Despite all the reports of atrocities, news out of Syria can still shock. And not always for the battlefield events; sometimes for the callous, clueless coverage in media like the New York Times.
Numerous outlets have reported that some Christians have been beheaded or crucified, others ejected en masse from ISIS territory. Two Orthodox archbishops have been kidnapped and many believe that one, or both, are already dead (at the hands of rebels with past ties to U.S. agencies). And irreplaceable churches, monasteries, sacred art and libraries have been systematically demolished.
Just as shocking, none of that is in the latest "in depth" on the war in the Times.
The article deals with the ongoing war over Aleppo, Syria's largest city. It mentions the Sunni-linked Al-Qaida and the Shia-linked Hezbollah. It looks at the army of President Bashar al-Assad and Russian air power.
What of the estimated half-million Christians, including 40,000 still in Aleppo? Silence. Everything in the Times story is about strategy and alliances, with religion pushed backstage as if it plays no role in this drama whatsoever.
Granted, the barrel bombs and gas attacks don’t ask about religion. The Times says much about the generalized suffering:
BEIRUT, Lebanon -- The battle for Aleppo -- Syria’s most populous city -- is once again raging, once again trapping hundreds of thousands of civilians, once again rallying fighters seeking an advantage in the five-year-old civil war.