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Reporting Syria propaganda style

By Les Louis - posted Tuesday, 21 February 2012


While claiming no originality, having drawn heavily on other commentaries, this is an attempt to clarify critical issues lost or distorted by selective reporting and propaganda that is served up as news about the conflict raging in Syria.

Reporting of Syria

Syria is an “evil”, repressive, authoritarian regime against which an opposition has developed. In 2011, challenged by large-scale demonstrations, the government did finally come up with a reform programme. The opposition rejected this out of hand, and, meanwhile, armed gangs have been killing soldiers, police and civilians almost from the outset.

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Syria's President Bashar al-Assad is from Syria's minority Alawite sect and he has filled senior political and military posts with Alawites to impose his rule through sectarian loyalty. Sunni Muslims make up 74 per cent of Syria's 22 million population, Alawites 12 per cent, Christians 10 per cent and Druze 3 per cent. Ismailis, Yezidis and Jews make up the rest.

The Arab League Peace Plan is simply regime change. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which consists of a six-member council that includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, is actually being influenced by the powerful Qatar and the House of Saud.

The GCC created an Arab League group to monitor events in Syria. When the monitors (over 160), after one month of enquiries, issued their report it did not follow the official GCC line - that the "evil" Bashar al-Assad government is indiscriminately killing its own people and must stand down. Rather it reported that there was no organised killing of peaceful protesters by the Syrian government.

Instead, it pointed to armed gangs as responsible for hundreds of deaths among Syrian civilians, and over one thousand among the Syrian army. And it came to the conclusion: “In some cities, the Mission sensed the extreme tension, oppression and injustice from which the Syrian people are suffering. However, the citizens believe the crisis should be resolved peacefully through Arab mediation alone, without international intervention. Doing so would allow them to live in peace and complete the reform process and bring about the change they desire…”

The Arab League's Ministerial Committee had approved the Report, with four votes in favour (Algeria, Egypt, Sudan and GCC member Oman) and only one against- Qatar. But it was ignored or denigrated by Western and Arab media. As the Report complained: “Since it began its work, the Mission has been the target of a vicious media campaign…”.

The Report was not even discussed, as GCC leaders (House of Saud and Qatar) went directly to their real objective, to impose a NATO-GCC regime change via the U.N. Security Council. Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter, has long been hostile to President Bashar al-Assad because of his alliance with its regional archrival Iran.

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The Syrian National Council

The exiled opposition leadership is composed of a number of disparate, often squabbling groupings, with the Syrian National Council (SNC) claiming umbrella status andattempting to model itself on Libya's Transitional National Council. It is based in NATO member countries, and is calling for direct international intervention.

Inside the SNC, the Muslim Brotherhood is the best organised element of the opposition.

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About the Author

Les Louis is the author of 'Menzies Cold War: A Reinterpretation' published by Red Rag Publications in 2001 and was the major contributor to the journal 'Cold War Dossier'.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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