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Anti-Syrian Pack Journalism

by Stephen Lendman Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012 at 1:04 AM


Anti-Syrian Pack Journalism - by Stephen Lendman

When America wages war or plans it, major media scoundrels cheerlead in lockstep. Incendiary managed news follows. Truth and full disclosure lose out.

As a result, readers and viewers are uninformed. Imperial Washington gets free reign to keep ravaging the world one country at a time, threatening humanity in the process.

Arguably, three major broadsheets are America's most influential - The New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal. Each has large followings, especially among opinion makers.

They also contradict London Guardian commentator Jonathan Steele's January 17 article titled, "Most Syrians back President Assad, but you you'd never know from western media," saying:

"When coverage of an unfolding drama ceases to be fair and turns into a propaganda weapon, inconvenient facts get suppressed."

No wonder a recent YouGov Siraj Syria poll was ignored. Funded by the Qatar Foundation, it was commissioned by The Doha Debates. Notably, Qatar's monarchy one-sidedly opposes Assad. Its emir wants foreign intervention. Yet it published "inconvenient" poll results on its web sit.

It found most Arabs outside Syria want Assad to go, but not Syrians. A majority 55% support him, "motivated by fear of civil war" or greater violence and instability than now.

At the same time, half his supporters want near-term free elections. Assad promised them. "But it is vital that he publishes (new) election law as soon as possible, permits political parties and makes a commitment to allow independent" observers to monitor results.

In late December, Guardian writer Simon Jenkins railed  against Britain's "ruinous decade of wars." He called UK interventionism "not so much the white man's burden as his morbid thrill."

Rarely do Steele/Jenkins equivalents get major media op-ed space in America. Nearly all commentators are hawkish, and television coverage screams.

On January 19, a New York Times editorial headlined, "Syria's Rising Toll," saying:

UN and other reports say deaths now exceed 5,400. "Yet the international community still has not mustered the tough pressure that might force Mr. Assad to stop the killing, or Syria's Army and business elite to toss him out."

Fact check

Alleged death toll numbers come from anti-Assad elements. They entirely lack credibility. Unmentioned were 2,000 or more Syrian security force killings by Western-backed externally generated insurgents. Inconvenient facts are ignored. They include Washington's longstanding regime change in both Syria and Iran.

The Times accused Russia of "blocking the (Security Council) from imposing any serious punishment," selling Assad arms, and "thwarting democratic forces and their Western backers."

"On Monday, Russia proposed a shamefully weak resolution that put equal blame" on both sides. "That means it is up to Arab League ministers" to get tough and act. "Assad has made clear" his unwillingness to "compromise....and he has made clear his contempt for (League) efforts to broker peace."

Fact check

Russia, China, BRIC allies, and other countries oppose outside intervention. At issue is not replicating Libya. Washington and Western allies want regime change, control, and delinking Syria from Iran. They don't tolerate democracy abroad or at home.

Russia's proposal was even-handed, despite insurgent responsibility for violence, not Assad who's responding as would any leader. He's expressed willingness to meet popular demands several times. His comments are ignored or discounted.

The Times want Arab League ministers to end their "failed monitoring mission" and impose tougher measures on their own. At issue is concern that mission head General Mohammed Ahmed Mustafa al-Dabi debunked Western propaganda and confirmed evidence of an externally generated insurgency

As a result, he's called unreliable. Efforts are made to discredit him. Media scoundrels regurgitate official lies. Arab League monitors and foreign ministers are meeting in Cairo this weekend.

A report on Syrian violence will follow. Perhaps al-Dabi will be entirely shut out. Earlier he reported regime cooperation and lashed out at monitor Anwar Malek's comments for quitting the team. He called the mission a "farce," saying:

"What I saw was a humanitarian disaster. The regime is not just committing one war crime, but a series of crimes against its people. The snipers are everywhere shooting at civilians. People are being kidnapped. Prisoners are being tortured and none were released."

In response, al-Dabi said "Malek did not leave the hotel for six days and did not go out with the rest of the team into the field giving the excuse that he was sick."

The Times sees "no easy solution," but wants more international community pressure "to make clear to (Assad) and his cronies that their time has run out."

Fact check

Washington-backed insurgents cause violence and killings. Moreover, international law prohibits interfering internally in other countries' affairs. Washington and rogue NATO partners do it as official policy. They and Times editorial writers spurn what real democracies support and enforce.

A January 17 Washington Post editorial headlined, "Syria's carnage puts Arab leaders on horns of a dilemma," saying:

Arab League interventionist calls show "a sense of desperation." In fact, they indicate Western policy reflected through proxy comments.

"Assad predictably (continues) killing people at a shocking pace." Arab League observers "fail(ed), and one of its own members called (its mission) a farce."

So AL members have a choice "between humiliation and stronger action....One way or another, the (League's) predicament will be shared by NATO members," including Washington....Standing by while the bloodshed goes on should not be one of the options."

Indeed not, but pointing fingers the wrong way won't end it.

Wall Street Journal contributor Fouad Ajami is a longtime Western flack. Long ago he sold his credibility for a buck. He showed it in a January 6 op-ed titled, "America and the Solitude of the Syrians," calling the Assad government a "veritable North Korea on the Mediterranean...."

Predictably, he accused Assad of "hunt(ing) down (his people) and slaughter(ing) them like rats," adding there's "ice in this ruler's veins. (He) mix(es) cunning and bluster. (The world's) two big autocracies - Russia and China - have given this regime cover and sustenance at the United Nations."

Fact check

Earlier comments debunked Ajami's. They lay blame where it belongs. Moreover, Russia, China and other nations want conflict resolution, not war.

Media scoundrels like Ajami have other ideas, implied or explicitly stated. Like other like-minded scoundrels, his credibility long ago was lost. He regurgitates official policies, not truth and full disclosure.

As a result, readers are left uninformed and misdirected. They deserve better, especially on issues of war and peace.

However, major media writers, op-ed contributors, editorial writers, TV reporters and pundits won't provide it.

Shut them out. Go online. Choose reliable sources to explain what media scoundrels suppress and distort. Make them a regular habit to learn what everyone needs to know - the truth.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at

Also visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.                                  

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