Swallowing the big lie on Syria
Commentary: Reporting massacres that didn’t happen, and other media sins.
Tom Fenton July 27, 2012 06:00
COMMENTARY by Abel Ashes
It is true that Assad’s brutal and stifling dictatorship has had the positive effect of holding extremists back from seizing power. It is true that the US, Israel, and Turkey have ulterior motives with regard to Syria. It is true that much of the Sunni opposition wants to impose a Shariah law potential worse than Assad’s one man kleptocracy. It is also true that Islamists extremists including al-Qaeda have joined the fight against Assad…..However it is also true that Assad’s force shot unarmed peaceful protesters, that Allawite gangs have massacred entire Sunni neighborhoods, that Assad’s shelling has leveled much the city of Homs, that Assad’s forces have shot reporters, doctors, and humanitarian volunteers, that Syria tortures dissidents, that Assad and his wife embezzle their people’s money, that this isn’t the first time this family has massacred large numbers of Syrians, that the Syrian revolution began with peaceful protests demanding secular democracy not Sunni Islamist Shariah, that Assad has made ridiculous claims like that al-Jezeera was selling illegal narcotics labeled “al-Jazeera”, that children are being blown to pieces by Assad’s shelling, that Assad is paying a US PR firm to lie to the American people and that this PR firm directed the Vanity Fair article on Assad’s wife entitled “Rose in the Desert” ensuring that it be written by a writer who knew nothing about Syria at all. It is a lie that Assad’s forces are not intentionally killing innocent Syrians, including children, in large numbers.
Global Post said we should learn from “the Iraq fiasco” to which I reply: There were many “Iraq fiascos” involving the US and we should learn lessons from all of them. There was the considerable time when the US supported Saddam Hussein while be massacred Kurds in the north and tortured and executed Iraqis dissidents. There was the issue of George Bush Sr. encouraging Iraqis to rise up against Hussein’s dictatorship only to abandon them to be slaughtered by Saddam. There was the sickening act of the US not only setting up a puppet regime in Iraq but a puppet regime that is also a constitutional theocracy with recognized religiously based political parties, knowing very well that separation of religion and state is the first step toward a free society for all.
The massacres did happen.