Thursday, 8 September 2016

“Socialists” Supporting NATO and U.S. Empire, Endorse “Moderate” Terrorists in Syria


At the recent annual convention of Veterans for Peace, VFP Vice President Jerry Condon said “The US peace movement has been demobilized by disinformation on Syria.”
 
Disinformation and propaganda on Syria takes three distinct forms.

The first is the demonization of the Syrian leadership.
 
The second is the romanticization of the opposition.
 
The third form involves attacking anyone questioning the preceding characterizations.
 
There is a recent article which exemplifies all three of these forms. It is titled “Anti-Imperialism and the Syrian Revolution” by Ashley Smith of the International Socialist Organization (ISO). It’s a remarkable piece of misinformation and faulty analysis.  Because it is clear and well written, it is likely to mislead people who are not well informed on the facts regarding Syria. Hence the importance of critically reviewing it.

Technique 1: Demonize the enemy … “the Syrian regime and its brutal dictator”

Smith starts off posing the question: Are you with the Syrian revolution or the brutal Assad dictatorship? The way he frames it, it’s not a difficult choice: yay for the revolution!

Like these false options, Ashley Smith’s article is a fairy tale devoid of reality.  His bias is shown as he criticizes the Left for ignoring “Assad’s massacre of some 400,000 Syrians”. Included in this death count are 100 – 150 thousand Syrian soldiers and allies. Ashley blames Assad instead of the armed opposition for killing Syrian soldiers!

Another example of false propaganda is the discussion of the chemical weapons attack that took place on August 21, 2013 in outer Damascus.  Neoconservatives speak of this event as “proving” Assad’s brutality – “killing his own people” – as well as the “failure” of President Obama to enforce his “red line”.  Ashley aligns with the neocons as he says “Barack Obama came under pressure to intervene militarily in Syria after the regime carried out a chemical weapons attack in a suburb of Damascus in 2013, but he backed a Russian-brokered resolution that protected Assad.”

In reality, the Damascus sarin gas attack was carried out by an opposition group with the goal of forcing the U.S. to directly attack the Syrian government. Soon after the event, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity issued a statement reporting “the most reliable intelligence shows that Bashar al-Assad was NOT responsible for the chemical incident”. Later on, Seymour Hersh wrote two lengthy investigations pointing to Jabhat al Nusra with Turkish support being culpable. Investigative journalist Robert Parry exposed the Human Rights Watch analysis blaming the Syrian government as a “junk heap of bad evidence”. In the Turkish parliament, Turkish deputies presented documents showing that Turkey provided sarin to Syrian “rebels”.  A detailed examination and analysis of all fact based stories in online at whoghouta.blogspot.com. Their conclusion is that “The only plausible scenario that fits the evidence is an attack by opposition forces.”

Ashley Smith accuses the Syrian government of widespread torture. His main example is the case of Syrian Canadian Maher Arar who was arrested by US authorities in collusion with Canadian authorities, then rendered to Syria for interrogation in 2002. Arar was beaten during the initial weeks of his interrogation in Syria. After ten months imprisonment, Syrian authorities determined he was not a terrorist and sent him back to Canada. Arar received an official apology and $10 Million from the Canadian government.

The most highly publicized accusation of rampant torture and murder by Syrian authorities is the case of “Caesar”.  The individual known as “Caesar” was presented as a defecting Syrian photographer who had 55,000 photos documenting 11,000 Syrians tortured by the brutal Assad dictatorship. At the time, among mainstream media only the Christian Science Monitor was skeptical, describing it as “a well timed propaganda exercise”. In the past year it has been discovered that nearly half the photos show the opposite of what is claimed. The Caesar story is essentially a fraud funded by Qatar with ‘for hire’ lawyers giving it a professional veneer and massive mainstream media promotion.

While western media routinely refers to Assad as a dictator, in fact he is elected and popular with the majority of Syrians.  Although not wealthy, Syria was largely self-sufficient with a semi-socialist state apparatus including free health-care, free education and large industries 51% owned by the state. You do not see pervasive western fast food, banks, and other corporate entities in Syrian cities.  In the wake of protests, the government pushed through reforms which ended the one party system. There are now political parties across the political spectrum. These are a genuine ‘moderate opposition’. The June 2014 election confirmed Assad’s popularity despite the denials of those who have never been there.

Technique 2: Romanticize the opposition … “the Syrian Revolution”

Ashley Smith echoes mainstream media which portrays the conflict as a “civil war” which began with peaceful democratic loving Syrian revolutionaries beaten by a brutal regime.

In reality there was a violent faction from the start. In the first protests in Deraa seven police were killed. Two weeks later there was a massacre of 60 security forces in Deraa.  In Homs, an eye-witness recounted the situation:  “From the start, the protest movements were not purely peaceful. From the start I saw armed demonstrators marching along in the protests, who began to shoot at the police first. Very often the violence of the security forces has been a reaction to the brutal violence of the armed rebels.” In the first two months, hundreds of police and security forces were killed.

Ashley and company listen to Americans and British citizens and mistakenly believe they are listening to real Syrians.  Some of these people left Syria at age 3. Some of them have never lived in Syria. Thus you have fantasy portrayals such as “Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War”. A more realistic picture is given by a Syrian who still lives in Aleppo. He writes under the name “Edward Dark” and describes how he and his friends quickly regretted the take-over of Aleppo by armed groups in summer 2012. He describes one friend’s reaction as the reality was hitting home: “How could we have been so stupid? We were betrayed!”. And another says: “Tell your children someday that we once had a beautiful country, but we destroyed it because of our ignorance and hatred.” Edward Dark is a harsh critic of President Assad and Baath Party.  He is also naive regarding the role of US Ambassador Robert Ford.  But his description of early protesters and the arrival of armed opposition rings true and more authentic than the portrayal of Yassin-Kassab and Al Shami.

In fact many of the idealized “Syrian revolutionaries” promoted by the authors of “Burning Country” are trained and paid agents of the US and UK. The Aleppo Media Center which produces many of the videos is a US creation.  The White Helmets which purport to be Syrian, independent and unarmed first responders are a creation of the US and UK. The banner boys from Kafranbel are another western funded operation. In her book about her time as Secretary of State, Clinton boasts of providing “training for more than a thousand activists, students, and independent journalists” (p. 464).

Why do the enemies of Syria create such organizations?  Partly as a way to channel money and support to the armed opposition. Also to serve as propaganda tools to confuse the situation and generate support for the real goal: regime change. For example, White Helmets mostly work in areas dominated by the Syrian Al Qaeda.  Unlike legitimate organizations such as the Red Crescent, they never work in areas controlled by the government. And they are also active on the propaganda front, continually pushing for US / NATO intervention via a  “no fly zone”. The misinformation of Ashley Smith and ISO confuses unwitting people and helps the enemies of Syria in their drive for regime change.

In contrast with the romanticized delusions of Ashley Smith and the authors of “Burning Country”, the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency gave an accurate assessment in August 2012:
“ EVENTS ARE TAKING A CLEAR SECTARIAN DIRECTION.  THE SALAFIST, THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD AND AQI ARE THE MAJOR FORCES DRIVING THE INSURGENCY IN SYRIA.”
http://www.globalresearch.ca/socialists-supporting-nato-and-u-s-empire-endorse-moderate-terrorists-in-syria/5544229

Related Info:

The Dirty War on Syria - Dr. Tim Anderson on GRTV


Media Lies While Syrians Die: Media Disinformation and the Syrian War


Syria: Nobel Peace Laureate Tells Her Account of What She Witnessed


[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, September 8th, 2016.]

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