In a previous post, I highlighted how, after the chaos of Iraq and Libya, the mass media began softening the public up for another illegal military intervention in another sovereign state – this time in Syria. Rupert Murdoch, who has a direct financial interest in regime change in Syria (see Israel & energy independence below) oversaw some of the more overt forms of anti-Syrian propaganda as the following two graphics show:
In propaganda terms, as significant as the image last September of the dead Syrian boy pictured lying face down on a Turkish beach was to the hawks in Whitehall and Washington, a false media narrative against the government of President Bashar al-Assad emerged some four and a half years earlier. The Syrian-Jordanian border town of Daraa on March 17, 2011 was where the initial outbreak of violence began.
The media falsely portrayed the violence as a popular uprising against Assad that was subsequently brutally suppressed by government forces as if it was a continuation of the revolutions that had spread throughout vast swathes of the Arab world in the months that preceded it. However, the number of policemen killed (seven) was more than the number of demonstrators killed (four). This is hardly indicative of the brutal actions of a government intent on suppressing its own people.
In May, 2011, Michel Chossudovsky, Professor of Economics at the University of Ottawa, noted that the initial outbreaks of violence:
“had all the appearances of a staged event involving, in all likelihood, covert support to Islamic terrorists by Mossad and/or Western intelligence. Government sources point to the role of radical Salafist groups (supported by Israel). Other reports have pointed to the role of Saudi Arabia in financing the protest movement.”
Jeremy Salt, associate professor in Middle Eastern History and Politics at Bilkent University, Ankara, wrote:
“The armed groups are well armed and well organised. Large shipments of weapons have been smuggled into Syria from Lebanon and Turkey. They include pump action shotguns, machine guns, Kalashnikovs, RPG launchers, Israeli-made hand grenades and numerous other explosives. It is not clear who is providing these weapons but someone is, and someone is paying for them.”
As the analysis above makes clear, the Western mainstream media narrative does not stand up to a moments scrutiny. Also lacking credibility is the claim that Western bombing raids into Syria are motivated by the need to destroy ISIS. These kinds of qualifications have been absent throughout the mainstream media. Instead, all evidence that contradicts the pro-Western media narrative is ignored and shunned.
Twelve days after the Western fomented violence at Daraa, tens of thousands of Syrians gathered at central bank square in Damascus in support of their president. This pro-government rally, which can be viewed here was, however, wrongly portrayed in the Western media as an anti-government demonstration. The Guardian, for instance, reported Assad as having engaged in a “military crackdown against civilians”. This kind of misinformation prompted Russia and China to veto a European-backed UN security council resolution threatening sanctions against the Syrian regime “if it did not immediately halt its military crackdown against civilians”.
Regime change/Ghouta & Houla
As members of the US Peace Council infer, the key motivations underpinning the foreign policy objectives of Washington and its allies in relation to Syria, have nothing to do with protecting civilians, nor with democracy. Rather, the aim is to create sectarian divisions, ethnic strife and thus political instability as the prelude to initiating regime change in the country. As the former French Foreign Minister Roland Dumas confirmed in 2013, Britain had been planning the war on Syria “two years before the Arab spring” that was to involve the organizing of an invasion of rebels into the country. “This operation goes way back. It was prepared, preconceived and planned”, he said.
No surprise, then, that much of UK journalism had decided that the Wests current official enemy was responsible for the chemical attacks in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta in the year Dumas made his announcement. On September 16, 2013, the UN published the evidence in its report on “the alleged use of chemical weapons in the Ghouta area”. The UN did not blame the Syrian president, Assad, for the attack, but rather, expressed “grave doubts”, despite pre-emptied media claims to the contrary. Just one day after the attacks, for example, a Guardian leader claimed there was not “much doubt” who was to blame, as it simultaneously assailed its readers with commentary on the West’s “responsibility to protect” (see below). The media’s response to the May 2012 massacre in Houla, similarly reported the Assad government as having been mainly responsible for the deaths.
On June 27, 2012, a UN Commission of Inquiry delivered its report on the Houla massacre by concluding that they were unable to determine the identity of the perpetrators. However, the gruesome nature of many of the deaths pointed to the kinds of atrocities typical of Al Qaida and their affiliates in the Anbar province of Iraq. Nevertheless, the clear intention of the media was to attempt to cast Syria into the ‘civil war’ of the Wests making. The propaganda offensive continued two months later when Barack Obama announced his “red line.”
Right on cue, in April, 2013, the White House claimed that US intelligence assessed “with varying degrees of confidence” that “the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons on a small scale in Syria, specifically the chemical agent sarin”. This was flatly contradicted by former Swiss attorney-general Carla Del Ponte on May 6, 2013. Speaking for the United Nations independent commission of inquiry on Syria, Del Ponte said, “We have no indication at all that the Syrian government have used chemical weapons.”
September 16, 2013 UN report
Seemingly undeterred, Washington continued with the accusations following the chemical attacks in Ghouta over three months later, long before the UN published the conclusions in its September 16, 2013 report. The reports conclusions were cautious in terms of blaming the Assad regime for the attack. Nevertheless, as far as the U.S administration was concerned, Assad had crossed the ‘red line’ and was pronounced ‘guilty’. As a result, the U.S president announced on television that he was going to respond with a ‘targeted’ military strike on Syria, despite the widespread global public opposition to any such attack.
In response to this public opposition to mission creep and war, the BBC produced the now infamous documentary, Saving Syria’s Children, arguably the most overt propaganda piece of any British broadcaster ever made. Sequences from the documentary were initially broadcast on the BBCs News at Ten flagship bulletin. The subsequent documentary programme was broadcast in full on the day the House of Commons were due to vote for military action in Syria and was clearly intended to influence the vote which the Cameron government ultimately lost. Robert Stuart’s brilliant and meticulous analytical demolition of the documentary can be viewed here.
Qatari government report
Yet another cynical piece of anti-Assad propaganda that passed the chattering media class by, was the BBCs distorted interpretation of a report commissioned by the Qatari government which claimed that the Syrian government had “systematically tortured and executed about 11,000 detainees since the start of the uprising”. Former UK diplomat to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, described the BBCs presentation of the report as “a disgrace” that again, was clearly intended to influence public opinion in favour of war. The media war-drive was averted after Obama agreed to a Russian proposal at the UN to dismantle Syria’s capability for making chemical weapons after having been exposed for his deceptions.
Based on interviews with US intelligence and military insiders, Seymour Hersh, the journalist who revealed the role the United States played in the My Lai massacre in Vietnam, was unequivocal in his assertion that Obama deceived the world in making a cynical case for war. This assertion was supported in April, 2016, by former CIA analyst, Ray McGovern, who argued that the Turkish government, at the behest of Washington, engineered the chemical attacks in Ghouta in order to draw the United States into Syria. McGovern stressed that one of the Turkish journalists who exposed Turkey’s involvement in the alleged false flag attack has (as part of president Erdogan’s crackdown on independent journalism), been imprisoned and charged with treason.
Arms company profits
The prospect of a lengthy war against Syria provides a boost to the profits of the arms and weapons companies while simultaneously reining in Russian and Iranian influence in the region. As Craig Murray argued, “the West don’t really want democracy in Syria, they just want a less pro-Russian leader of the power structures.” But this aim cannot be achieved without the aid of ISIS on the ground who have gained access to weapons allegedly exported by the UK to the Middle East in the wake of the 2003 US-led Iraq invasion.
However, gaining access to weapons is not possible without access to money to purchase them. It is now generally accepted that the main source of ISIS funds is from the sale of oil from nearly a dozen oil fields in northern Iraq and Syria’s Raqqa province. It then passes through Turkey and Iraq’s Kurdistan region. In September 2014, in a briefing to the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee, EU Ambassador to Iraq, Jana Hybaskova, conceded that some European countries have purchased crude from ISIS from the areas in northern Iraq and Syria they have captured. This is all part of the West’s strategy to wreck the relatively secular and stable nature of Syrian civic society.
Black market oil/Arab allies funding ISIS
In 2012, a Pentagon document obtained by Judicial Watch spelled out the fact that the Wests supported terrorist opposition “are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria.” Two years later, David Cohen, US Treasury under-secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, claimed that middlemen from Turkey and Iraq’s Kurdistan region buy black market oil from ISIS that earns the terror group some $1 million a day.
If Western governments were serious about obliterating the existential threat they claim ISIS represents, they would not be aligning themselves with 70,000 unidentified ‘moderates’ who, as Patrick Cockburn contends “are weak or barely exist”. On the contrary, they would be aligning themselves with the forces on the ground that are resisting ISIS most effectively. These groups are the Syrian Kurds, the Syrian National Army, Hezzbollah and Iran – all of whom were, and to some extent still are, being backed by Russian air power.
Nafeez Ahmed notes that in his testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee in September 2014, General Martin Dempsey, then chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, was asked by Senator Lindsay Graham whether he knew of “any major Arab ally that embraces ISIL”? Dempsey replied: “I know major Arab allies who fund them.” In other words, the most senior US military official at the time had confirmed that ISIS were being funded by the very same “major Arab allies” that had just joined the US-led anti-ISIS coalition. Dempsey’s testimony is consistent with information contained within a leaked US State Department memo, dated 17 August 2014, which states that:
“We need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to Isis and other radical groups in the region.”
The ‘Responsibility to Protect’ Doctrine
The following year (September 28, 2015), in a speech to the U.N General Assembly in New York, President Obama alluded to the ‘responsibility to protect’ (R2P) doctrine as the justification for Assad’s overthrow and, in the name of democracy, the bombing of the Syrian people to death. Earlier that day at the Labour Party Conference in Brighton, the neocon fanatic, Hilary Benn, was more explicit by actually citing the R2P doctrine by name as the justification to attack Syria.
Formulated at the 2005 UN World Summit, the version of R2P currently in vogue and proposed by the [Gareth] Evans Commission, authorises “regional or sub-regional organisations” such as NATO to determine their “area of jurisdiction” and to act in cases where “the Security Council rejects a proposal or fails to deal with it in a reasonable time”.
Often described as an “emerging norm” in international affairs, but in reality has “been considered a norm as far back as we want to go”, R2P has – with the accompaniment of lofty rhetoric about the solemn responsibility to protect suffering populations – been used to illegally overthrow a series of sovereign states, most recently in Libya. The version of the R2P doctrine formulated at the UN World Summit will almost certainly be used to justify the illegal dismembering of Syria.
From the Iraq debacle onward, there has been an attempt by the Western powers to circumvent the consensus view of what constitutes illegality among the world’s leading international lawyers. The individual who has been instrumental in the interpretative reconfiguration of international law for the benefit of Western interests, is the international lawyer, Daniel Bethlehem.
The Caroline Principle
Bethlehem had represented Israel before the Mitchell Inquiry into violence against the people of Gaza, arguing that it was all legitimate self-defense. He had also supplied the Government of Israel with a Legal Opinion that the vast Wall they were building in illegally occupied land, surrounding and isolating all the major Palestinian communities and turning them into large prisons, was also legal. Daniel Bethlehem is an extreme Zionist militarist of the most aggressive kind, and close to Mark Regev, Israel’s new Ambassador to the UK.
In contrast to the consensus view of the world’s leading international lawyers, Daniel Bethlehem’s marginal and extremist position is outlined in a memorandum where he ‘develops’ the Caroline Principle. It is this legal conceptual re-evaluation of international law that has come to dominate Western political discourse. A key part of the memorandum states:
“It must be right that states are able to act in self-defence in circumstances where there is evidence of further imminent attacks by terrorist groups, even if there is no specific evidence of where such an attack will take place or of the precise nature of the attack.”
It is this minority extremist legal ‘opinion’ that formed the basis for the Iraq invasion predicated on the Bush Doctrine – as one administration official put it – of “pre-emptive retaliation.” It will almost certainly be this ‘opinion’ that the Western powers will turn to in order to justify illegal regime change in Syria in the coming period.
Israel & energy independence
Daniel Bethlehem’s development of the Caroline Principle, therefore, will almost certainly play a part in the broader strategy to dismember Syria – one that has hardly been mentioned within the mainstream – that involves Israel. The Jewish state has granted oil exploration rights inside Syria, in the occupied Golan Heights, to the multinational corporation, Genie Energy.
Major shareholders of the company – which also has interests in shale gas in the United States and shale oil in Israel – include Rupert Murdoch and Lord Jacob Rothschild. Other players involved include the Israeli subsidiary, Afek Oil and Gas, American Shale, French Total and BP. Thus, there exists a broad and powerful nexus of US, British, French and Israeli interests at the forefront of pushing for the break-up of Syria and the control of what is believed to be potentially vast untapped oil and gas resources in the country.
Against this are the competing agendas of the various belligerent gas-exporting foreign factions, that according to Orstein and Romer, have interests in one of the two gas pipeline projects that seek to cross Syrian territory to deliver either Qatari or Iranian gas to Europe. As Orenstein explained:
“In 2009, Qatar proposed to build a pipeline to send its gas northwest via Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Syria to Turkey… However, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad refused to sign the plan; Russia, which did not want to see its position in European gas markets undermined, put him under intense pressure not to”.
Russia’s Gazprom sells 80 per cent of its gas to Europe. So in 2010, Russia put its weight behind “an alternative Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline that would pump Iranian gas from the same field out via Syrian ports such as Latakia and under the Mediterranean.” The project would allow Moscow “to control gas imports to Europe from Iran, the Caspian Sea region, and Central Asia.”
Up to this point, US policy toward Assad had been ambivalent – the intention being that “jaw-jaw” rather than “war-war” would more likely pry him away from Iran, thus opening up the Syrian economy to US investors, and aligning the Assad government with US-Israeli regional designs. But the signing in July, 2011, of a $10 billion Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline deal put an end to the U.S ‘softly-softly’ approach.
The rebel-terrorist factions whose violence had been fomented by the Western imperial axis at Daraa in March 2011 had, by the end of that year, seen their levels of covert assistance increase substantially. The purpose of this increase in support, is to elicit the “collapse” of the Assad government. This kind of ‘war of attrition’strategy of supporting Islamist terrorists, is intended to draw Russia into Syria in the same way the Carter government in 1979 had supported the mujahideen in Afghanistan in order to draw the Soviet Union, as it was then, into that country as the prelude to its collapse.
Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, major defense contractors Raytheon, Oshkosh, and Lockheed Martin assured investors that they stand to gain from the escalating conflicts in the Middle East. Lockheed Martin Executive Vice President Bruce Tanner said his company will see “indirect benefits” from the war in Syria. In addition, a deal that authorized $607 billion in defense spending brokered by the U.S Congress, was described as a “treat” for the industry. What better way to benefit from this ‘treat’ than for the major powers to secure the hydrocarbon potential of Syria’s offshore resources with the aim of reducing European dependence on Russian gas and boosting the potential for energy independence.
None of this would be possible without one of the most concerted media propaganda offensives since the Iraq invasion. At the forefront of this offensive is the Murdoch printed press which is pushing hard for war for the reasons outlined, with the rest of the pack not far behind. According to the Pew Research Journalism Project, “the No. 1 message” on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News and Al Jazeera, is that “the U.S. should get involved in the conflict in Syria”. But involvement requires a semblance of public consent and this is often achieved as the result of a singularly defining propaganda image or event.
In terms of the first Gulf conflict, for example, the event in question was the infamous nurse Nayirah affair. In relation to the 2003 Iraq invasion, it was the WMD debacle. Arguably, in the case of Syria, it would appear it will either be the deadly attack on the aid convoy in northern Syria, or possibly the image of the small boy, Omran Daqneesh, photographed sitting on a chair that will be the deciding factor in getting the public ‘onside’. Irrespective of which of the two – if either – it will prove to be, the propaganda thus far has been all-pervasive, even down to the media’s use of the term “barrel bombs” when describing Assad’s alleged use of airborne weaponry.
The latest propaganda offensive is the mainstream media’s uncritical reports of the role played in Syria by Channel 4 News and BBC Newsnight’s favourite openly anti-Assad spokesman for the ‘independent‘ and ‘humanitarian’ group, White Helmets, Ishmael Alabdullah. The October 4 edition of Channel 4 News which focused a large segment of its programme to events in Syria – and included an interview with Alabdullah- was among the most biased and distorted pieces of reportage ever seen on British television, amounting to blatant UK-US government propaganda.
Reporter Krishnan Guru-Murthy, for example, described a rebel (terrorist) “victory” in east Aleppo as “rebels fighting back against the forces of President Assad”. Guru-Murthy reported the battle from the narrow perspective of the terrorists and it was clear from his general tone to whom he intended the viewers sympathies to be aligned with. Guru-Murthy’s embedded report also failed to mention that – as evidenced by White Helmets logo clearly displayed on a jacket of one of the terrorists – that the self-proclaimed ‘humanitarians’ are inculcated with Salafist beheaders.
In other words, Guru-Murthy failed to inform his viewers that the “moderate rebels” he was describing were in fact Harakat al-Nour al-Zenki, one of 22 brigades that operate in and around Aleppo that comprise one of many U.S. State Department-funded terrorist fighters.
Finally, the Channel 4 reporter omitted to mention that a video had surfaced shortly before the broadcast of the report in which Harakat al-Nour al-Zenki members were shown abusing and beheading a child, Abdullah Issa, from a Palestinian refugee camp in northern Aleppo. Compare and contrast the lack of media coverage of this repugnant act, to the saturated coverage given to the small boy, Omran Daqneesh, photographed sitting upright on a chair after having allegedly been rescued from the rubble of Aleppo which brought a CNN newscaster to tears.
The impression of “heroic” “rebels” retaliating against a ruthless and barbaric “regime” (the official enemy) in which only a select few “bad guys” do bad things to children, is a narrative that’s an inversion of reality familiar to anybody who has observed reportage from other conflict zones where Western imperialism is the core motive. The Channel 4 News bulletin, and others like the CNN coverage above, are full of such distorted reporting.
“The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie – deliberate, contrived and dishonest – but the myth – persistent, persuasive and unrealistic.” John F. Kennedy.
At the time of writing (November 30, 2016), the Western and Gulf-state backed head-chopping Salafist terrorist “rebels” are being trounced by joint Kurdish-Syrian government forces who have liberated vast swaths of territory in east Aleppo including the Sakhour, Haydariya and Sheikh Fares neighbourhoods.
In the wake of the liberation, which BBC Newsnight’s Mark Urban described as a scenario in which “things are stacking up against the armed opposition groups (terrorists)”, at least 120 British MPs backed a petition calling for the UK Government to carry out “life-saving aid drops” over eastern Aleppo. Among those demanding what is code for the implementation of a no fly zone, are numerous senior Conservative MPs as well as Labour’s Emily Thornberry, the latter having cited the terrorist-enablers, White Helmets, as the justification for advocating this course of action.
On the November 28 edition of Sky News, journalist Sam Kiley described the re-capture of a third of east Aleppo, not as a liberation but a “so-called liberation”, before stating that those liberated “fled into the arms of their tormentors – the Syrian regime”. Kiley’s source for this information was the person who claims to speak and tweet on behalf of JK Rowling’s favourite anti-Assad propagandist, Bana Alabed, whose “unknown neighbourhood” allegedly came under “heavy bombardment” whilst she was live on air, and whose numerous tweets to the Zionist author are well documented.
The narrative of Syrian government forces “tormenting” the civilians they are liberating is a common one (see below). A similar inversion of truth was the subject of an earlier BBC Radio 4 broadcast in which the Syrian army were reported as having “recaptured key areas of rebel held east Aleppo.” The report continued, “Thousands of civilians have been forced to flee as besieged parts of the city came under intense attack by government troops.”
However, as the caption below by John Delacour points out, the change of emphasizes gives new meaning to the unfolding of events. Rather than civilians being “forced” to “flee” east Aleppo due to this part of the city being “beseiged” by government troops, the reality is that thousands of civilians have been “able” to “escape to relative safety”, as evidenced by the liberation by the Syrian forces of 18,000 civilians from the terrorists who imprisoned them. The BBC are therefore attempting to dupe the public into believing that Assad’s liberators, as opposed to Western-backed mercenary invaders, are the terrorists:
This false, inverted, narrative has been repeated throughout the BBCs coverage of Aleppo. For example, this is how a BBC headline reported the liberation of the Syrian people from the terrorists:
The perpetuation of this inversion of reality, was also clearly the intention of the liberal-left’s favourite ‘pinko’ journalist, Jon Snow. In his attempt to confuse and disorientate the viewing public, Snow “interviewed” Aleppo MP, Fares Shehabi on the November 30 edition of Channel 4 News. Describing Shehabi as a “regime MP” in the introduction, Snow proceeded to announce to his viewers with apparent authority and certainty, that Syrian and Russian government forces were responsible for “bombing civilians from the air with barrel bombs” (propaganda trigger phrase) as they attempted to flee to safety.
Snow’s evidence for this was that the Al-Qaida-Al-Nusra Front propagandists the White Helmets, who are embedded in terrorist-held eastern Aleppo, told Channel 4 News this was the case. Snow also claimed, definitively, that the Syrian civilian population “do not wish to live under Mr Assad, they do not wish to live under your [Assad’s] regime (propaganda trigger term).” Shehabi responded to Snow’s unfounded claims by stating that Syria is not a regime “but a legitimate government fighting international terrorism.”
For a population that supposedly doesn’t want to live under a president who Snow claimed was responsible for bombing them, the reaction among the 18,000 civilians who have thus far been liberated from terrorist controlled areas, as exemplified by the video clip below, belies that claim. The State Department Spokesman who is filmed smirking as he blatantly lies about the situation in Aleppo as the video switches back and forth between his lies and the reaction of the people escaping eastern Aleppo, is being deliberately censored by the mainstream media, because any broadcasting of it, would immediately bring the false propaganda perpetuated by the likes of Snow crashing down in flames:
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness. Many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.” Mark Twain.
A much needed corrective to the kinds of false propaganda highlighted above which includes the notion that the Syrian state is being run by an illegitimate “regime” as opposed to a legitimate “government”, was provided by members of the US Peace Council (USPC), a delegation of U.S citizens who had travelled throughout Syria during the summer on a fact finding mission. The delegation, who paid their own way and were allowed to meet whomever they wanted, spent six days meeting with Syrian Government Officials including, President Assad, Union Leaders, Government Opposition Members as well as Civil & Business Leaders, NGO’s, Charities and Universities.
Mark Twain’s famous aphorism, “What gets us into trouble, is that we think we know for sure, that just ain’t so”, might well be applied to journalists like Jon Snow. “What they think they know, just ain’t so”, claimed USPC delegate, Joe Jamison. “Our delegation came to Syria with political views and assumptions, but we were determined to be sceptics and to follow the facts wherever they led us”, he said. “I concluded that the motive of the US war is to destroy an independent, Arab, secular state. It’s the last of this kind of state standing.”
Jamison continued, “By contrast to the medieval Wahhabist ideology, Syria promotes a socially inclusive and pluralistic form of Islam. We met these people. They are humane and democratically minded…. “The [Syrian] government is popular and recognized as being legitimate by the UN”, said Jamison. “It contests and wins elections which are monitored. There’s a parliament which contains opposition parties – we met them. There is a significant non-violent opposition which is trying to work constructively for its own social vision.”
Countering the claim that what is happening in Syria is a civil war, (another propaganda trigger phrase alongside Assad’s alleged bombing of hospitals and his use of ‘barrel bombs’) USPC delegate, Madeleyn Hoffman exclaimed, “It’s not Assad against his own people. It is President Assad and the Syrian people all together – in unity – against outside mercenary forces and terror organisations supported by Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United States, and underneath it, the state of Israel” Hoffman added,…”Assad has the support of 23 million of his people. The American people also need to know that the Assad government provides free health care to all of its citizens as well as free education.”
Apparently ignorant of these facts, a snarling Snow looked on incredulously, and without pausing for a moments breath, continued at the 02.43 mark, with his wild, unsubstantiated allegations: “Your own constituents, your own friends, have been killed by the government, flying planes, dropping barrel bombs”, exclaimed Snow to an incredulous-looking Shehabi. Snow was clearly oblivious to the fact that many of his audience understand that the source of these claims come from head-chopping terrorist enablers and other anti-Assad propagandists and, moreover, that it’s the Syrian government that is attempting to do its best, under very difficult circumstances, to defend its citizens from the mercenary forces and terror organisations outlined by Madeleyn Hoffman above.
It’s inconceivable that somebody like Snow would direct a similar line of aggressive questioning to, say, a French parliamentarian for speaking out against the terrorist threat of ISIS in his midst on the streets of Paris. But this precisely the approach Snow undertook in relation to Mr Shehabi. It is also clear, that as an embedded journalist, it’s inconceivable that Snow would entertain the possibly that the terrorists and Western-backed mercenaries might be responsible for the chaos. The Chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, Lieutenant, Sergei Rudskoy, stated at a recent media briefing:
“According to eyewitnesses, terrorists have been putting mines in schools, hospitals and mosques. Videos demonstrating destroyed buildings from explosives have been transferred to the western rights defenders under the guise of sequences of strikes made by the Syrian aviation and artillery.”
Seemingly undeterred, Snow continued to repeat the same soundbites to Shehabi as though the public at home watching needed to be reminded of the false propaganda one more time:
“You are the MP for Aleppo”, blurted Snow. “Your own constituents are dying from your own air force, and you don’t do anything about it. You don’t seem to care a damn about your own constituents”, he continued. Looking and sounding increasingly exasperated with Snow’s blatant one-sided line of aggressive questioning and baseless assertions, Shehabi, responded angrily: “Listen, this is absolutely false”, he retorted. “Our own civilians were being taken hostage, in the largest hostage-taking situation in the world by terrorists on the UN terrorist list.”, he exclaimed.
At this point Snow interrupted Shehabi while in full flow, clearly realizing that such utterances of truth that have the potential of swaying public opinion towards the Syrian government position, cannot be tolerated by a British mainstream broadcaster. So Snow shifted the discussion towards another propaganda ‘trigger point’ – Aleppo hospitals. Apparently oblivious to the fact that the mainstream printed media have reported Russia’s alleged bombing of hospitals in eastern Aleppo on at least twenty separate occasions since 10 June, 2016,and that these hospitals have been turned into terrorist command centres and sniper towers, Snow snapped back at Shehabi, “Why do you bomb the hospitals in which your own constituents, your own civilians, are seeking aid to help them repair their wounds that your air force has inflicted?”, he remarked.
In response to Snow’s subsequent independently unverified claim that on November 30, “45 Syrian civilians had been killed by barrel bombs”, an increasingly frustrated Shehabi was clearly aware that he had been set up, effectively accusing Snow of being an apologist for the head-chopping Salafist terrorists: “Look, if you are going to legitimize and beautify the existence of terrorist activity inside my city, you will not get any approval from me or any citizen in Aleppo”, Shehabi said.
It clearly hadn’t occurred to Snow that the rational explanation was that civilians were far more likely to have been killed by terrorists as they approached the safe haven corridor controlled by the Syrian army, than they were by Syrian “barrel bombs”. The BBC Radio 4s ‘The World at One’ also claimed that the Syrian government killed people they were intent on liberating:
If any doubts remained that Snow was attempting to legitimize and apologize for, the terrorists in order to contribute to the broader Western goal of regime change, then his final remarks appeared to end all speculation. Quoting a letter dated November 29, 2016 by journalist, Waad Al-Khateab, who is inculcated with Amnesty International, reads like a contrived “suicide note”. Snow implied that Al-Kateab’s life was under threat, not by terrorists, but by Syrian government forces. Uttered in a doom-laden and solemn tone, Snow announced to his viewers the apparent danger Al-Kateab faced as if it was a requiem: “Tonight we heard Syrian army troops are closing in on the area of the city [Aleppo] where Waad lives”, he said.
Is Al-Kateab’s account part of another elaborate media hoax? Given the dubious history of Amnesty International, and noticing an Al-Qaida flag pictured on Al-Kateab’s Twitter page account (centre-left, ground), it seems highly likely. Here’s the picture blown up with the black Al-Qaida flag clearly visible:
Meanwhile on the November 28 edition of the BBCs Newsnight programme, presenter, Evan Davis, “interviewed” the source for much media information gathering, the terrorist-enabler and propagandist, White Helmet, Ishmael Alabdullah (see above) at some length. Alabdullah, who has made frequent appearances on Channel 4 News, and had been “interviewed” by Davis two months previously, claimed that the situation for the people in east Aleppo had got worse during that time, not as a result of the terrorists, but by Assad’s forces who he claimed “are massacring us and will continue to massacre us as long as the West fail to intervene.” The unsubstantiated and illogical claim that Syrian forces massacre those who rush into the arms of their liberators in the Assad-controlled west of the city, went unchallenged by Davis.
The propaganda, of course, is not restricted to the broadcast media, but extends to the liberal-left broadsheets. Media Lens, for example, on Twitter, described a recent Guardian editorial view as “Full-on propaganda, no balance. Srebrenica, Grozny, even Guernica”. And Mu Laii, Fallujah, Tawegha, Sirte, etc?”
The many subtle, and no so subtle, examples of media propaganda described, as well as the numerous illustrations of censorship by omission, highlight the systematic corruption at the heart of the elite media and political establishment, and their consolidated attempts at securing yet another middle east resource grab. As Mark Doran on Twitter put it:
By Daniel Margrain
Source: Culture and Politics