People in some parts of the world are not accustomed to the truth and do not expect to get it. The condition of their lives reflects as much.
A Syrian pundit once told me about a proverb which I found dubious but nonetheless appropriate to events in the Middle East.
"There is nothing more beautiful than a well-constructed lie," he said.
Certainly the truth is an elusive commodity in the region. In my own experience as a correspondent there in the 1970s and 1980s, my colleagues and I thought it simply didn't exist.
The Palestinians, Lebanese, Syrians, Jordanians, Egyptians and Iraqis seemed capable of the grossest distortions of events.