from Foreign Affairs

An overwhelming majority of those we surveyed—close to 90 percent—embraced the idea of returning to Syria when the war is over. These interviews thus provide a rare glimpse into the views of those who consider themselves part of the country’s future

This is curious.

This glimpse isn’t rare — nor is it really a glimpse. There are millions of Syrian refugees around the world and any one of them will tell you they want to go back as soon as is possible.

I can’t say why people use language like this. I can speculate it is because they feel it is necessary for the readership to swallow the conclusion or to justify the breadth of their investigation (if they hadn’t discovered something surprising ((which they didn’t)), would it have been worth surveying so many people?). It is written a bit like clickbait… they discovered something secret or hidden.

I don’t  understand why this is always framed as surprising or counterintuitive. Syrians want to go back to Syria because they are Syrians. The desire to return and settle/resettle in their own country should be the assumption, but in the marketplace of ideas this has to be continually re-established.

I feel this whole article is incredibly repetitious of what is known but bills it as discovered or novel. I don’t know what to make of it.

only 0.5 percent of people said they supported Assad.

We also already knew this.

2 thoughts on “from Foreign Affairs

  1. Because the main audience for that publication is US foreign policy elites, and secondarily US opinion-makers, and because the fear of the vast majority of US-ians is that if we let in Syrian refugees, they will never go home. It’s supposed to be a data point in the argument “let’s let them in, they are going to return anyway.” Note also that the survey was conducted a year ago when it would have been reasonable to assume that Hilary Clinton would become president of the US. It would have served as a plank in the argument that the process for letting Syrians into the US should be eased.

    Liked by 1 person

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