Selling imperialist propaganda in an anti-imperialist wrapper
Any resemblance to persons living or dead or quoted in this article is entirely coincidental
As we predicted a few weeks ago, the Washington war party seems to have seized the initiative from the “lame duck” Obama administration over Syria and is currently pushing hard for a direct confrontation with the Syrian Arab Army, and possibly with Russia. Extreme anti-Assad hate porn has been saturating the press in what looks very much like a bid to “normalise the unthinkable” and prep us for a major war.
So, why are Counterpunch and the Socialist Worker choosing such a time to present a piece on Syria by Ashley Smith that reads like a briefing from the Clinton campaign or Kagan’s Foreign Policy Initiative?
We aren’t going to leap on a bandwagon and accuse Counterpunch or the SW of discreditable intentions. Counterpunch in particular has been a source of hugely valuable anti-imperialist commentary for very many years and it would be incredibly arrogant for we newcomers not to give it every respect for that. But what are they thinking here?
Smith tries to present this piece as a condemnation of the “campist” left for its kneejerk siding with a “brutal dictator”( Assad), simply because he is being attacked by the US imperialists. Maybe the Counterpunch co-editor (Jeffrey St. Clair) who defended the piece was convinced by this? That would be fair enough, if that was really Smith’s point. We’re the first to agree Assad isn’t beyond criticism and shouldn’t be sanctified by the “enemy of my enemy” syndrome. We’re the first to acknowledge he may entirely deserve to be called a tyrant. But Smith’s article doesn’t come close to exposing Assad’s real crimes. It doesn’t even try. It just settles for a lot of familiar misdirection, such as this:
The regime carried out a chemical weapons attack in a suburb of Damascus in 2013…
Why would such a gratuitous lie by omission be perpetrated by any author trying to bring honest analysis to bear? Why does Smith offer no balancing mention that even the corporate media has admitted there is no proof who perpetrated the Ghouta attack? Or that investigative journalists and people on the ground have amassed considerable amounts of data (see also here and here and here) pointing to it being perpetrated by the Turkish and US (imperial)-backed rebels?
But in case you’re thinking this is just an isolated slip of judgement on Smith’s part, do please read his entire article, and take note of these selected highlights:
“… The Syrian Revolution has tested the left internationally by posing a blunt question: Which side are you on? Do you support the popular struggle against dictatorship and for democracy? Or are you with Bashar al-Assad’s brutal regime, his imperial backer Russia, his regional ally Iran and Iran’s proxies like Hezbollah from Lebanon?..”
“… Since then, they [the US] have turned a blind eye to Assad’s massacre of some 400,000 Syrians, and his regime’s use of barrel bombs, chemical weapons and barbaric sieges of cities like Aleppo. Today, 11 million people–half the country’s population–have been displaced, with the Assad regime responsible for the lion’s share of the death and destruction…”
“… In reality, the U.S. retreated in general from outright regime change as its strategy in the Middle East after the failure of its invasion and occupation of Iraq. The main priority behind the alternative direction for U.S. imperialism pursued by Barack Obama is that the U.S. should avoid destabilizing regimes for fear of the chaos that ensues in the aftermath…”
“… The campist misreadings, however, have led them to the conclusion that the U.S. government is pulling the strings in the rebellion in Syria. Some have gone so far as to argue–absurdly–that the U.S. backs ISIS against Assad. Ironically, this puts the campists in agreement with Donald Trump, who, in his latest ravings, claims that Obama and Clinton were “founders” of ISIS.
“… In Syria, however, Washington’s goal is obvious, and has been for some time: It doesn’t want regime change. Perhaps the hated figurehead of Assad will be pushed aside, but U.S. policy from the beginning has been to preserve the core of Assad’s state….. Why? Above all, the U.S. fears an unpredictable outcome, whether as a result of the advance of the Nusra Front or ISIS–but especially in the form of a popular revolution…”
“… In its initial stages, the uprising in Syria had a nonviolent and mass character, but the savage repression and violence carried out by the regime militarized the conflict. The U.S. blocked the shipment of heavy weaponry, such as anti-aircraft systems, that would have strengthened secular and democratic forces that have borne the brunt of the Assad regime’s terror…”
“… Today, Washington’s goals are to wipe out ISIS and to secure a negotiated settlement in Syria that preserves the regime, if not Assad himself. In America’s camp, regional powers like Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey have tried to push the envelope even further, backing various jihadist forces to strengthen their position in region and weaken their opponents, from Assad to Iran, as well as challengers from below such as the Kurds…”
“… On the other side of the international geopolitical rivalry, Russia–profoundly weakened since its defeat in the Cold War a quarter century ago–is reasserting its imperial power through its all-out support for the Assad regime in Syria…”
So, how many approved mainstream Syria-tropes has Smith managed to crowbar into his piece in the guise of telling it like it is to the comrades? Let’s run through the checklist :
- The a priori demonisation of the “brutal” Assad regime (“responsible for the lion’s share of the destruction”) and its allegedly “imperial” territorially ambitious Russian backers, together with the sanctification of the allegedly “populist” alleged “rebels” without qualification, substantiation or historical perspective? Check…
- Promotion of the myth that Assad is known beyond doubt to have committed the Ghouta atrocity, and total suppression of any contesting possibility? Check…
- Promotion of the myth that “barrel bombs” are a form of terror weapon worse than conventional bombs or shells, and that they are being used by, and exclusively by, the Syrian regime? Check…
- Promotion of the myth the US is a helpless bystander to the chaos, regardless of the mountain of evidence to the contrary? Check…
- Promotion of the myth the US “fears” unpredictable outcomes, even though it routinely induces them wherever it goes (Libya, Somalia, Iraq, Ukraine)? Check…
- Promotion of the myth the US only went into Syria to “stabilise” the situation and/or to “fight ISIS”? Check…
- Promotion of the myth that Assad is directly responsible for the “400,000 dead”, when even the UN rep who estimated this figure was making a guess at the number killed in the five years of civil war as a whole? Check.
- Promotion of the myth that Assad is “hated” in Syria and refusal to acknowledge the evidence to the contrary? Check.
- Promotion of the myth that Aleppo, as a whole, is under siege by the SAA, and the denial by omission of the truth that the city is split in two or that al Nusra is shelling and killing civilians in the west of the city? Check
- Denial by omission of the entire question of legality or the requirement to abide by international law, and framing the debate instead as one of who “we” want to see running Syria? Check…
- The concomitant assumption by implication that “we” have some sort of moral obligation to overthrow governments we don’t like and to supply weaponry to anyone who opposes them? Check.
- The ridiculing of the mere idea the US backed ISIS to overthrow Assad, and the omission of evidence that shows this is exactly what they did? Check…
Impressive, no? If a paid government stenographer at the Guardian had written this they couldn’t have hoped to hit more approved talking points. Just like the US imperialists he claims to loath Smith tries to sell the idea Assad spontaneously started “assaulting” the “rebels” for no reason apart from evil (just like Yanukovich in Ukraine), and not as a response to the western-funded attempts at yet another phoney color revolution. He tries, just like the US imperialists, to make us see these poorly-defined “rebels” not as al Qaeda or ISIS or bands of mercenaries, but valiant heroes, struggling to fend off tyranny. He hopes we’ll be as dyslexic about the real legal and moral issue as he and his Washington friends are, and simply accept a priori our right/obligation to decide who gets to run Syria based on how much we like them.
But Smith doesn’t just sell on used mainstream lies, he also adds a few deceptions and reinventions of his own, aimed exclusively at getting his left wing audience to see regime change and armed intervention as the New Anti-Imperialism.
He starts by boldly reversing reality and presenting the “rebels”, not Assad as the target of US aggression. He tells us Obama doesn’t really oppose the Syrian government and that he “denied” the “rebels” the “heavy weaponry they pleaded for to stop the regime’s assault.” Given these “rebels” are currently bombarding western Aleppo (you know that place he doesn’t want to talk about) with US-donated mortars, rockets and sniper fire, this claim is about as stupid as it gets, and he ends up tying himself in knots of contradictions trying simultaneously to say Obama supports everything Assad stands for but also wants him – inexplicably – to go. He is so blatantly trying to weasel us into calling on Obama to send Tomahawks to the terrorist mercs (oops, sorry, “those who rose up for democracy and justice”) that it’s embarrassing. He thinks his audience are morons with short term memory loss and no idea how to use search engines, and by underestimating them only succeeds in making himself look a fool.
His phoney left, phoney social-justice warrior, phoney righteous indignation and general incompetence at creating a plausible alternative narrative only makes the lies he tells more repulsive. It’s a horrible display. As morally bankrupt as it is idiotic. It’s the Establishment-sanctioned war narrative in a red-painted, rainbow-tinged box.
Everyone sing along with Ashley now…
No comments yet.
or go to
When naive individuals suggest that maintaining a large government conspiracy in America is simply impossible because “somebody would have talked” perhaps they should consider the implications of this incident, which occurred so close to the media capital of the world.
And if they ever decide to trust Wikipedia on any remotely controversial topic, they should consult the 10,000 word Wikipedia article on TWA Flight 800, comparing that exhaustive presentation with the simple facts provided in this article, or the wealth of additional information in the numerous books and documentaries upon which my treatment was based. … Read full article
Aletho News Exclusive Content
This article will examine some of the connections between the US and UK National Security apparatus and the appearance of the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) theory beginning after the accident at Three Mile Island. … continue
Also by Aletho News:
March 8, 2011
February 25, 2010
February 7, 2010
December 26, 2009
December 4, 2009
May 9, 2009
- Reduced to a number – robbing Palestinians of their humanity September 26, 2016
- Hundreds inspired at the launching of the Palestinian Youth Forum September 25, 2016
- World Week of Peace 2016 September 24, 2016
- Menwith Menace: Britain’s Complicity In Saudi Arabia’s Terror Campaign Against Yemen September 27, 2016
- Syria – Conflicting Reports, Dubious Witnesses Challenge Convoy Attack Case September 27, 2016
- Washington Tries to Break BRICS – Rape of Brazil Begins September 26, 2016
- Clinton Foundation Deal Opens Italy’s Anti-Trump Front September 26, 2016
- Agriculture: Trade Wars and Food Wars. Obama and the Multi-Nationals September 19, 2016
Tags9/11 Afghanistan Africa AIPAC al-Qaeda Argentina BBC Benjamin Netanyahu Brazil Canada Central Intelligence Agency China CIA Colombia Cuba Da’esh Donald Trump Egypt EU European Union FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation France Gaza Germany Hamas Hebron Hezbollah Hillary Clinton Honduras Human rights India International Atomic Energy Agency International Solidarity Movement Iran Iraq Iraq War ISIL ISIS Israel Israeli settlement Japan Jerusalem John Kerry Latin America Lebanon Libya Mexico Middle East Military National Security Agency NATO New York Times NSA Obama Pakistan Palestine Police Press TV Qatar Russia Sanctions against Iran Saudi Arabia Syria Turkey UK Ukraine United Nations United States USA Venezuela Washington Post West Bank Yemen Zionism
roberthstiver on Bennis’s Delusions of Massive… aletho on Bennis’s Delusions of Massive… roberthstiver on Bennis’s Delusions of Massive… Greg Bacon on Greedy Pro-war US Lobbyists ar… Brian Harry, Austral… on UK military, MI6 need to be sc… Brian Harry, Austral… on Yawn… Jews Are Furious Once… Brian Harry, Austral… on The Hillary Clinton Presidency… Brian Harry, Austral… on Clinton meets Netanyahu, rejec… traducteur on 13yo girl shot 5 times by Isra… roberthstiver on Greedy Pro-war US Lobbyists ar… rediscover911com on This Florida Public School Pri… Brian Harry, Austral… on President Trump would ‘recogni… Brian Harry, Austral… on Another Kerry Rush to Judgment… Brian Harry, Austral… on Israel wants Syria destroyed a… Brian Harry, Austral… on North Korea: Rogue Aggressor o…
Visits Since December 2009
- 2,705,493 hits
Contact:atheonews (at) gmail.com
- Israel’s $38 Billion Scam September 27, 2016
- American Pravda: The Destruction of TWA Flight 800 September 27, 2016
- Wealthy Gulf states may arm Syrian rebels to ‘get the Russians to back off’ – US officials September 27, 2016
- Bennis’s Delusions of Massive Opposition to Israel Evaporate Under Harsh Light of Reality September 27, 2016
- ‘World Powers Responsible for Migrant Crisis Must Help Lebanon’ September 27, 2016
- US not arming Nusra, but our allies might – State Dept September 27, 2016
- The New York Times Endorses Hillary, Scorns the World September 26, 2016
- The REAL Cost of the War of Terror September 26, 2016
- Clinton meets Netanyahu, rejects UN solution for Palestine September 26, 2016
- The Hillary Clinton Presidency has Already Begun as Lame Ducks Promote Her War September 26, 2016
- Greedy Pro-war US Lobbyists are Eager to Allow the Middle-Eastern Carnage to be Carried On September 26, 2016
- Yemen’s Sammad Proposes Border Truce with Saudi September 26, 2016
- UK military, MI6 need to be scaled back: Labour leader September 26, 2016
- Yawn… Jews Are Furious Once Again September 26, 2016
- Israel calls on Norwegian theater to help remove fake BDS clip September 26, 2016
- ‘FIFA Tarnishing Football by Allowing Games on Stolen Land’ September 26, 2016
- 13yo girl shot 5 times by Israeli soldiers speaks to RT September 26, 2016
- President Trump would ‘recognize Jerusalem’ as Israeli capital September 25, 2016
Looking for something?
Categories"Hope and Change" Aletho News Book Review Civil Liberties Corruption Deception Economics Environmentalism Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism False Flag Terrorism Full Spectrum Dominance Illegal Occupation Islamophobia Mainstream Media, Warmongering Militarism Nuclear Power Science and Pseudo-Science Solidarity and Activism Subjugation - Torture Supremacism, Social Darwinism Timeless or most popular Video War Crimes Wars for Israel
This site is provided as a research and reference tool. Although we make every reasonable effort to ensure that the information and data provided at this site are useful, accurate, and current, we cannot guarantee that the information and data provided here will be error-free. By using this site, you assume all responsibility for and risk arising from your use of and reliance upon the contents of this site.
This site and the information available through it do not, and are not intended to constitute legal advice. Should you require legal advice, you should consult your own attorney.
Nothing within this site or linked to by this site constitutes investment advice or medical advice.
Materials accessible from or added to this site by third parties, such as comments posted, are strictly the responsibility of the third party who added such materials or made them accessible and we neither endorse nor undertake to control, monitor, edit or assume responsibility for any such third-party material.
The posting of stories, commentaries, reports, documents and links (embedded or otherwise) on this site does not in any way, shape or form, implied or otherwise, necessarily express or suggest endorsement or support of any of such posted material or parts therein.
The word "alleged" is deemed to occur before the word "fraud." Since the rule of law still applies. To peasants, at least.
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more info go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
This is information for anyone that wishes to challenge our “fair use” of copyrighted material.
If you are a legal copyright holder or a designated agent for such and you believe that content residing on or accessible through our website infringes a copyright and falls outside the boundaries of “Fair Use”, please send a notice of infringement by contacting email@example.com.
We will respond and take necessary action immediately.
If notice is given of an alleged copyright violation we will act expeditiously to remove or disable access to the material(s) in question.
All 3rd party material posted on this website is copyright the respective owners / authors. Aletho News makes no claim of copyright on such material.
Site infoAletho News
Blog at WordPress.com.