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Fooling The Public Over Syria

By Colin Todhunter

28 August, 2013

"Attempts to bypass the Security Council, once again to create artificial groundless excuses for a military intervention in the region are fraught with new suffering in Syria and catastrophic consequences for other countries of the Middle East and North Africa." Russian foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich.

Despite the credible stance by Russia, in Britain, Russia and China are demonised by the media and depicted by many prominent politicians as obstacles to ‘humanitarian' military intervention in Syria. As hundreds of thousands of deaths and injuries continue to mount as a result of US-Anglo aggression via various conflicts in the world, such humanitarian concerns ring hollow.

What these politicians are doing is called taking the British public for fools.  

But this is what ‘their' politicians do: the taxpayer-salaried ‘public servants', who do the bidding of the powerful corporations, with the situation over Syria being no different (1). ‘Public servants', like PM Cameron and Foreign Secretary Hague, who dutifully obey their corporate-financier masters and their political bosses in Washington and who are keen to lead Britain into a war, with or without the backing of the UN Security Council, with or without evidence that the Syrian government used chemical weapons.

Cameron says the world should not stand idly by as the Syrian government attacks its own people with chemical weapons. ‘Their' man in the Labour Party, leader Ed Miliband, seems to be on board too.

US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel says he is convinced that when the evidence is produced, it will clearly show the Syrian government is guilty. When he was interviewed on the BBC, the reporter failed to challenge Hagel's assertion, especially because no evidence has thus far been produced. US State Department spokesperson Marie Haff also parroted this line on the BBC by saying: “Let there be no question about who is responsible for this.”

She also spoke about the Assad ‘regime' being intent on spreading chaos throughout the region.

Anyone who has been following this conflict (and the one in Libya, Afghanistan, Pakistan or Iraq) will note the rank hypocrisy of this Washington propagandist Haff.  She should look very close to home if she wants to talk about spreading chaos (and death and destruction).   

After cutting away from Chuck Hagel, the BBC then went on to present a range of military options and asked what would be the objective. Then we were told of the official line  coming out of Washington and London that the objective is not about regime change and not about intervening in a civil war, when quite clearly it is about both (2,3).

The UK intervened in Libya and then helped bomb a path into Tripoli for the rebels to bring about regime change. The US and its client states, including Britain, have been helping to stoke conflict in Syria for many months (4).

What Hagel, Cameron and Hague say about this conflict and how issues of chemical weapons  is being presented by certain TV channels is all based on a lie, the same type of lie that has taken Britain to war on numerous occasions in recent times.  

And all of this is being cheered on in the British press by the totally discredited Tony Blair, who urges immediate military intervention in Syria on the basis of his foregone conclusion about the Assad government having used chemical weapons.

We expect no better from such a man, though. The more naive might ask did Blair learn nothing from leading the country into an illegal war with Iraq? But Blair is not in the habit of learning lessons from actions that ended up in the mass killing of Iraqis. Blair, as with Cameron and Hague, is ‘their' man too. And ‘their' men, after leaving office, do very well indeed.

In 2012, The Telegraph newspaper in the UK discussed Tony Blair's jet set lifestyle and his UK property portfolio of seven homes worth £14 million, including a £4 million Georgian townhouse in central London and a country estate (5). Blair is paid in the region of £3 million a year to advise both JP Morgan, the US investment bank, and also Zurich International, the global insurer based in Switzerland. On top of that he runs his own consultancy firm - Tony Blair Associates - which advises the oil and gas rich governments of Kuwait and Kazakhstan.  

If we take what happened in Libya as a starting point, University of Johannesburg professor Chris Landsberg said that the UN was misused to militarise policy, legalise military action and effect regime change (6). He subsequently challenged the International Criminal Court to investigate NATO for “violating international law.” Little if any talk of such matters by the gung ho mainstream media at the time though, which peddled with the pious narrative that the British government and NATO are essentially civilising forces in a barbaric world. It's the same pious narrative that we now witness over Syria. 

And this moral tone underpins all the rhetoric about ‘protecting civilians'. It also underpins attempts to justify plans that have been in place for years to topple governments, including Assad's. US Vice-President Joe Biden has said there is "no doubt" that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons and that it must be held accountable. The situation has been prejudged by the world's self appointed policeman in order to pursue a wider geo-political agenda. Again, the public are being treated by fools by media-savvy politicians and people like Haff and pundits in the media.

On its news website, the BBC reports that UN weapons inspectors are set to return to the site of last week's suspected attack near Damascus on Wednesday (28th). The US says it will release its own intelligence report into the incident at in the coming days.

No evidence yet, but Washington doesn't need any because it has its own, its mind is already made up. The die has already been cast and was done so prior to the Syrian conflict breaking out.  

With polls indicating very little appetite from the British public for military intervention in Syria, politicians have their work cut to try to convince people that this is a cause worth backing (7). Cue the role of the media. But what can we expect from it?

Look back to the Libyan conflict to see what we can expect.  The BBC's depiction of NATO's attack on Libya was woefully one-sided and anti-Gadaffi (8). And thus far its track record on Syria fares little better.

Take BBC world news editor Jon Williams over last year's Houla massacre incident, as noted by Chris Marsden (9). Williams admitted that the coverage of the May 2012 massacre in Syria by the world's media and the BBC was dodgy to say the least. Early in June, on his personal blog, Williams explained that, despite the claims by the BBC, there was no evidence whatsoever to identify either the Syrian Army or Alawite militias as the perpetrators of the massacre of 100 people. Indeed, leading German newspaper the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) reported that the Houla massacre was in fact committed by anti-Assad Sunni militants, and the bulk of the victims were member of the Alawi and Shia minorities, which had been largely supportive of Assad.

Williams wrote that in the aftermath of the massacre at Houla initial reports said some of the 49 children and 34 women killed had their throats cut. But on his blog he says that in Damascus Western officials told him the subsequent investigation revealed none of those found dead had been killed this way. Williams states that the facts are few and that it's not clear who ordered the killings or why.

At the time, TV channels tended to merely parrot as fact the statements of fake outrage emanating from London, Washington and the United Nations headquarters - all blaming the atrocity on either the Syrian Army or Shabiha militias acting under their protection.

The BBC also ran a report on Houla under a photo supposedly showing “the bodies of children in Houla awaiting burial.” The photograph of dozens of shrouded corpses was actually taken by Marco di Lauro inIraqin 2003 and was of white body bags containing skeletons found in a desert south of Baghdad.

Are we to deduce from this that the BBC and other mainstream media sources are compliant partners in the Penatgon's propaganda or Western-backed false flag operations to deceive the public and dupe people into going along with the same old aim of regime change under the lie of humanitarian intervention?

But if at first they don't succeed to convince us, its a case of try and try again. Eventually, the cooked up evidence will fit the preconceived policy and the media will fall into line.

Cheer-leading from the sidelines, Tony Blair knows all about that (10).

Colin Todhunter : Originally from the northwest of England, Colin Todhunter has spent many years in India. He has written extensively for the Deccan Herald (the Bangalore-based broadsheet), New Indian Express and Morning Star (Britain). His articles have also appeared in various other newspapers, journals and books. His East by Northwest website is at: http://colintodhunter.blogspot.com


1)  http://www.globalresearch.ca/latest-un-syria-report-compiled-by-washington-think-tanker/32386

2 )  http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://www.syria-tribune.com/e/index.php/guest-features/50-stephen-warwithoutmercy

3)  http://landdestroyer.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/syrian-war-prequel.html

4)  http://pakobserver.net/detailnews.asp?id=139779

5)  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/tony-blair/8999847/Blair-Inc-How-Tony-Blair-makes-his-fortune.html

6)  http://www.uruknet.info/?p=80782

7)  http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/08/28/syria-intervention_n_3827081.html

8)  http://www.globalresearch.ca/nato-and-the-mainstream-media/5304275

9)  http://www.countercurrents.org/marsden150612.htm

10)  http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/tony-blair-and-iraq-the-damning-evidence-8563133.html




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