In recent months, the Syrian Government has faced mounting criticism and in some quarters condemnation for the murderous treatment meted out to the rebels, but this is nothing new.
Yesterday, the distinguished British correspondent Marie Colvin was killed in Syria, as was the French photo-journalist Remi Ochlik. The American-born Colvin was no stranger either to war or the suffering it brings, having lost her left eye in April 2001 while reporting from Sri Lanka. The death toll among the natives is difficult to quantify, but one thing that can be said for certain is that this conflict is now a civil war in all but name, because in spite of the obvious imbalance, this is not a case of repression, or of simple repression, the Government of President Bashar al-Assad has credible if diminishing support.
Condemnation is also mounting steadily, but there is one thing most of its critics seem to be forgetting, that is what the American correspondent Charley Rees called The Facts About Rebellion.
If you haven't read this essay, take a little time to digest its contents. Once you have done this you will realise why governments, Western and other, are so reluctant to intervene, as they were in Libya, leaving aside the obvious fatigue they are suffering from both Iraq and Afghanistan. If Western governments were to intervene in Syria, it would be a disaster, but all parties, especially Syria's friends, should exert all the pressure they can in order to halt the slaughter.
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