In Multipolarity

By John Wight, CounterPunch, Dec 9, 2016

‘History will not be kind to those who have propagated the lie that something approximating to a democratic revolution has been underway in Syria.’

Russian-administered field hospital in Aleppo shelled by terrorists on Dec 5, 2016 (Sputnik)

Russian-administered field hospital in Aleppo shelled by terrorists on Dec 5, 2016 (Sputnik)

The killing and wounding of Russian medical personnel in a rocket attack on a military field hospital in Aleppo raises again the question of who is actively lending support to terrorism in Syria, people depicted in the West as ‘moderates’ in a monstrous inversion of the truth.

Such has been the Goebbelsian nature of western media coverage of the conflict in Aleppo, Nusra Front (now Jabhat Fateh al-Sham) have morphed from a terrorist organization, which in its methodology and objectives is near indistinguishable from ISIS, into a latter day version of the French resistance or Partisans of Second World War repute. In the process the only real moderates engaged in the conflict in Syria – the Syrian Arab Army, Russia, Iran, and other allies – have been demonized, accused of targeting and terrorizing civilians, including children, when they have in fact been liberating them.

History will not be kind to those who have propagated the lie that something approximating to a democratic revolution has been underway in Syria. On the contrary, the country and its people have suffered the depredations of an Islamic Khmer Rouge, intent on ‘purifying’ a multicultural and multi-religious society of minority communities that are able to trace their existence in this part of the world back over a millennia and more.

The overwhelming majority of Syrians, without whose support the government would have collapsed long before now, utterly reject the ideology of these extremists, thousands of them non-Syrians who’ve descended on the country from across the Muslim world and beyond like a plague of locusts, taking advantage of the destabilization of the region wrought by Washington and its allies in recent years.

The sinister aspect to the conflict in Syria, which the attack on the Russian military field hospital raises, is the extent to which these so-called rebels have enjoyed the support of western and regional powers. How else are we to explain the way they have been able to survive for so long? Who has been supplying them with the weaponry, money, material, intelligence, and logistics support that has allowed them to do so?

Russia in particular has been vilified in the West over its role in the conflict. Indeed a neo-McCarthyite anti-Russian propaganda offensive has been waged across Europe in response to Russia’s military mission in the country. It is a propaganda offensive that has intensified in recent in parallel with the operation to liberate Aleppo. We have seen Russian media outlets, such as RT and Sputnik International, being targeted, its representatives hauled before parliamentary select committees in the UK to ‘explain themselves’, accused of peddling pro-Russian propaganda rather than news. We have also seen U.S. State Department spokesman, John Kirkby, refuse to take a legitimate question from an RT correspondent, attacking her credentials.

There is an insidious element to this unprecedented level of Russia-bashing in the West, wherein it is not Russia’s government that is being demonized but Russia itself – with the clear inference that the Russian character is inherently dishonest, underhand, wicked, etc.

Enough is enough.

It is no longer credible, much less ethical, to describe people engaged in acts of mass murder and slaughter in Paris, London, Brussels, or in the U.S., as terrorists, while at the same time describing those responsible for the same murder and slaughter in Syria as ‘rebels’. In fact it is obscene beyond measure.

Like Afghanistan, like Iraq, and like Libya, in Syria a grotesque experiment in human despair has been taking place, wherein murder and extremism has been presented as resistance and revolution, with those struggling to protect civilians from terrorism depicted as the terrorists. George Orwell himself could not have done better than produce what passes for western media coverage in this regard.

You can either stand with those who are fighting religious extremism and sectarianism or you can stand with the extremists and sectarians. What you cannot do is both – i.e. rhetorically maintain a position of being against extremism while acting against those who are risking their lives fighting it on the ground. It is why the enemy of people in Britain, France, and the U.S. is the hypocrisy of their own governments and media acolytes.

Syria, thanks to the tenacity of its armed forces, will not go the same way as the countries already mentioned – Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya – and see its society disfigured, its development destroyed, and its culture despoiled in service to a hegemonic agenda that has been responsible for human suffering on a grand scale. While it may take years to be rebuilt, given the scale and brutal nature of the conflict that has engulfed it, rebuilt it will be.

What will never be rebuilt are the reputations and integrity of those who have written a new page in the annals of mendacity and duplicity, both of which have underpinned the West’s words and actions when it comes to Aleppo and the wider conflict in Syria.

To paraphrase none other than Winston Churchill, in the West the truth when it comes to Syria is being protected by a bodyguard of lies.

John Wight is the author of a politically incorrect and irreverent Hollywood memoir – Dreams That Die – published by Zero Books. He’s also written five novels, which are available as Kindle eBooks. You can follow him on Twitter at @JohnWight1

Previously by John Wight:
The fierce debate over Fidel Castro’s legacy, CounterPunch, Dec 1, 2016

Related reading:
Syria condemns ICRC stance towards Dec 5 shelling in Aleppo against Russian field hospital, by Inside Syria Media Center, Dec 8, 2016

Theresa May is wading into a dangerous sectarian conflict in the Middle East – and she’s backing the losing side, by Patrick Cockburn, The Independent, Dec 9, 2016

‘… It is a moment of decision in Syria as the Syrian Army and its allies are close to overrunning east Aleppo, the last big urban enclave of the armed opposition. Their victory means that President Bashar al-Assad will stay in power, something that his many enemies were prone to discount until recently. Touchingly out of date with these developments on the battlefield, British policy remains that Assad must go before political progress is possible…’

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