Monday, September 10, 2018

Western Media Demonizes Russia’s Forces For Defending Syria From Terrorists

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In a media environment where the U.S. government can legally insert covert propaganda into the information that Americans are exposed to, it’s good to look for odd patterns that appear in the news headlines. In the last week or so, just such a trend has come up, and it’s involved truly Orwellian revisions of who Americans are supposed to view as the enemy.

As U.S.-backed jihadist “moderate rebel” forces have continued their occupation of Syria’s Idlib, and as Trump administration hawks like John Bolton and Mike Pompeo have pushed for massive escalations with Syria in recent weeks in a desperate attempt to keep control over Idlib, a trend has come up where pundits characterize Russian and Syrian forces as the malicious aggressors against Syria’s innocent rebels. For instance, on September 8th The Guardian’s George Monbiot-who’s been known to make misleading statements that help the Western empire’s case for Syria involvement-tweeted this:
Why are so many of those who rightly deplore Western military intervention in the Middle East silent about or even supportive of Russian military intervention in #Syria? Please RT if you oppose Russian bombing.
This is a false equivalency, and it very effectively manipulates a Western public that’s already been conditioned in recent years to see Russia as an enemy. Russia is defending an ally that’s been besieged by terrorists, and that will no doubt need
Russia’s help as U.S. attacks continue. Monbiot’s response to this fact has been to write a tweet claiming that Russia’s help for Syria is no different from South Vietnam’s support for the U.S. during the Vietnam War, which really just rephrases his earlier, similarly falacious argument.
In addition to Monbiot’s strange misrepresentations of the Syria situation, many
media outlets have recently attempted to demonize Russia’s involvement in the conflict and to portray the terrorists in a good light. This is the message that a was implied in a New York Times article, which praises the vaguely defined Syrian rebels before briefly acknowledging that these rebels consist of al-Qaeda fighters. This avoidance of calling the rebels terrorists served the article’s other purpose, which was to portray Putin and Assad as the ones to blame for the catastrophe in Idlib.
This bizarre narrative about Russia’s role in Syria has become dominant in the Western media, like when The Atlantic recently made the misleadingly phrased assessment that “As Bashar al-Assad and Russia prepare to assault Idlib, there are up to 3 million people with nowhere to go.” The article also greatly downplayed the fact that the U.S. is backing terrorists, emphasizing the fact that U.S. troops “operate exclusively against ISIS” while leaving out America’s support for jihadist forces. Also notable is the Daily Beast headline from yesterday which sensationally reads: “Putin Is Pushing for Total Victory in Syria No Matter How Many Civilians Die.”
In short, Western imperialists are slaughtering Syrians with bombs and jihadist fighters while trying to shift attention onto the most convenient scapegoats. What comes to mind is this (deceptively made) line from Joseph Goebbels in a speech at the 1934 Nuremberg rally: “The cleverest trick used in propaganda against Germany during the war was to accuse Germany of what our enemies themselves were doing.”

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