American student impressions of Syrian turmoil
…In the course of an hour, she told me that she thought the U.S. and Israel were inciting the protests, that the situation in Der’a was being blown out of all proportion (she told me in fact it was confined to a very small area of the city), that the U.S. and Europe were glad to see Syrians die, and she also wondered why the foreign press wasn’t emphasizing that not all of the deaths were of protesters (some of them were soldiers as well, she reminded me).
What scared me was that she had these views even given how young and internet-savvy and educated she was. There’s just an incredibly large gulf between what many Syrians believe, or dupe themselves into believing, and the reality on the ground.
I just kept staring at her like she was a brain-washed zombie. Many Syrians just don’t want to (or can’t) accept what’s going on here, don’t want to admit that there are people throughout Syria (and the entire Middle East) who have legitimate grievances and are addressing them forcefully. It’s just scary.