamian.
Recorded at the University of Denver.
Idrees Ahmad is a Lecturer in Digital Journalism at the University of Stirling in Scotland and a co-editor of PULSE. He is the author of The Road to Iraq: the Making of a Neoconservative War.
The desire to do good and save other people makes liberals vulnerable to being manipulated into supporting the empire’s interventions, which are never done for the stated reasons and rarely, if ever, have the results that good hearted people desire. That weakness, coupled with the fact that we live in a sea of propaganda that distorts our perceptions, is a toxic combination, in my opinion.
Idrees Ahmad played a central role in preventing Mother Agnes Mariam from speaking at the Stop the War conference in London in Nov. 2013,
an act of censorship that makes me question his integrity.
Here is what Mairead Maguire wrote about Mother Agnes:
NOVEMBER 1, 2013
Mother Agnes and the Story of Syria
by MAIREAD MAGUIRE
Idrees Ahmad bashes just about every source I have learned to trust. So I am left to wonder why should I trust him? What is his agenda and where do his biases come from?
I would feel much easier about your giving him a platform if you also aired responsible people with an opposing view, like Rick Sterling:
Faulty Analysis and Conclusions on Syria
Dana Franchitto –
I learned much about how the crisis in Syria is covered and discussed in this discussion but I must take issue with his trivializing of the killing of Cecil the lion. Yes, it’s vile that @50people/day are killed in Syria not to mention the tens of millions of refugees . But Cecil is no less important because he was a non human animal. Sad to see that a fine scholar and journalist like Idrees Ahmad has yet to transcend the kind of anthropocentric attitude that has pushed so many species to the brink of extinction. Cecil is the poster child for the plight of lions everywhere on the African continent.We humans must learn humility in the face of nature and the cosmos.