Aljazeera’s explanation of Syria and its commenting policy


Wrote a comment this morning under its explanation – in film and text – of the Syrian war here:

Then waited the whole day only to find that Aljazeera’s moderator must have decided that it wasn’t worthy being published.*

Here it is:

“When we try understand a war it is very important to distinguish between the underlying conflict(s) and the violence that grows out of them. Your film as well as the text is focused only on the violence – and violence is never anything but a symptom of underlying conflicts. Violence is abrupt, conflict are longer-lasting – have been simmering for years often before they blow up.

It’s the same as with diseases – a doctor who listens only to the patient’s symptoms but cannot say what the cause(s) is, is a bad doctor.

Media has war and violence reporting – but no conflict reporters and no peace-reporting.

Secondly it is very problematic – actually impossible – to understand anything of a war and conflict if we focus on individuals. With due respect, there is no way that a boy’s spraying words on a wall can explain one of the world’s and history’s most complex conflict and most destructive wars.

And there is also no way it can be explained by one man – al-Assad’s – policies. It’s the same irrelevant media focus as with Milosevic in Yugoslavia, Saddam in Iraq, Gadafi in Libya – it just doesn’t explain what needs to be explained.

Conflicts are about incompatible goals, wishes not fulfilled, promises not held, conflict ignored or mishandled – about history, traumas, grievances, economic deprivation – and here it is, to a high degree, a consequence of about 100 years’ of foreign influence – from Sykes-Picot and onwards.

I would urge Aljazeera to try to re-think the way all these conflicts and wars are covered.

This approach does not help your viewers and readers understand the breadth and depth of these tragic processes.

Your approach does – surely unintended – everything to help everybody play the blame game and prevents us from discussing the only thing that really matters to humanity, including the Syrian people (all those who have never touched a weapons) namely: How can some kind of peace be re-stored?

If we keep on focusing on the violence and ignore underlying conflicts, there will be no peace.

Like a patient’s problem will not be solved until doctors do something about the underlying causes. When we understand the conflicts, and begin process of conflict-resolution, peace may have a chance. That means that violence will be reduced and finally end.

Kind regards

Jan Oberg, dr.,
peace and conflict researcher, mediator

* There are other comments that I would believe violate Aljazeera’s own policies and guidelines such as people telling you how to earn money every day.
It is also strange that an article which is 8 hours old can have comments under it which are almost a year old.
Finally – when trying to send a comment bot to “Contact us” and to “What do you think?” it doesn’t work, the “Captcha has expired” at both places and repeatedly.
Perhaps there is something for Aljazeera to fix here?

The US/NATO confrontation with Russia is dangerous

TFF Live
April 12, 2017

The secretaries of state, Tillerson and Lavrov meet today. We seem to enter a stage of what must appropriately be perceived as a frosty new Cold War.

In the worst of cases this can lead to a new Cuban Missile Crisis. God forbid!

The strong and weak aspects of the EU


Strong and weak aspects of the EU
Commenting on the Rome Treaty turning 60
The EU would be better for the peoples of Europe if it has been organised differently, taking diversity serious.

Commenting on PressTV March 25, 2017

The Meaninglessness of War: Aleppo

Here my 6th photo series from Aleppo – hashtag #keepfocusonaleppo.

Lund, Sweden – March 24, 2017


Can the almost total destruction of Eastern Aleppo be used constructively?

Only if we are willing to ask and dialogue about this:

• Why does the world go on investing US$ 2000 billion annually in warfare and US$ 30 in all the UN does – only to create destruction of people, places, past and future?

How absurd, how meaningless – indeed how far must it go to destroy the West itself – before we learn to conflict intelligently?

I’ve see much destruction during my work in conflict zones the last 25 years. But nothing Continue reading

Peace plan for Syria – first steps

A quick comment – expressive of a slight frustration.

It doesn’t even occur to the reporter – the Washington Post’s bureau chief in Beirut – that she is talking about international aggression. Can everybody just use Syria for whatever games they please?

Welcome to follow me on my new public page.


“Vittnesrapport från Aleppo, en annorlunda konfliktanalys och vägar till fred i Syrien”

Videoinspelning av Jan Öbergs föredrag i Stockholm februari 2017


Inspelningen är uppdelad i två delar:

Del 1: Vittnesrapport från Aleppo
60 min.

Del 2: Debatt och vägar till fred i Syrien
45 min.

10-14:e december 2016 vistades Jan Öberg i Aleppo. Med sin unika erfarenhet från staden ifrågasätter han den gängse massmediarapporteringen, argumenterar för ett nytt sätt att se på konflikter på och ger förslag till den nödvändiga fredsprocessen.

Anders Björnsson, författare

Lördag 25 februari kl. 14-16, Bagarmossens Folkets Hus, Stockholm

Föreningen Syriensolidaritet, Folket i Bild Kulturfront – Stockholmsavdelningen, FiB-juristerna m.fl.

Jan Öberg rapporterar
– Jag kunde fritt tala med vem jag ville, och fotografera som jag ville. Jag gick omkring utan säkerhet, polis eller annat skydd. Många tackade mig för att jag var i Aleppo vid befrielsen.

– Förstörelsen av Aleppo är värre än jag någonsin trott – efter att ha sett Sarajevo, Mostar och Vukovar. Den stora förstörelsen är från gatustriderna – en mindre del ifrån luften.

– Ingen av dem många jag pratade med hade sett de Vita Hjälmarna. Däremot träffade jag frivilliga från Syriens Röda Halvmåne som var mycket professionella.

– De jag pratade med uttryckte sin glädje över frihet efter fyra års belägring och uttryckte tacksamhet över regeringens och ryssarnas insatser.

Öbergs fotoberättelser
Se också Jan Öbergs fotoserier med bakgrunds- och förklarande text här.

TFF PressInfo och andra artiklar – av vilka många handlar om Syrien – finns på TFF:s blogg här.

Snak om Syrien på en måde der fremmer fred!

En “meta”-kommentar i Arbejderen til den dødfødte måde man diskuterer konflikter på, især Syrien.

Diskursen kommer aldrig frem til at sige noget væsentligt om fred – og den gavner ingen i Syrien, mindst af alt de uskyldige, der lider frygteligt i disse år.

Man kan faktisk snakke om tingene på en anden måde. Se hér!

(Kommentar i Arbejderen, 28. februar 2017).