T.A. Frank in The New Republic:
The last few weeks have not been without challenges, but, on the whole, news from the outposts of tyranny is positive. From a successful “clean-up operation” across Zimbabwe to a book fair in Libya, progress has been continual. Despite hostility from without and subversion from within, the outposts of tyranny remain upbeat, with happy, if silent, majorities.
Syria. We begin with Syria, whose news agency, SANA, fronts a report that “Syria, Jordan and Lebanon celebrate Wednesday launching a joint regional project of integral administration of rubbish resulted from olives’ pressing.” It clarifies: “Minister of Environment and Local Administration Hilal al-Atrash underlined that this project aims at offering an integral administration of industrial deflation resulted from olives’ mills in all participating countries, pointing out at the economic significance of producing olives’ oil in Syria.” Experts agree that the report, while incomprehensible, is the first to openly discuss the issue of olives’ role in industrial deflation.
SANA also spotlights the plight of youth in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. The article carries a grim headline: “Syrian Children of Golan are Depraved from Their Simplest Rights.” Whether the depravity is acquired or congenital is not discussed.