The information war is perhaps the most fiercely fought in the West to gain influence over the Syria narrative, and recently the US/UK coalition media proxies have been failing miserably.
Western public consensus on Syria appears to have shifted dramatically since Aleppo’s liberation in December 2016, which drove a stake through the heart of corporate media misdirection and deception on the Syrian ‘crisis.’ As Syrian civilians haltingly told their tales of misery, imprisonment, execution, rape and murder under terrorist occupation, the corporate media headed for the hills, unwilling to confront the suffering they had effectively prolonged for over four long years.
Now we have a repeat spin cycle in Eastern Ghouta and other eastern suburbs of Damascus that have been occupied by Al-Nusra Front and its affiliates since 2013. Parallels to the distorted propaganda produced in relation to East Aleppo are unmistakable. The usual UN inflation of civilian numbers, the cries of “chemical weapon attacks,” the “starvation” of civilians by the Syrian “regime” and of course the “incessant bombing” of hospitals by Syria and Russia, “targeting exclusively civilians,” are as rampant in Western media as they were during the Syrian-led military campaign against many of the same terrorist factions in East Aleppo.
Western media “hysteria” has reached unprecedented levels, all manner of analogy is being utilized to convey the message of civilians “driven to their knees” under a “brutal onslaught by Syrian armed forces and allies who are hell-bent on slaughtering the Syrian people” – of course nothing could be further from the truth. As in East Aleppo, there is a high probability that many of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) soldiers giving their lives to liberate Eastern Ghouta from the clutches of Al-Nusra Front affiliates have family in those areas. The SAA is the Syrian people, it is an army of conscripts from all walks of Syrian life. It is not some disembodied Assad-loyalist entity, despite what that Western media would have you believe. It is from the people and it is for the people, it is most certainly not deliberately targeting the people who are being used as human shields by the extremist factions.
The reality is that the huge majority of the estimated 6 million Syrian civilians in central Damascus City will be rooting for the SAA, the Syrian government and its allies in their efforts to finally end the siege of Eastern Ghouta and surrounding districts. A siege that has been wholly imposed by the Western-sponsored extremist groups such as Jaysh al-Islam, Al-Nusra Front, Failaq al-Rahman and Ahrar al-Sham. Those same terrorist factions have murdered 867 Damascene civilians and injured 1,356 more since 2016, according to Fares Shehabi, head of Aleppo’s Chamber of Commerce. The daily mortar fire from the terrorist factions into densely populated residential areas of Damascus Old City is random and deadly, but it is rarely mentioned by the Western media in their efforts to obfuscate the crimes of NATO-member-state-sanctioned terrorists.
The din of propaganda drowns out all voices of reason and logic that dictate an entirely different narrative to the one being universally presented to us by colonial media in the West. There is one voice that rises above all others in the US coalition neocolonialist circles – that of the US/UK/EU, Qatar-financed-and-equipped propaganda construct, the White Helmets.
In the last few weeks, we have seen a blizzard of White Helmet images and pseudo humanitarian testimonies all engineered to elicit sympathy and to ensure UN Security Council protection of the “rebel” factions. These reports are devoid of any context or rational evidence, but as usual they are picked up and run with by the copy-paste media in their eagerness to fulfil the geostrategic dreams of the US coalition hegemons.
UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, a long-term advocate of the “Britain must do something” foreign policy in Syria, has recently met with representatives of the ‘Syria Civil Defence,’ a moniker stolen by the White Helmets from the REAL Syria Civil Defence, established in Syria in 1953 and deliberately “disappeared” from the Western narrative. Rarely have we seen such an above-ground connection between the UK Foreign Office and its intelligence assets in situ during one of its faux “humanitarian war” campaigns.
Then we were presented with a truly breathtaking performance by Heather Nauert of the US State Department on February 22, just two days after Johnson had met with White Helmet reps in the UK. As Nauert informs us, she broke with State Department protocol to “shine a spotlight” not only on the “humanitarian crisis” in Eastern Ghouta but on the Oscar-nominated White Helmet promotional movie, ‘Last Men in Aleppo’ (LMIA).
This was a performance reminiscent of CNN anchor Kate Bolduan’s tearful rendition of the Omran Daqneesh story in August 2016 that brought the media-packaged “face of Aleppo’s suffering” to TV screens around the world. Subsequently, the CNN ‘Omran’ story was proven to be largely “fake news” in 2017.
Nauert also gives the impression of fighting back emotion as she makes her theatrical appeal to the bemused media audience. She begs the “passionate media megaphones” to direct their attention to the “selfish – I mean selfless” White Helmets and their “saving of those buried under rubble” in Syria. Nauert refers to ‘Last Men in Aleppo’ as if it were the unadulterated truth of life in Aleppo under Nusra Front-led occupation, while in reality LMIA never refers to the brutal Al-Nusra Front-led occupation of East Aleppo.
We could be forgiven for thinking that perhaps she is beseeching the media to lobby for LMIA to be awarded the Oscar in 2018, the Netflix White Helmet ‘documentary’ already won it in 2017. Perhaps that might protect the suspected White Helmet global franchise and ensure its success in future interventionist projects?
The UK and US administrations are ramming their primary propaganda asset in Syria down the throats of the compromised media because they are losing the information war on all fronts. For some time, the “spotlight” has been shining upon US coalition sponsorship of terrorism in Syria, with an emphasis on Eastern Ghouta right now. Nauert tells us that people have been asking “what is the US doing” to end the crisis in Syria, Nauert’s response is to divert attention to the White Helmets and their skewed, Al-Nusra Front-free version of events in Aleppo, Ghouta and Idlib. Unfortunately for Nauert, Johnson and their captive media, the public spotlight is on them and it’s unlikely to be shifting its glare in another direction any time soon.
What should the US (and its UK/EU accomplices) do to end the humanitarian crisis in Syria? It should stop arming, financing and promoting its terrorist proxies and their White Helmet auxiliaries. It should lift economic sanctions and it should get out of Syria, ending its illegal occupation of Syrian territory.
By Vanessa Beeley