The Western corporate media’s increasingly hysterical denunciations of the Syrian “regime” (never referred to as a legitimate sovereign government), along with allies Russia and Iran, for alleged atrocities in the retaking of Aleppo, painting democratically elected President Bashar al-Assad as a “brutal dictator” who “butchers his own people”, is a measure of the disillusionment and bitterness within the Western neo-liberal power elite over this strategic reversal in the drive to overthrow the sovereign government of President al-Assad.
Let’s not forget the last times we heard that a “brutal dictator” is “attacking his own people” – first the claim was made about Saddam Hussein and used to justify the invasion of Iraq, frequently cited as the worst foreign policy blunder in modern U.S. history. Next the claim was made about Muammar Gaddafi, who the Western world was actually starting to warm up to and enter into trade agreements with, until he made the fatal “mistake” of attempting to establish the “gold dinar,” a single unified African currency made of gold that would be used in international oil and energy trades – in direct competition with the U.S. petrodollar, the current standard for international oil trades and central banking. This sudden “humanitarian crisis” of Gaddafi supposedly attacking his own people was used to justify Hillary Clinton’s bloody regime change in Libya, leading to the attack in Benghazi and the chaotic power vacuum subsequently filled by militant Islamic fundamentalists and jihadist terrorists, many linked to Al Qaeda.
Much like previous US misadventures into Iran, Iraq, Libya, and Afghanistan, the bloody Syrian conflict orchestrated by the US, Saudi Johnet, and Qatar with the support of NATO is primarily about one thing: hydrocarbon resources – oil, or its preferred 21st century “clean” energy equivalent, natural gas. Specifically, two competing natural gas pipelines that would transport gas from the largest known natural gas reserves on the planet, located in the Persian Gulf and straddling territorial waters of Qatar and Iran:
- One is the Qatar-Syria-Turkey EU pipeline, a natural gas pipeline proposed by the US/Saudi-led Qatar in 2009, running from the Qatar-controlled part of the world’s largest natural gas reserves in the Persian Gulf, known as North Field, through Jordan and Syria into Turkey and onto the world’s largest gas import market, the EU. This would significantly expand US and Saudi control over the Gulf, while threatening Russia’s dominance over European energy markets and its political influence in the region. Consequently, President Assad cited Syria’s alliance with Russia and loyalty to protecting Russia’s natural gas interests in his rejection of this pipeline.
- The second is the Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline, which would transport gas from the Iranian part of the same largest natural gas field in the Persian Gulf, known as South Pars, through Iraq and Syria, with future plans to possibly extend into Lebanon. This pipeline is approved by Russia, and according to Russia Insider, was the starting point of the entire Syrian conflict:
In July, 2011 Assad along with the leaders of Iran and Iraq announced they were planning an alternative to the Qatar-Syria-Turkey EU gas pipeline bringing natural gas from South Pars, the Iranian side of the same giant field as Qatar.
The new Iran-Iraq-Syria-Lebanon gas pipeline would be a direct competitor to not only the Qatar-Turkey pipeline but to Washington’s ill-fated Nabucco gas pipeline intending to use Azeri gas fields controlled by US and UK oil majors. In rejecting the Qatar offer in 2009 Bashar al Assad stated his reason was “to protect the interests of [his] Russian ally, which is Europe’s top supplier of natural gas.”
Instead, Assad pursued negotiations for an alternative $10 billion pipeline plan with Iran, across Iraq to Syria that would potentially allow Iran to supply gas to Europe from its South Pars field. In July 2012 Assad signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Iraq and Iran. That was the precise point when the US gave the green light to Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey to back regime change in Damascus—mad pipeline geopolitics.
The very notion of a democratically elected leader suddenly deciding to massacre his own people, sending his army into towns where the soldiers were raised, schooled, formed lasting friendships in, and eventually settled in to raise their own families, just to kill everyone in their communities, completely defies all logic and sanity. So does the idea that the Russians be invited into Syria to massacre Syrian civilians.
With the so-called “fall” of eastern Aleppo, the US and NATO-backed “moderate rebels” or “opposition” as they are called in the Western press, a loose coalition of militias dominated by Al Qaeda-linked Islamic militant extremists, jihadi terrorists, CIA operatives, and foreign mercenaries from surrounding Gulf states and Africa, have lost control of their last major urban stronghold, effectively squashing any future prospect of their successful utilization as proxy forces to overthrow the democratically elected government in Damascus.
As you can see in the video on the left and in many others all over the internet, the Western corporate media narrative is in stark, direct contrast to the actual reality on the ground in Aleppo, where citizens and Syrian army soldiers reunited with their families have streamed into the streets, smiling and cheering jubilantly, flashing “V” victory or peace signs, waving Syrian flags, and proudly holding up photos and large posters of President Assad, celebrating the city’s liberation by Syrian and Russian forces after suffering for years under terrorist occupation. Yet somehow the Western press has not shown any of these celebrations, preferring to stick with their “tragedy” and “humanitarian crisis” narratives instead.
Now, with their protracted and bloody operation having ostensibly failed, US officials and the Western corporate media are launching a flood of invectives against the Syrian government and its allies. At a press conference Wednesday, State Department spokesman John Kirby scathingly accused Syria and Russia of “war crimes,” “atrocities,” “deprivations” and “depravities.”
Syrian, Iranian, Russian and independent reporters on the ground (including Maytham al Ashkar, Shadi Halwi, Asser Khatab, Khaled Alkhateb, Ali Musawi, Lizzie Phelan, Murad Gazdiev, Vanessa Beeley, Eva Bartlett and the late Mohsen Khazaei) told a much different story than the one presented by the US State Department, which had simply parroted the twisted, fictitious narrative supplied by the jihadists and terrorists.
As Syrian and Russian forces smashed the al Qaeda lines, the trapped civilians streamed out. They had been prohibited from leaving, and many were shot dead when they tried to do so. Syrian and Russian forces had opened several humanitarian corridors to allow civilians to escape, but many were fired upon by the terrorists as they attempted to flee. There are even documented instances of the Syrian Arab Army soldiers positioning themselves as human shields to protect the civilians from the shelling, yet somehow the Western media has grotesquely misrepresented the soldiers as the ones firing on the civilians.
The armed gangs had food reserves but hoarded it for their fighters. Crude arms factories including deadly toxic chemicals were discovered by the army and accompanying reporters. Some of the armed men were taken into custody, but most accepted President Assad’s generous amnesty deal to be subsequently let go to rejoin civilian life after pledging to stop fighting. Many were bussed out to Idlib, where Damascus has been concentrating the foreign-backed fighters.
Reporters on the ground published video of long lines of people leaving east Aleppo and finding relief, food and shelter with the Syrian Arab Army. Tired and relieved, they told their stories to anyone who cared to listen. Russia and Iran donated and helped to distribute tons of food, clothing, and blankets, while the Syrian government provided shelter, aid, psychiatric care, and medical attention, as well as schooling and mentoring programs run by university volunteers for the kids. In contrast, Western countries generally did not provide any relief to civilians, and in fact deliberately worsened their plight with crippling sanctions, while pumping millions of taxpayer dollars into jihadist terror groups along with Gulf allies Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Qatar, as well as supplying tons of military grade weaponry to use against the civilians. This blatant funding and arming of terror groups against the best interests and safety of American citizens prompted Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat from Hawaii and an Iraq combat veteran, to introduce legislation on the House floor that would prohibit the US government from funding any terrorist organizations.
Much of the Western media, acting as little more than public relations agents for their respective governments, solemnly reported on ‘the fall of Aleppo’. The Syrian victory over the al Qaeda groups was a great tragedy, they claimed. On the other hand, the near simultaneous recapture of Syria’s ancient city of Palmyra by Islamic State terrorists (ISIS), helped by US and NATO forces, was reported differently. That city was said to have been ‘retaken’.
After a day of claiming up to 82 civilians were “shot on the spot” by Syrian forces battling to retake the northern city of Aleppo from armed terrorists who have occupied it since invading the city in 2012, no evidence or even the source of the claim has surfaced.
According to the BBC, the UN Human Rights office in Geneva received reports of the incident. Nearly all stories about the war in Syria by Western media outlets reporting from Lebanon, Turkey, or Israel (not Syria) quote the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), which is literally just one Syrian ex-convict based out of his home in Coventry, UK, the French, EU, and US-funded Aleppo Media Center (AMC) whose terrorist-sympathetic “media activists” report exclusively from deep within terrorist-controlled regions, or “unnamed activists” and random Syrian Twitter accounts suspiciously tweeting geopolitics in perfect English supposedly from a war-ravaged city without 3G or WiFi internet, let alone electricity. Even Samantha Power, the United States’ ambassador to the United Nations, was quoted on December 18 by The Associated Press admitting that the U.N. had no presence in Syria:
She says the United Nations doesn’t know the facts because it’s not there, but if U.N. monitors are deployed it could deter “some of the worst excesses.”
Despite having Western journalists and UN staff supposedly on the ground in Aleppo, the reports were actually received in Geneva from unnamed sources alleged to be in Aleppo, not acquired – or verified – on the ground by either the Western media or UN staff.
The BBC, in its article, “Aleppo battle: UN says civilians shot on the spot,” would admit (emphasis added):
“Yesterday evening, we received further deeply disturbing reports that numerous bodies were lying on the streets,” Mr Colville added, while admitting it was hard to verify the reports.
It should be noted that the BBC left the accusation on their website for hours before eventually adding that the reports were both unverified, and acquired by “sources,” not by UN staff firsthand in Aleppo.
The purpose of this was to maximize the initial impact of the shocking, easily shared or “re-tweeted” headline without the burden of having to present evidence. Once the headline went “viral,” the BBC eventually filled in the details – which had they been included initially in the original report – would have significantly dulled the sharp impact of the headline.
With talk of “fake news” reaching hysterical levels, the BBC in collaboration with the UN itself prove that Western “liberal” organizations and institutions have long maintained a monopoly on generating “fake news” and leveraging it not just to manipulate politics and public perception, but to perpetuate, peddle, and justify war (usually packaged as “humanitarian intervention” to save some dark-skinned nation from being “slaughtered” by their usually democratically-elected “strongarm brutal dictator”) and the wanton, reckless destruction of human life.
Other Lies Exposed
A day after the Western media’s coverage of Aleppo reached a fevered pitch, and with the fighting effectively over, other lies repeated ad nauseam just a day ago are now surfacing as obvious, malicious fabrications.
CNN, in a report titled, “Estimated 100,000 Civilians Trapped in Aleppo,” admits that the supposed “rebels” only hold “a few streets, a few blocks, maybe a neighborhood,” that it is “very difficult to verify any of these reports,” and repeatedly employs the phrase “might be” in reference to the supposed 100,000 civilians that the Western media and the UN claim are still “trapped” in “eastern Aleppo.”
Of course, with evacuations underway now, it is clear there were nowhere near 100,000 civilians left in the remaining territory occupied by armed militants, revealing the day’s news coverage to be just the latest in a long line of politically motivated theatrical spectacles carried out by an otherwise unjournalistic corporate mainstream media.
Patrick Cockburn in a UK Independent article titled, “This is why everything you’ve read about the wars in Syria and Iraq could be wrong,” attempts to offer a conciliatory explanation as to why the Western media’s coverage has been so divergent from reality.
It is too dangerous for journalists to operate in rebel-held areas of Aleppo and Mosul. But there is a tremendous hunger for news from the Middle East, so the temptation is for the media give credence to information they get second hand.
He also states:
Unsurprisingly, foreign journalists covering developments in east Aleppo and rebel-held areas of Syria overwhelmingly do so from Lebanon or Turkey. A number of intrepid correspondents who tried to do eyewitness reporting from rebel-held areas swiftly found themselves tipped into the trunks of cars or otherwise incarcerated.
Experience shows that foreign reporters are quite right not to trust their lives even to the most moderate of the armed opposition inside Syria. But, strangely enough, the same media organisations continue to put their trust in the veracity of information coming out of areas under the control of these same potential kidnappers and hostage takers. They would probably defend themselves by saying they rely on non-partisan activists, but all the evidence is that these can only operate in east Aleppo under license from the al-Qaeda-type groups.
Cockburn also observes that a significant majority of the overt bias and shoddy, fact-free reporting coming from across the Western mainstream media is politically motivated. When the light of reality began showing through in reports from independent and principled journalists, experts, and diplomats, Western leaders intentionally ignored it, fixated only on regime change.
And while the Western media itself has attempted to use its inability to report from on the ground as an excuse for repeating verified lies told to them by their “sources” in Syria, it should be noted that an equal or greater number of pro-government or pro-Assad bloggers have been covering the conflict since 2011 as well, only to be intentionally ignored, even attacked by the Western media if mentioned at all.
This goes far in explaining why the mainstream media finds itself eagerly defending militants who by all accounts are dominated by Jabhat Al Nusra (literally Al Qaeda in Syria, progenitor to ISIS), a US State Department-designated foreign terrorist organization and repeating their propaganda no matter how false or absurd.
It is important to expose these lies, because while the city of Aleppo has been fully liberated, Idlib, Al Raqqa, and now once again Palmyra remain battles yet to be fought.
The capacity of the West and its proxies to destroy peace and security for the people of Syria rests in their capacity to continue lying about the nature of Western involvement in Syria in the first place. Undermine this capacity, and undermine their ability to disrupt and destroy the future of Syrians any further.
Expanded from original sources:
- ‘Unverified Aleppo on spot Executions’ by Tony Cartolucci, originally published at Land Destroyer on December 14, 2016.
- Centre for Research on Globalization on December 21, 2016.
- ’10 Massive Fake News Stories Western Media Has Been Feeding You About Aleppo’ by Baran Hines, originally published at The Free Thought Project on December 18, 2016.