Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Syria coverage

The Western (and Saudi-Qatari) coverage of Syria is way too sensational and propagandistic.  That is how they cover: they take their clues (conscientiously or subconsciously) from the statement and rhetoric of Western governments.  They did with Libya and still are doing it.  We saw the success of NATO bombings that were supposed to deliver the Libyan people to freedom.  Instead, dictator is still in place, and a monstrous Islamist council of crooks and semi-crooks (and unkowns) has been set up to represent the aspirations of Western oil companies and of Western Zionists.  I talked about Asad speech the other day: about how it is frustrating. That he keeps talking in excruciating details about the promises of committees and more committees without offering concrete changes and not even questioning the the right of his family to rule Syria presumably for ever.  In the speech he compared conspiracies to "germs", and in the Western coverage--certainly in British newspapers since I am in London this week--immediately claimed that he called Syrian protesters "germs".  Robert Fisk (what a joke this man has become), gave a cartoonish analysis and even mocked the presence of conspiracies in the Middle East (here Fisk is on the same wavelength with Daniel Pipes in one of his books).  But how can anyone take Fisk seriously anymore: Fisk after supported wholeheartedly the Bush-House of Saud conspiracy in Lebanon for the last few years.  So it is now new at all for him.  Now Anthony Shadid is a serious American correspondent whose writings I have consistently praised over the years, and unlike other Western media he covered the obvious: that there were tens of thousands of Syrians who demonstrated in support of the regime. That can't be denied.  But Shadid added that those demonstrations were "orchestrated".  But Anthony: is it not obvious that ALL demonstrations are "orchestrated", including protests by the opposition.  Many Syrians yesterday emailed me to note to me that I was wrong if I suggested that all Syrians want Asad out. I know from my communications from Syrians and other visitors to Syria that many do in fact support the regime, while many Syrians want the downfall of the regime. I dont know the percentages of course. But it is obvious that the pro-regime demonstrations were not covered.  Can one deny that those pro-Syrian regime demonstrations are far bigger than the protests that have been promoted from Youtube by Syrian Muslim Brotherhood opposition, and which headlines coverage of Syria.  Comrade Bassam said it best here:  "When genuine, the rallies Tuesday demonstrated sentiments that had “less to do with support for Bashar and more to do with not wanting to descend into the unknown,” said Bassam S. Haddad, director of the Middle East Studies Program at George Mason University. “There’s a lot of orchestrating going on, but it’s not all orchestration.”"  What is it difficult for people in the Western press and academic to express opinions and offer explanations and analysis that don't fully conform with the Orientations of Western governments? That is what Chomsky called "manufacturing consent."   I really believe that Aljazeera's over-the-top propaganda helped the Syrian regime because it was so devoid of balance and even facts.  The supply of Islamists Syrian dissidents that has been paraded on Aljazeera screen may have alarmed secular Syrians (not that the so-called secularism of the regime is to my liking as I don't consider any Arab regime to be appropriately secular--they all use religion, and US is not secular by my standard of the neutrality of the state on matters of religious preference.).   The BBC the other day featured a Syrian officer who a week ago was lionized in Time magazine when he said that he defected with some 30 of his soldiers.  That was featured on Aljazeera and every other network.  BBC yesterday revisited the guy and admitted that he lied and that he defected on his own.  Yet, the report praised his lies and said that this his lies were responsible for delaying the advances of Syrian troops in Jisr Ash-Shughur.  So lies on behalf of Western agenda (and the Muslim Brotherhood agenda is part of the Western political agenda--certainly in Syria) are now warmly welcome. The more the better.