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?

3 responses to “Aljazeera’s explanation of Syria and its commenting policy

  1. Agreed on the far too rare efforts at getting to the real root causes of wars, by identifying, acknowledging and accounting for those factors, the absence of which means chances for good resolutions become severely diminished. Such a state of affairs is like trying to diagnose and treat a complex illness without running a thorough battery of tests.

    Wars persist as long as people are unaware of spiritual truth – that all people, all life and all things are sacred, and that oneness is this world’s ultimate reality.

  2. Troels Schmidt

    Dear Jan,
    I love your comments on conflicts and peace,
    especially versus media violence reporting.
    Keep up your great work,
    Troels Schmidt.
    I´m responding to your email sent to my wife

  3. Dear Troels – many many thanks for your kind comment. I’ve put your address on the list for TFF PressInfo – so you’ll get our analyses too.
    My best – Jan

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