US taxpayers are being lied to about events in Syria. Washington DC endless war industry narrative is: “Fight Assad, Russia, and Iran! Join with our Turkish,
Saudi, and Kurdish friends to support peace!” This is appallingly distant from reality. It is also likely to prolong the war and condemn
more Syrians to suffering and death."
Boston Globe, Stephen Kinzer, opinion
the Syrian war will be remembered as one of the most shameful episodes
in the history of the American press. Reporting about carnage in the
ancient city of Aleppo is the latest reason why.
For three years,
violent militants have run Aleppo. Their rule began with a wave of
repression. They posted notices warning residents:
“Don’t send your
children to school. If you do, we will get the backpack and you will get
the coffin.” Then they destroyed factories, hoping that unemployed
workers would have no recourse other than to become fighters. They
trucked looted machinery to Turkey and sold it.
This month, people in Aleppo have finally seen glimmers of hope. The
Syrian army and its allies have been pushing militants out of the city.
Last week they reclaimed the main power plant. Regular electricity may
soon be restored. The militants’ hold on the city could be ending.
This does not fit with Washington’s narrative. As a result, much of the
American press is reporting the opposite of what is actually happening. Many news reports suggest that Aleppo has been a “liberated zone” for
three years but is now being pulled back into misery.
Americans are being told that the virtuous course in Syria is to
fight the Assad regime and its Russian and Iranian partners. We are
supposed to hope that a righteous coalition of Americans, Turks, Saudis,
Kurds, and the “moderate opposition” will win.
This is convoluted
nonsense, but Americans cannot be blamed for believing it. We have
almost no real information about the combatants, their goals, or their
tactics. Much blame for this lies with our media.
Under intense financial pressure, most American newspapers,
magazines, and broadcast networks have drastically reduced their corps
of foreign correspondents.
Much important news about the world now comes
from reporters based in Washington. In that environment, access and
credibility depend on acceptance of official paradigms. Reporters who cover Syria check with the Pentagon, the State Department, the White
House, and think tank “experts.” After a spin on that soiled carousel,
they feel they have covered all sides of the story. This form of
stenography produces the pabulum that passes for news about Syria.
The precise opposite is true. In 2012
Secretary of State Clinton joined Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Israel in a
successful effort to kill Kofi Annan’s UN peace plan because it would
have accommodated Iran and kept Assad in power, at least temporarily. No
one on the Milwaukee stage knew enough to challenge her.
may be forgiven for distorting their past actions. Governments may also
be excused for promoting whatever narrative they believe best suits
them. Journalism, however, is supposed to remain apart from the power
elite and its inbred mendacity. In this crisis it has failed miserably.
are said to be ignorant of the world. We are, but so are people in
other countries. If people in Bhutan or Bolivia misunderstand Syria,
however, that has no real effect. Our ignorance is more dangerous,
because we act on it. The United States has the power to decree the
death of nations. It can do so with popular support because many
Americans — and many journalists — are content with the official story.
“Fight Assad, Russia, and Iran! Join with our Turkish,
Saudi, and Kurdish friends to support peace!” This is appallingly
distant from reality. It is also likely to prolong the war
"Stephen Kinzer is a senior fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University. Follow him on Twitter @stephenkinzer."
Blog editor's note: Please excuse
patchwork text above. In some cases Google, my babysitter, insisted
type be so tiny as to be illegible.
Sunday, April 8, 2018
Here we go again. US War Industry narrative on Syria that Assad and Russia are the bad guys is a lie, the exact opposite of what's really happening. As always, the purpose of the lie is to enslave US taxpayers to endless, no-win wars-Boston Globe, Steven Kinzer, commentary, 2/18/2016
Posted by susan at 5:55 PM