January 4, 2012 · 0 Comments
By Michael Munk:
The NYT’s Beirut correspondent Kareem Fahim continues his heavily invested reporting on the Syrian situation by stenographing opposition criticism of Lt. Gen. Muhammad Ahmed al-Dabi, head of the Arab League’s observer mission.
In his January 2nd article, “Chief of Arab League’s Mission in Syria Is Lightning Rod for Criticism,” Fahim describes Gen. Dabi as having run Sudan’s “notorious military intelligence agency.”
Fahim writes that Dabi “has only compounded the criticism with his recent statements.”
One of these statements was his challenge to an opposition claim that Fahim sent on (and was commented on in the NYTimes eXaminer) that an observer had “seen” government snipers in Dara’a.
The reporter affects shock that Dabi,
“publicly contradicted an Arab League observer who told residents in the city of Dara’a that he had seen government snipers and would tell Syrian officials to remove them.
‘But he didn’t see,’ General Dabi told the BBC, asserting that the observer was referring to a hypothetical case.”
After a lengthy compilation of complaints against Dabi and his record, Fahim asserts that he “is not the only liability in an observer mission that analysts say suffers from deep flaws.”
Fahim’s reporting from Beirut on the basis of opposition sources seems intended to persuade readers that, as the Syrian exiles argue, only western military intervention can save what he has begun to call [human?] “rights activists” from being killed by the Syrian government.