This is a letter I wrote to the editors of Now Lebanon in response to their feature titled "Mapping alliances: Where the Arab states stand on Lebanon and Syria":
However, much to my disappointment, it seems that they do not welcome criticism. So I though I'd share my thoughts here:
In discussing Syria, you mention that 'Since the so-called Cedar Revolution of Spring 2005,... Syrian intelligence operatives are believed to have been responsible for the assassination of as many as eight leading anti-Syrian Lebanese figures.' Your use of the passive voice can be quite misleading to the audience, in a sense that it utters what strikes the uninformed reader as the only theory there is, and as objective, in a sense that it is not contaminated by physicality ('this person' or, better, 'I' think this). I think that a minimum of objectivity needs to be payed ode to by stating that there is another theory stating that these assassinations have been conducted by the Israeli intelligence upon American request.
Mind you, I seriously doubt - then again - that you are the least bit concerned with objectivity if you say '[g]eographically, it [as in Saudi Arabia] might also be considered the father of the moderate Arab axis, extending through the Gulf and across most of North Arica - in contrast to the more confrontational Syrian and Iranian axis.' I do not understand by what virtue it is that you deem Saudi Arabia a moderate country; if by lifestyle and internal policy, it is oppressive, unsecular (to say the least), and undemocratic (again, to say the least). If by foreign policy, it is clearly biased to the American axis, and its system is sustained by the US government. It is terribly dangerous to try to equate the 'American' with the 'moderate' and, worse still, I fear that this is exactly what you know you are doing. This applies to the ease with which you described Egypt and Jordan as 'moderate' as well.
What I am most concerned about, though, is your legend and the way you labelled its two extremities as 'Pro-Syria' and 'Pro-Lebanon'. Again, you are making use of a seemingly objective medium as the map in a propaganda all too obviously biased to what is 14th March and not, mind you, to what you called 'Pro-Lebanon'. The current conflict is one between two parties inside Lebanon (March 8th and March 14th), those in turn representing forces outside of Lebanon (the American axis, imperialist and capitalist, and the Iranian axis, anti-imperialist and unsecular), and is by no virtue a conflict between a single unified entity called 'Lebanon' and another called 'Syria'. Again, it is at best simplistic and at worse hypocritical (as in biased but pretending to be objective) to try to equate the 8th March party (yes, a full-fledged Lebanese party, at least as full-fledged Lebanese as the 14th March party) with any country outside of Lebanon (Syria). Likewise, claiming that the 14th March party represents 'Lebanon' denies the latter from almost half of its population (I do not wish to get into the number game now, that is not the least bit my point) or, put worse, disregards the voice of almost half the Lebanese in what pretends to be a democratic system.