Monday 28 September 2015

The propaganda war

Western Propaganda Machine Kicks Into Overdrive As UK Brands Assad "A Butcher", France Bombs Syria In "Self Defense"

27 September, 2015

On Sunday, France proudly announced that it had launched its first strikes against ISIS targets in Syria. Here’s The New York Times:

In France’s first airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria, warplanes destroyed a training camp, President François Hollande announced on Sunday.
At a news conference in New York, where he had arrived for the United Nations General Assembly, Mr. Hollande said that the warplanes had attacked the training camp in eastern Syria after it had been identified by French air surveillance with help from the coalition of Western and Middle Eastern states conducting the air campaign against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, ISIL or Daesh.
Our forces reached their objectives: the camp was completely destroyed,” Mr. Hollande said. “Six jets were used, including five Rafales, and they were able to ensure that our operation did not have 
He added that France might launch other strikes in the coming weeks if necessary, with the goal of “identifying targets that are training camps or places where we know that the Daesh terrorist group can threaten the security of our country.”
Prime Minister Manuel Valls also confirmed to reporters in southeastern France on Sunday that the airstrikes had taken place.
We are striking Daesh in Syria because this terrorist organization prepares and organizes attacks in France from Syria, from these sanctuaries,” Mr. Valls said. “We are therefore acting in self-defense, which Article 51 of the United Nations Charter permits us to do.”

Got that? Paris needs to bomb Syria in "self defense" because clearly, a ragtag group of militants who only exist because they're still a useful tool in Washington's geopolitical calculus, pose a very real threat to the territorial integrity of France, one of the most influential nations on the face of the earth. 

Obviously, that is absurd to the point that it's almost not worth mentioning were it not for the fact that France's involvement comes as Britain is also set to step up its own "anti-ISIS" air raids in Syria.

In short, both France and Britain are ramping up their involvement in Syria's civil war just as Russia, Iran, and China are set to bolster the Assad regime. As we've detailed exhaustively, the West is now finding it almost impossible to maintain the narrative. Russia and Iran both have an interest in ensuring that Assad does not fall which means that by default, they also have an interest in eradicating the Sunni extremists operating in Syria. That's extremely inconvenient for Washington and its allies given that the US has gone out of its way to portray ISIS as the greatest threat to human decency since the Third Reich. Now, Moscow, Tehran, and Damascus have effectively said the following: "Yes, you're right, so why won't you join us in defeating them?"

So far, the West's response has been to suggest that somehow, Russia's efforts to defeat anti-regime forces in Syria will serve to embolden terrorists. For instance, here's what British think tank Royal United Services Institute has to say: 

The deployment of Russian troops in Syria could end up helping Islamic State as they have been sent to areas where they are most likely to fight other groups opposed to Isis, according to a new report.

Essentially, the contention there is that Russia should not attempt to eradicate one group of extremists because in doing so, they might inadvertenlty help other extremists. If you applied that logic to sports, it would be the equivalent of saying no one should ever try to win, because by defeating one opposing team, you might indirectly improve the position of another opposing team. 

As ridiculous as that is, the one thing you can say about the West and foreign policy is that things can always get more ridiculous and with that in mind, we bring you the following from U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron (via Bloomberg): 

Bashar al-Assad should face a criminal trial, U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron said, while keeping open the possibility the Syrian president could temporarily remain in power to oversee a transition to a more inclusive government.
Cameron made the comments on Sunday as he flew to New York for the United Nations General Assembly, where he’ll meet with other leaders to discuss possible solutions to the 4 1/2-year conflict that has seen Islamic State take control of parts of the Middle Eastern country and led to an exodus of millions of refugees.
"People who break international law should be subject to international law,” the prime minister told reporters traveling with him. “He’s butchered his own people, he’s helped create this conflict and this migration crisis, he’s one of the great recruiting sergeants for ISIL."

As we've said on a number of occasions, no one is arguing that Bashar al-Assad is the most benevolent leader in the history of statecraft, but when Western propaganda reaches the point where Syria's President is accused of being a "butcher" and, going still further, of facilitating the recruitment of the very people who are trying to oust him, the world should start asking questions.

At this point, if you're buying the Western narrative with regard to Syria, we suggest you refer to the clip shown below...

The Guardian continues its role as one of the main bullhorns of pro-war propaganda for the Empire

Vladimir Putin bids for major world role as his forces move into Syria

Last week satellite images revealed Russia’s military expansion in Syria, with deployments of troops, tanks and warplanes. Now western governments are scrambling to respond to the shift in power in the Middle East

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