The mainstream Western media relies for virtually all of its information regarding events in Syria on US and UK government funded “NGOs” such as the extremely suspicious Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. These organizations are advocacy/propaganda outlets with shadowy connections to Western governments and their self-described agenda is to bring down the Syrian government. A normal person with normal intelligence would automatically view any information disseminated by such a group as suspicious — particularly as none of them are actually based in Syria.
Alas, what does it say for nearly every outlet of the mainstream media that it reports these stories as if they were from sources of impeccable credibility? Stupid, or evil? Well, a bit of both, as they are but the mouthpieces of Western regimes and special interests which are seeking without remorse regime change and regime overthrow and if that does not work regime bombing.
That is why we read today that the UN Secretary General has heard “grisly reports” about the situation in Syria. But whence comes those reports? “Activists,” as the news story tells us. And what do activists do? They advocate (lie) to gain international sympathy and eventual intervention. Remember the “massacres” in Libya? Srebrenica? Babies pulled from incubators? That is the kind of “reporting” you get from activists.
So we see in the above linked Reuters piece the kind of reporting that for any student of basic journalism would throw up an ocean of red flags (here’s a neat game, count the times they use the word “activist”):
One activist in Homs told Reuters: “The Syrian army was holding the convoy up because they want to clean up after what they have done in Baba Amro.” As with other activist reports from Homs, this could not be independently confirmed.
“All men who remained in the neighbourhood aged between 14 and 50 were arrested. We fear they will be massacred. Where is the world?” said one activist.
“The massacres are continuing. They are torturing them and killing (detainees) one by one. They are executing them in batches,” another activist, who left Baba Amro on Friday, told Reuters via Skype.
Does anyone believe that a self-described regime-change activist would report to a Western news outlet, “Well, no troubles here”?
And what happens when an international observer group actually gets into Syria and writes a report that is quite a bit more nuanced than the lurid tales of regime slaughter so copiously provided by the activists? It is disappeared down the memory hole. Such as happened with the Arab League’s recent observer report, which found among other things that:
In Homs, Idlib and Hama, the Observer Mission witnessed acts of violence being committed against Government forces and civilians that resulted in several deaths and injuries. Examples of those acts include the bombing of a civilian bus, killing eight persons and injuring others, including women and children, and the bombing of a train carrying diesel oil. In another incident in Homs, a police bus was blown up, killing two police officers. A fuel pipeline and some small bridges were also bombed.
28. The Mission noted that many parties falsely reported that explosions or violence had occurred in several locations. When the observers went to those locations, they found that those reports were unfounded.
29. The Mission also noted that, according to its teams in the field, the media exaggerated the nature of the incidents and the number of persons killed in incidents and protests in certain towns.
The Arab League report rightly blamed the Assad regime for over-reacting to the initial protests and thereby helping create an extremely polarized situation in Syria, however. But like the Russian position has been all along, it recognized that there were two sides engaging in violence — government forces and those seeking to overthrow the government.
Meanwhile, RT, which is operating on the ground in Syria, reports that much of the humanitarian crisis in Homs has been caused by the rebels:
RT in Damascus managed to contact an eyewitness in Homs, who says gunmen are killing civilians in the streets. Galina says leaving home is out of the question, as snipers “can shoot you in the back.”
“They kill both young and old. They steal people from their homes and chop them into pieces, put them in plastic bags and throw them out!”
She claims rumors are spreading of gunmen from France, Lebanon and Tunisia killing Syrians.
“They mostly kill Christians here,” she says.
Galina says people in Homs support the Assad government and want “the revolution” to be over.
There are a few sensible journalists left, however. The Guardian‘s Neil Clark has noted to RT the hypocrisy of the West when it comes to Syria and its recent vote on a reform-oriented new constitution:
“Fifty-seven per cent of Syrians have voted and an overwhelming majority of them have said yes to it,” [Clark] told RT “It’s a great day for democracy in Syria. And yet what’s the reaction been by the Western leaders? Well, Hillary Clinton denounced it as a cynical ploy. Guido Westerwelle, the German foreign minister, said that it was a sham, but in fact what is a sham is the West’s approach because the reaction to this referendum shows us that they’re not really keen on democracy in Syria.”
Clark said the West tends to cast a blind eye on huge pro-Assad demonstrations and the fact that 55 per cent of Syrians want President Assad to stay.
“The reality is that the majority of Syrians support Assad, but for the West these are non-people, their views don’t count”.
He noted the symbolism of the announcement of new sanctions against Syria by the EU.
“On the very day that Syria, after five decades of one-party rule, votes for democracy, what does the EU do? It announces tough new sanctions on Syria. It’s highly symbolic.”
Clark expressed his opinion that the EU was hardly a democratic body itself.
“I think that it’s quite ironic on this very day we also have the French President Nicolas Sarkozy explaining why we, the European people, are not going to be allowed to vote ourselves on the EU fiscal treaty. He says it’s too hard for us to understand. So the EU, which is claiming to be in favor of democracy, is actually working against it.”
There is the sense that something dramatic must be done and soon regarding Syria, lest the momentum of the regime change stall. That is probably why we are seeing a marked increase in cross-border fighting on the Jordanian and Turkish borders. Rebels are claiming a shortage of ammunition and their Western sponsors are likely ramping up the re-supply mission from Jordan and Turkey.
As Russian expert Viktor Mikhin points out in the Far East Journal, the rebels are clearly being armed by outside powers, including a shipment of Shipon B-300 rocket launchers provided by Israel and delivered piece by piece in “in a Qatari diplomatic pouch through Lebanon and Turkey and on an Italian aircraft that arrived at Beirut airport on January 22 with a cargo of medical supplies for Syrian refugees in northern Lebanon. This humanitarian flight was sent by the Italian government at the request of Syrian National Council Chairman Burhan Ghalioun, who had appealed to the Italian government during a visit to Rome.”
According to Mikhin, “Israeli sources report that the rocket launchers were used recently in the Syrian city of Homs and near Jabal al-Zawiya in Idlib Province.”
So it isn’t just the murdering government attacking the peaceful protestors in Homs? But that is what virtually every single mainstream media — and a few “alternative” — outlet has been reporting!
The hypocrisy of the West when it comes to Syria is breathtaking when one considers the trillions of dollars that the US taxpayer has been forced to spend on Washington’s “War on Terror.” As Mikhin points out in his highly recommended above-linked piece:
It is highly indicative that the West is actively supporting a variety of terrorists in Syria, including al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. He called for the overthrow of President Bashar Assad in a video message addressed to the people of Syria and a number of Muslim countries and asked Muslims in Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan to come to the aid of the fighters in Syria.
The McClatchy Newspapers group reports that the recent attacks in Damascus and Aleppo were organized by al-Qaeda in Iraq on al-Zawahiri’s personal orders. Recall that a car bomb and suicide bomber killed 28 people and injured another 175 in Aleppo. The targets of the bombings were military intelligence and security force headquarters.
And the regime change express keeps speeding along…8:19 am on March 3, 2012 Email Daniel McAdams