Syria And The Media: “Activists say…”
February 17, 2012 "Information Clearing House" --- Every time I read a BBC news piece about events in Syria it invariably includes the following phrase (emphasized):
And invariably what the ‘activists’ say is about the Assad regime killing its citizens. So where is the BBC’s much-vaunted ‘objectivity’? Who are these ‘activists’? By what means does the BBC verify these accounts? And since when has unverifiable news stories been the main source of the BBC’s news on Syria?
Is it any wonder confusion reigns amongst progressives, who on the one hand condemn alleged deadly attacks by the Syrian state on its citizens but seem rather mute on the subject of the ‘armed insurrection’. This question is pivotal to the situation: Are the ‘armed insurrections’ a legitimate response to state violence or are they an attempt to overthrow the state that in turn initiated the Syrian state to respond with deadly violence?
Moreover, are such armed attacks supported, funded and armed by outside forces? Because if they are, they constitute the illegal interference into the internal affairs of a sovereign state. Interference that inevitably provokes a response from the state (which is no doubt one of the objectives). A response that with the help of the BBC and its ‘activist’ assistance can then present the Syrian state as “having a licence to kill”.
Anyone who believes that the Empire is at all concerned about the ‘human rights’ of Syrian citizens and it’s this that motivates its desire to ‘protect’, must have slept through the Empire’s decades-long killing spree. It’s unfortunate that those of us who are defending the Syrian state’s right to its independence are, by virtue of ‘guilt by association’, accused of defending the Assad regime. What kind of argument is this? What are we talking about here?
It assumes that there is some kind of universal law in operation that treats all countries and individuals equally, under the eyes of this universal law. But patently this is not true. Laws are applied or not, depending on who is doing the applying and who is on the receiving end.
The same rubbish came down the propaganda pipeline when the Empire decided it was time to get rid of Gaddafi. But what do those on the left who bought into this R2P nonsense have to say today I wonder? The latest casualty figures I’ve read for ‘protecting the human rights’ of the Libyan people is that at least 30,000 people have been killed, 50,000 more wounded, and some 4,000 are still missing, all the result of NATO’s R2P bombs. And these are figures released by the ruling NTC (there are also an estimated 8000 alleged Gaddafi supporters in jail with verified accounts of widespread torture and summary executions taking place under the NATO-imposed ‘democracy’). Is this the kind of price those on the left are willing to see others pay? Obviously they are, they are not on the receiving end.
If nothing else the media non-coverage of the Syrian disaster-in-the-making reveals the true extent of mainstream media power in shaping the nature of events and thus our response to them. Moreover, it reveals just how simple it is to pull off the stunt, especially when the editors at the BBC can rely on the exactly same mantra echoing around the world; ‘activists say…’ and blurry images apparently confirm it.
Repeated endlessly, what ‘activists say’ is the hook on which to hang imperial propaganda. There is not a single BBC story over the past few months that presents a view from the other side such as the one Fiona Hill reported from Syria recently and these people had names. Virtually all of the BBC’s interviews with said activists have had their faces covered, itself setting the scene for how the viewer receives the content.
And this is what amazes me about the Western left; how easy it for them to be duped. After all, what is it that they want? They, like their NATO/BBC counterparts want to see the Assad regime fall but I assume they want to see a ‘democratic’ government replace Assad’s, or do they want him to stop ‘repressing his people’?
What do they want? You see the fallacy of the position surely? It starts with ‘what they want’ as it’s none our business to be telling the Syrian people ‘what they want’, but once you start on this trajectory you find it’s a one-way street. As with Libya, we hear not a peep about the current situation in Libya from those who joined the bandwagon of dissing Gaddafi but decrying NATO at the same time.
The situation in Syria would appear to be almost identical to that of Libya (with some Kuwait thrown in for good measure) in the months that ran up to the destruction of the country in just a few, short weeks. It’ll probably take NATO a little longer to destroy Syria but the outcome will be the same: a country destroyed, reduced to penury, yet another ‘failed state’ that can be removed from the Imperial chessboard.
I assume those on the left who are busy calling for ‘regime change’ (or some kind of change) don’t go along with this, but short of capitulating to the Empire’s demands, there are only two futures for Syria: in one, the Syrians themselves are left to sort it out or, the Empire bombs the shit out of them.
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