The Western press has dutifully — and uncritically — repeated harrowing tales of the Syrian government’s “siege of Homs” — the 4,000 government forces randomly shelling the city, the snipers everywhere killing anyone on the streets, even the troops’ digging trenches to prevent the people from escaping the mass slaughter of the innocents. The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, whose information is dependent on reports from their allied rebel contacts inside Syria (as was the case with the myriad Libyan “human rights groups” operating in the UK, US, and Switzerland), has peppered its website with lurid tales of death and destruction in Homs, calling it a “Bloody Christmas” Sunday. The Syrian Observatory claimed that 34 were slaughtered in Homs on Monday alone. The New York Times reported that the Arab League monitors were urged to speed to Homs before the destruction of that city was complete.
But somebody did not get the memo.
Upon arrival and inspection of Homs, the Arab League monitors reported seeing “nothing frightening” in the city of Homs — supposedly the focal point in the uprising against the Assad government. They were “reassured” by what they saw. Surely the thousands of tanks, the death moat, the random mortaring of the city by government forces, the near total destruction, would have been visible to the observers.
The reaction was prompt and severe. The rebels screamed “foul,” as they fully expected the monitors to take the script and run with it. Caught in what appears to be another big lie to gain foreign military support for regime change, the rebel groups and their allies in London doubled down:
“Basma Kodmani, a spokesperson for the Syrian National Council (SNC), told French radio France Inter on Tuesday that the monitors were subject to ‘all sorts of manipulation’. She said that some 40,000 prisoners had been removed from the prison they were being held in, installed in a military barracks five kilometres away and replaced by false prisoners who gave observers a scripted account of events. She also added that entire families were posing as armed gangs to back up government claims about the militants’ identity.”
Sound a little hysterical?
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claimed that the Syrian regime had secretly changed the street signs so as to trick the observer teams! Other rebels claimed that the government had pulled its tanks out at the last minute. Syrian Observatory president Rami Rahmane, claimed in the French press that “the retreat of the tanks was a ‘ruse’ and bombing could have started again at any moment.”
But if the government had been bombing the neighborhoods in Homs where the observers were headed and only removed their tanks at the last minute, surely there would be ample evidence of the shelling. Street sign changing is one thing, covering up destruction left by mortar rounds fired into buildings is quite another. Perhaps there were secret teams of stonemasons dispatched in the night to patch up the buildings?
This moment of clarity will no doubt be short-lived, however. It will be explained away as the mistaken conclusions of a few rogue observers. Already the head of the mission, a military general from Sudan, is being discredited as a “human rights violator.” France is blasting the monitor team, with its foreign ministry releasing a statement that “The Arab League observers should return to the city of martyrs (Homs) without delay and … establish the necessary contact with the civilian population.”
The rebel “Free Syrian Army” has called a cease-fire and is attempting to contact the observer teams. (Ceasefire? I thought these were peaceful protests.) And the hundreds of thousands of pro-government protestors are ignored in the Western press — they do not fit in with the regime change script. As with Libya, evidence to the contrary will be dismissed and evidence to support regime change will be even more exaggerated and will be repeated without skepticism in the Western media.
Remember in Libya, not that long ago after all, where the chief engine driving the military intervention, Soliman Bouchuiguir of the Swiss-based Libyan League for Human Rights, admitted on video that his evidence of Gaddafi’s slaughter was simply made up out of thin air by the rebels. Evidence? “There is no evidence,” he stated.8:53 am on December 30, 2011 Email Daniel McAdams