Sunday, September 27, 2015

ISIS foreign fighters and Western media

So I read in the Times that some 30,000 foreign fighters have joined ISIS since 2011.  What is missing from such a grim assessment is that Western media themselves especially in the first two to three years of the Syrian conflict have been complicit in the recruitment and incitement on behalf of the cause of ISIS and that of Nusrah front. Who can froget those articles about those heroic Americans and Canadians who left everything here in order to join "the free Syrian" freedom fighters? Who can forget the appalling insistence that the Syrian rebels are democratic and secular and feminist? Who can forget the coverage in the Post and the Times which stubbornly refused to concede that those highly priased Syrian rebels are none other than Jihadi fighters and that the only "secular" fighters are basically the criminal elements who are organized by the Saudi and Qatari and Turkish regimes? Who was asked to accont for the false reporting when the cause of fighting the Syrian regime by anyone and for any motive was put higher than any other considerstaion, including the safety of Western countries, not to mention the safety of the Syrian people who never really count for much unless they are fodder for Western propganda.  To this day, Western media still invoke a false dichotomy between "the Syrian rebels" and ISIS thereby prepetating a myth about some heroic fighters in Syria.  Nusrah Front (the official branch of Al-Qa`idah) and Ahrar Sham (another Jihadi variant) continue to receive laudable coverage in Western media.  Western governments and media recruited on behalf of Ben Laden and his fellow travlers during the Afghan mujahidin days and have been recruiting on behalf of Baghdadi and Julani and others.  Yet, they can only accept this frame of discussion: why are Muslims so fanatic? What is wrong with Arab culture?