The purpose of commentary — whether by journalists or not — is not only to let writers press a point of view but also to stimulate independent thought in readers. The best opinion columns are supported by reporting, facts and cogent arguments and give honest credence to opposing arguments. They are written by men and women with credentials.
Deborah Howell, Washington Post Ombudsman, August 5, 2007, Commentary That Provokes
Then-Ombudsman Deborah Howell wrote the above in reaction to op-eds by by Ahmed Yousef, a senior adviser to Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and by Grand Ayatollah Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah, a Hezbollah supporter--as well as in response to criticism of fashion editor Robin Givhan’s commentary on Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s showing cleavage.
Be that as it may, according to Howell, op-eds back in 2007 technically were supposed to be factual, cogent, balanced and written by people qualified to present the view they are presenting.
Welcome to 2012, where Ali Akbar Salehi, foreign minister of Iran, lays it on thick as The Washington Post gives a soapbox to a supporters of global terrorism:
When the Islamic Awakening — also known as the Arab Spring — began in December 2010, we all saw people rising up to claim their rights. We have witnessed the emergence of civic movements demanding freedom, democracy, dignity and self-determination.Really?
We in Tehran have watched these developments with delight. After all, a civic movement demanding the same things that many Arabs want today is what led to the emergence of our Islamic Republic in 1979. During the past three decades, Iran has consistently underlined that it is the duty of all governments to respect their people’s demands. We have maintained this position as the Islamic Awakening has unfolded, without any lopsided shifts depending on the location of these civic movements. We have been in favor of change to meet people’s demands, whether in Syria or Egypt or anywhere else.
David Blair writes in The Telegraph about an odd juxtaposition of events as Iran hosts a summit on the Syrian crisis – after months of helping Assad shoot protesters in the street.
Ali Akbar Salehi, the Iranian foreign minister, has an op-ed in today’s Washington Post, which might serve as a textbook case of the doublethink that repressive regimes so often exhibit.It's not easy to see just what The Washington Post thought it was proving--or providing its readers by giving an opportunity for Iran to whitewash its image and what it has been doing in Syria.
Salehi, a highly intelligent man who is thought to be a moderating influence in Iran’s corridors of power, makes some extraordinary claims. “When the Islamic Awakening — also known as the Arab Spring — began in December 2010, we all saw people rising up to claim their rights,” writes Salehi. “We have witnessed the emergence of civic movements demanding freedom, democracy, dignity and self-determination. We in Tehran have watched these developments with delight.”
Iran’s leaders had an odd way of showing their delight when ordinary Syrians began marching in vast numbers for freedom and dignity last year. Tehran helped Assad’s security forces to shoot these brave people in the streets. And what about the Iranians who were courageous enough to protest against their country’s rigged election in 2009? Ordinary Iranians can justly claim to have been pioneers of the “Islamic Awakening”. And Salehi’s regime duly wrecked their hopes by locking them up by the thousand. Does he think we have all forgotten?
Regimes like Iran's will always attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of the unsuspecting.
That is no reason for The Washington Post to assist them--or their proxies in terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah.
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