Over at Josh Landis' Syria Comment, the go-to blog for all things Syrian, there's a rather interesting response by Syrian Ambassador to the US ‘Imad Moustapha to an article on Syria in the November issue of National Geographic. Generally I don't find National Geographic all that tendentious in their reporting, but not usually guilty of hatchet jobs.
After reading both the article and the Ambassador's response (the two links aboce), I have mixed emotions. I havcn't been in Syria in so long that I'm in no position to discuss the Syria of Bashar al-Asad, but it strikes me that some aspects of the article (especially the title, "Shadowland") may be overly loaded, and that the article shifts about halfway through from moderately positive to generally negative. On the other hand, while I take many of the Ambassador's points, some seem a little overdrawn, such as his defense of the proper behavior in Syrian police stations. (Not that Syria is much different then other Middle Eastern countries on that score. I would not want to be taken in to a police station anywhere: the Arab world, Israel, Turkey or Iran all included.)
Mostly, though, I thought it was an interesting exchange; the Ambassador's coming to his country's defense is predictable, but a fight between an Embassy and National Geographic is more unusual. Those who know Syria should read both and judge for themselves.