Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

August 17, 2012

What happened in Houla?

Filed under: Syria — louisproyect @ 12:29 am


What happened in Houla?

August 16, 2012

On May 25, when regime militias entered the town of Houla and carried out a gruesome massacre killing 108, including 49 children, something very strange happened. Despite the fact that Channel 4 had entered the town the very next day and collected on-camera testimonies from survivors, Stalinist outfits like MediaLens, media watchdogs like FAIR, and some left luminaries, including our friend Tariq Ali, started blaming the victims. There is no reason why official stories shouldn’t be doubted, but given the heinous nature of the crime, one would’ve thought they’d be careful with regard to their evidence. As it happened, all of them were relying on a single article appearing in a German publication, written by an author who never visited Houla or met a survivor. This was no innocent mistake: it was pointed out to both Medialens and FAIR that their source was dubious and its claim highly questionable. The source was discredited soon afterwards, and Der Spiegel and the UN have since both confirmed the original reports. Neither Medialens nor FAIR has apologized. Here meanwhile is Al Jazeera’s investigation into the massacre.

On May 25, 2012, the once serene region of Houla in Syria became the scene of events that shocked the world – the massacre of around 100 civilians, almost half of them children. The Syrian regime blamed the massacre “terrorist” groups, but this investigation paints a different picture.


  1. Not sure if one should trust Qatar’s news channel on this subject/

    Comment by FairlyFatGuy — August 17, 2012 @ 6:32 am

  2. This actually leads to my broader point, which is less about what actually happened in Houla than in Wikipedia editors taking a suppressing-of-information, rather than a presenting-the-controversy, approach. (In fairness, you yourself have shown willingness to accept the latter, which I respect.) My initial outburst came from the fact that everyone online with an ounce of interest in the Houla massacre – from whatever political standpoint – was discussing the FAZ article, and then you have Wikipedia deleting any mention of it from their page! Personally, I believe Wikipedia would be a much better source of information if a concise version of the discussion you mentioned was actually on the main page for regular readers to see. If the NATO-media story is as watertight as you seem to believe it is, such an approach would actually weaken, rather than strengthen, the claims you obviously think are erroneous.

    Comment by Sugel — August 17, 2012 @ 7:56 am

  3. US and UK politicians were clearly desperate to use Houla to stoke their regime-change agenda. The regime change was called internationally and by people within Syria – by Syrians themselves. Edwards disingenuously phoney observation completely misrepresents the almost unanimous consensus at the UN where only a few nations – primarilly being Russia and China opposed the resolution. Apologists such as yourself instantly argued not only against Assad going but even against international medical assistance reaching civilians which you attempted to spin into being merely a ‘cover’ for military intervention. These children massacred by Assad were merely ‘nickels and dimes’….?

    Comment by offshore banking — August 23, 2012 @ 9:53 am

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