Exposed: Corporate Media Bias Demonizes Syrian Government

John Catalinotto

The corporate world media continue their propaganda war against the Syrian government in preparation for a more open intervention — “humanitarian,” of course — by U.S.-NATO imperialism. The pressure is on now to get Russia and China to abandon Syria to NATO aggression, following last year’s Libya script.

If that statement seems excessive, then take a close look at a few of the exceptional articles that have slipped into that same corporate media, exposing the bias of the rest. These few articles show that, as is so often the case, the Big Lie precedes the war.

BBC editor Jon Williams published in his blog what amounts to an apology for his news organization’s coverage of the Houla massacre, which took place at the end of May in Syria and was blamed on the Syrian government. Unfortunately, Williams’ piece received much less distribution than the Big Lie blasted across the corporate media and mouthed by every imperialist politician.

“In the aftermath of the massacre at Houla last month, initial reports said some of the 49 children and 34 women killed had their throats cut,” wrote Williams. In Damascus, Western officials told me the subsequent investigation revealed none of those found dead had been killed in such a brutal manner. Moreover, while Syrian forces had shelled the area shortly before the massacre, the details of exactly who carried out the attacks, how and why were still unclear.

“In Houla, and now in Qubair, the finger has been pointed at the shabiha, pro-government militia. But tragic death toll aside, the facts are few: it’s not clear who ordered the killings — or why.

“Those opposed to President Assad have an agenda,” Williams points out. “One senior Western official went as far as to describe their YouTube communications strategy as ‘brilliant.’ But he also likened it to so-called ‘psy-ops,’ brainwashing techniques used by the U.S. and other military to convince people of things that may not necessarily be true.”

The British daily newspaper Independent on June 13 gave an idea, obscured in most corporate media reports, of who really is behind the so-called “Free Syria Army.” “Syrian rebels are being armed by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, The Independent has learned, in a development that threatens to inflame a regional power struggle provoked by the 15-month-old uprising against the Assad regime.”

It continues: “[T]hree weeks ago, members of the loose assortment of rebel groups that comprises the FSA said they had received multiple shipments of arms including Kalashnikov assault rifles, BKC machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades and anti-tank weaponry from Gulf countries and that Turkey was assisting in the delivery of the weapons.”

With Saudi Arabia and Gulf countries like Qatar — unlikely supporters of “democracy” since they are all oppressive monarchies — buying guns for the Syrian opposition, this also impacts on the media coverage. Establishment journalist Rainer Hermann, from the conservative German daily newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, explained this in his analysis of the difficulties of getting accurate news coverage from Syria:

“[Because they are present] the Arab news channels Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya have become the leading media, owned by Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are two states actively involved in the conflict. Not without reason do Germans understand the phrase, ‘In war, the first casualty is truth.’”

Even the New York Times had to expose a “spin” by U.S. Secretary of Defense Hillary Rodham Clinton in her attempt to pressure Russia by claiming the Russians were delivering new, powerful helicopters to the Syrian government: “’She put a little spin on it to put the Russians in a difficult position,’ said one senior Defense Department official.” (June 13)

Clinton had told a conference in Washington on June 12, “We are concerned by the latest information we have that there are attack helicopters on the way from Russia to Syria, which will escalate the conflict quite dramatically.”

Many times in recent decades, when the corporate media mobilized to demonize a country, an aggressive war followed.

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