For the West — tired of trying to understand the Middle East and averse to examining its own dirty hands — sectarianism is a familiar paradigm that can be lazily borrowed from other contexts and imposed on Syria. It permits the apathy needed to watch the disintegration of societies with a shrug, as if the whole mess were inevitable.
via The Syria the World Forgot – NYTimes.com (Emphasis mine)
Pretty enlightening words for people such as myself who opine about democracy and free speech being culturally impossible in the Middle East. Perhaps that reasoning is just an excuse for not truly understanding how things work there. Something to think about.