Selling War On Syria
By Stephen Lendman
Waging war requires manufacturing consent. Public opinion's manipulated to do so. Big Lies substitute for full and accurate reporting.
Truth is systematically avoided. Americans get a steady diet of managed news misinformation. On August 20, Al Jazeera America (AJAM) debuted. Qatar's monarchy controls programming.
It's waging war on Syria. AJAM didn't explain. It claims to offer "unbiased, fact-based, in-depth stories of US in international news."
On August 22, it said "Syrian activists (offered) horrific images of dead and dying children from near Damascus."
AJAM called it "proof of a chemical-weapons attack by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad." It did so despite no verifiable evidence whatever. It repeated the Big Lie.
Follow-up reports were just as biased. It's promoting war. It spurns peaceful conflict resolution.
Nation magazine cheerleads Obama's administration. It's done so throughout his tenure. It's done it shamelessly. Editor Katrina vanden Heuvel's an establishment figure.
Her maternal grandfather, Jules Stein, founded entertainment conglomerate MCA. Her father, William, was executive assistant to William Donovan. He was involved in CIA's creation.
He was a Farfield Foundation board member. During the Cold War, it was a CIA front group.
Vanden Heuvel supports humanitarian interventions. She does so for "security" and "stability." She's a regular on scoundrel TV. She's a Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) member.
Historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. once called it a "front organization (for) the heart of the American Establishment."
Last May, she discussed "the reported use of chemical weapons by Syria's embattled Assad regime." She did so without saying no evidence suggests it's true.
She ignored clear proof insurgents used CW multiple times. She called Assad a "dictator." She said he heads a "brutal regime." She ignored Washington's war. She blamed Assad for insurgents' crimes.
Last June, Media Lens co-founder David Edwards said "Guardian Editors Swallow US Claims on Syrian WMD."
He discussed "questions and doubts surrounding claims that the chemical weapon sarin has been used in Syria."
"The Obama administration has since claimed that its 'red line' has indeed been crossed - it now has firm evidence that Syrian government forces have used chemical weapons."
Despite no evidence suggesting it, Guardian editors said:
"That use is an outrage and is against international agreements. It adds to the charge sheet against the Assad regime."
According to Edwards:
"These are among the most shocking comments we have ever seen in the Guardian."
"Despite the indisputable fraudulence of US-UK claims regarding Iraqi WMD, an equally staggering litany of lies on Libya, and despite the existence of gaps and doubts so reminiscent of Iraq 2002-2003, the Guardian is willing to quietly endorse the latest claims on Syria - 'Assad' clearly has used chemical weapons and that use should be added to the charge sheet against him."
"Once again, when it really matters, the Guardian editors are on-message, on-side and boosting war propaganda."
It's not alone. British major media misreport like their US counterparts. BBC's a longstanding imperial tool. It's owned, operated and controlled by Britain's government.
It's a propaganda service for elitist interests. It's notoriously so for issues mattering most. None rise to the level of war and peace. BBC's selling war on Syria. It does so by misreporting.
Weeks earlier, BBC said "pressure to act has intensified in recent days after emerging evidence that Syria has used chemical weapons such as the nerve gas sarin."
It did so despite no proof whatever. On August 23, it headlined "Syria 'chemical attack:' Distressing footage under analysis," saying:
" 'Chemical attack:' What we know:
August 21: Facebook pages of Syrian opposition report heavy fighting in rebel-held districts of Ghouta, the agricultural belt in eastern Damascus.
Opposition posts Facebook report of 'chemical shelling' in Ein Tarma area of Ghouta.
Second opposition report says chemical weapons used in Zamalka area of Ghouta.
Unverified video footage shows people being treated on pavements in the dark and in a makeshift hospital.
Reports say chemical weapons were used in Ghouta towns of Irbin, Jobar, Zamalka and Ein Tarma as well as in Muadhamiya to the west, but this is not confirmed.
Syrian government acknowledges military offensive in the Ghouta area but denies chemical weapons use."
BBC manipulates viewers and listeners. It conditions them to believe Syrian opposition claims.
Dismissively it says Syria's government refutes them. Doing so shows its reporting lacks credibility.
Nowhere does BBC cite verifiable evidence. Opposition claims suffice. Government shelling's highlighted. "Chemical attacks on civilians shocked the world," it said.
"Rebel strongholds" were struck. Ignored were credible reports about homemade rockets fired from insurgent-held territory. They †contained toxic substances.
Considerable coverage was given to "ambulances with sirens screeching."
Another report "show(ed) victims being laid out on a pavement to be methodically washed down in an apparent attempt to decontaminate them."
"And from the overwhelming and distressing litany of footage of victims an overview of the symptoms can be gleaned," said BBC.
"Most of those being treated are men of all ages and very small children."
"One man twisting and shivering on the floor seems to be having convulsions. Several are in such distress, they seem to be foaming at the mouth or nose."
"One man whose stark, glazed eyes stand out from his ashen face looks almost frozen, his pupils apparently contracted - a telling indication of possible nerve gas."
BBC duplicitously built an anti-Syrian case. It did so without credible evidence. Innuendo furthers it. Assad's blamed for insurgents' crimes.
It's been this way throughout the conflict. BBC's a weapon of mass deception. Lies substitute for truth. Pressure builds toward military intervention.
BBC and other media scoundrels bear much responsibility. Supporting imperial lawlessness makes them culpable.
America's National Public Radio and Public Broadcasting operate the same way. They're called public to conceal their real agenda.
Critics ridicule NPR. They call it National Pentagon or Petroleum Radio. They do so for good reason. PBS operates the same way. Calling it Propaganda Public Broadcasting more accurately explains its mandate.
Both operations long ago abandoned truth and full disclosure. They're indistinguishable from other corporate media sources. They're corrupted like the rest.
They're house organs for government and business interests. They're well funded for services rendered.
On August 21, NPR headlined "Syrian Government Accused Again of Using Chemical Weapons." Credible sources aren't interviewed. They aren't cited. They're ignored.
So-called "Syrian activists accuse President Bashar al-Assad's forces of launching a huge chemical weapons attack in the suburbs of Damascus," said NPR.
Washington Post reporter Loveday Morris was interviewed. A graphic account of what happened followed.
"(W)hat else could have killed these people, other than some kind of toxic gas," was claimed. Assad was blamed.
"(I)t seem(s) very brazen for (him) to launch an attack of this size with UN weapons inspectors in the country at the time, but the West has said on multiple occasions if these red lines are crossed, there will be action."
"And I think their government has obviously reached a stage where they feel that there won't be any consequences."
This type reporting repeats with disturbing regularity. Voices of truth are systematically shut out. Listeners get one-sided accounts. It happens every time.
On August 22, PBS' New Hour interviewed Robert Zarate. He's Foreign Policy Initiative's policy director. FPI's the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) successor organization.
It sells war. It deplores peace. It promotes US global military dominance. It targets independent governments. It urges replacing them with pro-Western subservient ones.
Zarante told News Hour host Margaret Warner he "think(s) the West has an obligation - the United States in particular has an obligation to intervene militarily, and not just because of what happened in the suburbs of Damascus, but because of what has happened over the last two-and-a-half years, since the Assad regime began its conflict with the Syrian people."
He blames Assad for insurgent crimes. He ignored the worst ones they commit.
"Look, what we're seeing right now in Syria is a rogue regime that has used weapons of mass destruction, " he added.
Professor Joshua Landis was interviewed on the same program. His comments were more measured. He stopped short of explaining things accurately.
He called Syria "a failed nation." It operated normally until Western-backed death squads arrived. He didn't explain.
He's concerned about making things worse, not better. He failed to lay blame where it belongs.
"(I)f we go in," he said, "we have to either rebuild Syria or we have to divide it up into three states, like we did in Yugoslavia."
He ignored international law saying so. No nation may interfere in the internal affairs of others. Doing so is brazenly illegal.
Landis didn't explain. Zarante wants US military intervention. International law is clear and unequivocal.
No nation may attack another except in self-defense. It may only do so only until the Security Council acts. It has final say.
Syria threatens no one. Zarante didn't explain. Nor did Landis. Host Margaret Warner betrayed News Hour viewers. One-sided reporting's featured. It happens every time.
Democracy Now manipulates viewers. It does it subtly. It does it deceptively. Followers believe it's a reliable alternative news and information source. At times it is. Too often it's not. When it matters most, it's on the wrong side of issues.
Ford, Rockefeller, Carnegie, Soros, MacArthur, and other corporate foundations provide funding. They expect payback in return. They're not disappointed.
Misinformation's featured. Propaganda substitutes for honest reporting. Guests represent imperial interests. Legitimate alternative media avoid them. Not Democracy Now.
It shows in its Syria coverage. It's shameless. It's one-sidedly anti-government. Opposition figures are featured. Assad's wrongfully vilified. He's blamed for insurgent crimes.
On August 23, Razan Zaitouneh was interviewed. She's actively involved in anti-Assad activities. Syria calls her a foreign agent. She blames insurgent-committed atrocities on government forces.
"(T)he regime launched a chemical attack on civilians two days ago," she claimed. She pointed fingers the wrong way. She did so shamelessly.
Assad had nothing to do with Wednesday's incident. She maintained otherwise. "I haven't seen such death in my whole life," she said.
"People were lying on the ground in hallways, on roadsides, in hundreds."
Asked how she knew who was responsible, she said:
Rockets used came "from the regime forces, it's clear. There is no doubt about it."
She ignored clear evidence otherwise. Rockets fired came from insurgent held territory.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Aleksandr Lukashevich said reports circulated online. They did so hours before Wednesday's incident.
It was a "pre-planned action," he said. It was an insurgent attack. Assad had nothing to do with it. Claiming otherwise is spurious anti-government propaganda.
Journalist Patrick Cockburn was interviewed on the same program. He called video evidence "compelling and convincing." He asked why would government forces use chemical weapons?
"That seems pretty extraordinary," he said. It's "the one thing most likely to lead to a foreign intervention. It's not an argument they didn't do it."
Host Amy Goodman accepted State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki's claim. She said opposition forces "don't have the capability to use chemical weapons."
False! On December 9, 2012, CNN headlined "Sources: US helping underwrite Syrian rebel training on securing chemical weapons."
"The United States and some European allies are using defense contractors to train Syrian rebels on how to secure chemical weapons stockpiles in Syria, a senior US official and several senior diplomats told CNN Sunday."
Training takes place in Jordan, Turkey and covertly in Syria. It involves using CW.
On May 8, 2013, Michel Chossudovsky said "CNN‚§|confirmed that contractors hired by the Pentagon were in fact training the terrorists in the use of chemical weapons."
"And now we have a statement by a United Nations Independent Commission, which has confirmed unequivocally - and it was revealed on the same day - that the terrorists who are backed by the United States and its allies, are in possession of deadly sarin nerve gas, which they are using against the civilian population."
"And once these Al Qaeda rebels had been supplied and trained in the use of WMDs by military contractors hired by the Pentagon, the Syrian government would then be held responsible for using the WMD against the Syrian people."
Chossudovsky correctly explained a "diabolical scenario." It's part of Washington's regime change strategy. Anti-Syrian media scoundrels proliferate the Big Lie. They blame Assad for insurgent CW use.
Democracy Now's like the rest. Anti-Syrian programming betrays its viewers. It repeats with disturbing regularity.
Western media scoundrels report one way. Managed news misinformation substitutes for truth and full disclosure. It's verboten. It's polar opposite how things should be.
John Pilger calls journalism war's first casualty. It's a "weapon of war," he says.
"(V)irulent censorship" by misinformation or "omission" condones imperial lawlessness.
George Seldes (1890 - 1995) called media scoundrels "the most powerful force against the general welfare of the majority of the people."
AJ Liebling (1904 - 1963) said "Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one."
"People everywhere confuse what they read (or view) with news."
Big Lies launch wars. Public opinion's manipulated. It's done to enlist support. Truth is suppressed. Fear and misinformation substitute.
Patriotism means supporting what's wrong. It means ignoring state lawlessness. Terrorism's what they do, not us.
Imperial wars are called good ones. Reasons why they're waged aren't explained. Wealth and power alone matter. Sacrificing human lives and freedoms are small prices to pay. Humanity's at risk but who cares.
Media scoundrels aid and abet state crimes. Truth is the most dangerous disinfectant. Suppressing it matters most.
Syria was largely peaceful until Washington initiated conflict. So were Libya and Iraq earlier. Iran's moment of truth awaits.
An entire region's being systematically destroyed. The worst of all possible outcomes may follow. Where things end, who knows.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
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