Saturday, August 20, 2016

Bill Van Auken — “Human rights” propaganda campaign paves way for military escalation in Syria

Photographs and video of five-year-old Omran Daqneesh have rapidly become ubiquitous in the media in the US and Western Europe after being distributed by a group aligned with the CIA-backed Islamist “rebels” in Syria.

CNN proclaimed the child “the face of Syria’s civil war,” while the anchor-woman theatrically burst into tears recounting his story. The New York Times called him “a symbol of Aleppo’s suffering,” while USA Today published a short editor’s note reading, “This Syrian boy is Omran. Will you pay attention now?”
More direct in its approach was the British daily Telegraph, which headlined an article: “For the sake of Aleppo’s children, we must try again to impose a no-fly zone in Syria.”…
What we are witnessing is a carefully orchestrated war propaganda campaign, designed to appeal to the humanitarian sentiments of the population in order to corral it behind a new escalation of imperialist violence in the Middle East. Whether the incident with Omran was itself staged by the “rebels” and their CIA handlers, or Washington and the corporate media are cynically exploiting the real suffering of an innocent child, is an open question.
What is indisputable is that the feigned concern over this one child is being foisted upon the public with very definite and undeclared political and geo-strategic motives that have nothing to do with protecting the lives of innocent children. They have died by the hundreds of thousands over the last quarter century of US-led invasions, bombings and proxy wars throughout the region.
The image of Omran was chosen because it comes from the eastern sector of Aleppo, where roughly one-sixth of the northern Syrian city’s population lives under the domination of US-backed Islamist militias. The most important of these is the Fateh al-Sham Front, which, until last month, called itself the al-Nusra Front and was Al Qaeda’s designated affiliate in Syria.…
The driving forces underlying the renewed propaganda campaign are two-fold. In the first and most immediate instance, the “rebel” offensive—armed and funded by the US and its regional allies—to break the government siege of eastern Aleppo and intensify the war against the civilian population in the west of the city has stalled, and the Syrian army, backed by Russian air power, is again making significant gains on the ground. Hence the renewed demands for an immediate ceasefire.
More far-reaching in its implications is the development of closer collaboration between Russia, Iran, China and Turkey in relation to the five-year-old war for regime-change in Syria. Iran has over the past week allowed Russia to use Iranian bases to attack Syrian targets, while Beijing has announced an increase in military aid to Damascus. Meanwhile, in the wake of last month’s abortive US-backed military coup, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has sought a rapprochement with both Moscow and Tehran. 
Washington views this potential alliance with increasing disquiet, seeing it as an impediment to its military drive to assert US hegemony over the Middle East and its vast energy reserves. It cannot accept such a challenge and will, inevitably, prepare a military response. It is to this end that the “humanitarian” propaganda campaign to “save the children” of Syria—and rescue Washington’s Al Qaeda-linked proxies in the bargain—has been mounted.…
Prepping for a wider war in Syria, which I had opined as possible in the home stretch of the campaign as a parting gift to Killary from Nobel Laureate for Peace Prize recipient Barack Obama. This is neoconservativism and neoliberalism at its worst.

Oh, and this tidbit.
The methods employed in this campaign are well-worn to say the least. Twenty-five years ago, the first Gulf War against Iraq was prepared with a chilling tale, told to the US Congress, of invading Iraqi troops stealing incubators from Kuwaiti hospitals and leaving babies to die. The supposed eyewitness to this atrocity, a woman identified as a nurse, was subsequently exposed as the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador and a member of the emirate’s royal family. The entire story was a propaganda hoax.…
Defend Democracy
“Human rights” propaganda campaign paves way for military escalation in Syria
Bill Van Auken

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