This is a shortened version of an article that was originally published in Greek on January 10 2016. By P. Pap. for avantgarde
In Iraq, cormorants suffering in the Gulf from the oil that the evil dictator Saddam had thrown in the Gulf. In Libya, civilians being massacred by the terrible tyrant Gaddafi only to be resurrected later. In the DPR of Korea, the mad dictator feeds his uncle to the dogs and executes his fiancé for a video she made – which no one ever saw. In the Donbass, the Putin-backed separatists blow up their own factories in regions they control, rape women in state buildings, pass anti-gay legislation and force the Jewish population to either register or be deported (despite the fact that the Peoples’ Republics have Jewish officials in their leadership).
Most of us have heard at least some of these fairytales. There must be some kind of disease that affects “dictators” at some point of their life, which makes them do crazy and despicable things. They usually catch this disease when they do not agree with the Western Empire on some issue. At that point, the Empire comes in to protect the civilians or the rebels or human rights or cormorants. An organized campaign of terror about the terrible crimes that the dictators are committing comes first; western media and the various NGO’s such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International do their best to prepare the public opinion for the intervention. The imperialists intervene, murder the leader of the “rogue state” and leave behind them several tenths of thousands of dead (in the best case scenario) and ravaged countries that are either colonized or turned into chaotic failed states. The above schema has been repeated so many times, that it is only reasonable for anyone to assume that, if the CNN and the BBC say something about an opponent of the Empire, the opposite must be true.
The town of Madaya and some more lies
A recent equivalent to the “news” mentioned above comes from the Syrian town of Madaya, which, as the western media inform us in perfect unison, “is being starved by the Syrian regime that is besieging it”. The story often begins with the tragic image of a starved child which, as the reports inform us, was published by the “Local Revolutionary Council” in Madaya and “has been verified and is consistent with other AP reporting”. Reality begs to differ.
First of all, the – truly shocking – photograph of the starving child that accompanies the reports, which, according to the good propaganda outlets, was published by the “Local Revolutionary Council” in Madaya and “has been verified and is consistent with other AP reporting”, comes from a different time and place: from the city of Ghouta in May 2015! This very picture has been used from the “reports” of both the Washington Post and the Associated Press – among others. A series of photos that appeared in the various international media also come from different times and places:
“Revolutionaries”, “moderate rebels” and other mythical entities
Having said the above, let us have a look at what this “revolutionary council” that provided the images to the good media outlets is all about: it consists of Ahrar al-Sham, al-Nusra and the FSA. All these organizations, branded as “moderate rebels” by Western imperialism, are in fact salafist – jihadist groups that have little or no difference with ISIS. Of course, when they address foreign audiences, they put on their mask, that of “Syrian revolutionaries against the dictator”. You can see them here holding a poster, which they sign as “The Syrian Revolution”, appealing to their class brothers all over the world:
Eric Draitser has nicely covered what this Zahran Alloush character is about. One can see him calling for ethnic cleansing in Syria in this video, where he states that he will “cleanse Syria from the Shiite and Nousayri (derogatory term used for the Alawites) filth”. I think that one does not to say more about what the nature of these “rebels”.
Hizbullah, Red Cross and some further information
Hizbullah issued the following statement on Madaya:
“1) Tens of trucks carrying food and medical supplies were delivered to Madaya Sergaya on Oct 18. More will be brought in next few days.
2) Madaya has been held hostage for months by 600 militants made up of 60% Ahrar, 30% Nusra and 10% FSA.
3) Armed groups in Madaya control the food supplies of the town and sell to whoever can afford to buy it.
4) Madaya wasn’t effectively under siege until militants began using it as a base from which they launch operations vs SAA and Hezbollah in Zabadani.
5) The militants have been using 23,000 Madaya inhabitants as human shields and as political card using them in false propaganda campaign. So far there are no deaths.
6) There have been many attempts by inhabitants of Madaya to leave the town but the militants have not allowed them to do that.
7) There are negotiations for 300 militants to hand themselves to the authorities but other militants have refused b/c of an external party’s political decision.
8) When the Zabadani agreement was being implemented, a convoy of injured militants leaving Zabadani was stopped due to threats of shelling from Madaya militants who objected to the agreement.
9) Finally,goals of those behind Madaya smear campaign are known … to tarnish image of the resistance and to use civilians in a losing political game.”
But let us assume that Hizbullah is not as reliable as the imperialist media outlets. Let us listen to what a neutral player has to say: the Red Cross.
In the above video, the spokesperson of the Red Cross states that he can neither confirm nor deny the reports of the starving people in Madaya, and does not make any comments about what the party that does not allow access to the town.
But let us look into the issue a little further. In Madaya, a town with a largely Sunni population, a demonstration was held in 30.11.2015 – in support of the Syrian government. Defying the “rebels”, the people of Madaya demonstrated, calling for the Syrian army to liberate the town. There are supporters of the Syrian government in this town, and quite a few of them. Why would Assad and Hizbullah want to starve their own supporters, can any mouthpiece of imperialist propaganda explain this to us? And let us assume that the “crazy dictators” around the world who do not bow down to the Empire do not need an excuse to start “massacring their own people”. How come and the “rebels” are not starving too? All the videos show well-fed men with guns – or at least men who are not starving. Various media claim that a kilo of rice in the town is sold for prices that range from $100 to $250. Why could that be? Obviously, because there is a black market racket in the town. And who controls this black market if not those well-fed imperial-jihadist scum, who have the town under their control and leave the women and children to starve?
One last thing. On January 7, various western media reported that the Syrian government gave the green light for the humanitarian assistance to enter the town, with the UN welcoming this decision. On January 8, al-Masdar News interviewed the managing director of the Syrian Red Cross in Damascus. When asked why the humanitarian aid has not reached the town yet, the director replied that in order for them to deliver aid, they had to be given the “green light” to do so “by all the parties involved in the ceasefire agreement”. The Syrian government had already given the green light. Which party had not still given it? What do the mouthpieces have to say about this? They missed the video that shows the people of Madaya confronting the “rebels” because they did not allow the humanitarian aid to pass, didn’t they?
Preparing the escalation of Western intervention
Why do all the good western media not speak with the same outrage for the villages of Foua and Kafraya, which are also in a tragic humanitarian situation? The people of these villages are also asking for help! In this video, the children are demonstrating, shouting that they want milk, asking why there are no media to report on their plight and calling for the end of the siege. A woman says: “The people of Foua have an elaborate history and originally come from Aleppo. Firstly we are the responsibility of the Syrian leadership, we love our leadership but are disappointed with it. Our leadership must take all necessary measures to break the siege on us. We also call on our friends – Iran is our friend, and Hezoballah is also a partner of the resistance and is very dear to our hearts, they must have a united vision and take precautions on the corruption that is falling within these operations which is prolonging this siege. If things were being done properly, the siege would have ended two months ago.” Why do the children of Foua who ask for milk not make headlines in western media? Because these two villages are under siege by the “rebels”, who have not allowed the Red Cross to enter! Why is it that we get to hear almost nothing on the murderous war that the royal parasites of the House of Saud, with the support of the Empire, are waging against the people of Yemen, which has resulted in more than 7,500 people dead and a country at the brink of famine, whose civilians do not even have access to clean drinking water? Where is the holy indignation of the self-righteous hypocrites when the Saud massively behead dissidents? What about the 1,202 people murdered by the police in the US in 2015? Why are there no denouncements of the evil regime that is massacring its own people? What about the war that Erdogan is waging against the Kurdish minority in Turkey? These questions are, of course, rhetoric.
It is certain that, during a war, crimes will be conducted from both sides. But, in the best case scenario, this engineered spread of lies aims to justify the escalation of the Western support for the “moderate rebels” – McCain, Hillary, Petraeus and the other hawks of the State Department bitterly blame Obama for not helping them as he should, mourning every time a Russian strike hits one of them. In the worst case scenario, it is part of the communication management of a larger scale intervention being prepared by the Western imperialists, which we must oppose by any means possible.
Let us not fall victims of the imperialist propaganda
The information war is going on at all times and it is very hard to refute all the propaganda campaigns. It is understandable that one may not have the time to search for the source of every piece of news he/shares on the various social media. But a simple Google search of the images presented by the lying media would have been enough for one to understand that there is something wrong there and that the photos were from different time and place.
Today’s imperialism is perfectly able to spread its propaganda on its own, let us not extend helping hands to it. Imperialists have the money to maintain all these media outlets as well as the language, English (or, should I say, American?), through which they can communicate with the whole world and shape a picture of what the “real” facts are. The AJ + made a fake video for Madaya, which reached 10 million views in one day! When one reads a news story about horrors that are allegedly being committed by enemies of the Empire, he/she would do well to remember the image of the cormorant that was supposedly dying in the oil that evil Saddam had thrown in the Gulf: a fake image that became the pretext for a series of imperialist wars that would claim the lives of more than one million Iraqis.
PS. Those who were shocked by the suffering of children the in the photographs (even if these pictures were not taken in Madaya), those who consider the suffering of the oppressed as their own suffering, those who stand against every form of oppression, the crème de la crème of society, from the conscious action of which any progressive development can be achieved, need to understand that the way for all of us to stop seeing such horrifying images passes through the overthrow of the imperialist savagery, that has had a name for the last 70 years: NATO – and act accordingly.