by Finian Cunningham
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Crossposted from PressTV, Feb. 1, 2014
February 3, 2014
Just as the designed-to-fail Geneva II negotiations between the Syrian government and the Western-backed fake opposition came to a close at the weekend, another media smear campaign against the Damascus authorities conveniently surfaces.
The latest “sensational” story is that the Syrian state army has been “wiping civilian residential areas off the map” in the cities of Damascus, Aleppo and Hama.
This must be seen as not just another sporadic Western propaganda stunt. It appears to signal a concerted effort to intensify the US-led agenda of regime change in Syria – an agenda that is criminal to the core. It dovetails with the “failure” of Geneva talks and reports of increased weapons supply from the US to the Al Qaeda proxies waging a war of terror inside Syria, as well as renewed threats of military aggression by Washington’s top diplomat, John Kerry.
Human Rights Watch – a proven propaganda tool for the US government – presented satellite images that purport to show large residential areas having been “razed to rubble” by deliberate Syrian army demolition. In an all-too familiar pattern of dissemination, the story was duly given prominence by Western media, including France 24 and the [state-run] BBC.
HRW claims that the alleged demolitions represent a “war crime” and that the UN Security Council should now refer the Syrian government for prosecution.
It is no coincidence that the lurid allegations should emerge just as the Geneva II talks were coming to an inconclusive end. In Geneva, the Syrian government delegation quite rightly rejected the preposterous demands made by the Western, Saudi, Qatari-backed so-called Syrian National Coalition for President Bashar al-Assad to step down.
As previously noted in this column, the SNC – which exists only in the figment of exiled imagination – has negligible mandate from the Syrian people. The only “mandate” it has is from Washington and its allies, who created the front to do their political bidding for regime change in Syria.
The fake “peace conference” never had a chance of succeeding in its ostensible purpose. By placing impossible demands on the Syrian government it appears that the real agenda of the conference, from the Western point of view, was aimed at casting the Syrian government as intransigent.
The sensational claims of “wiping civilian residences off the map” are timed to add further smear on the Syrian government.
Just before the Geneva II conference opened, we had another synchronized Western media psyops campaign courtesy of the Guardian and CNN, which claimed that they had been provided with over 50,000 images of “industrial-scale killing” of prisoners carried out by Syrian state forces. The alleged source of the images was an un-named single individual who was described as an ex-policeman.
As with all smear tactics, the telling thing is that they never seem to be followed up with substantiation. How many times during the three-year Syrian conflict have we been told of “massacres” committed by the Syrian state, only for these massacres to fade into obscurity with no conclusive evidence? Indeed, in some cases, it quietly emerges much later that the culprits of massive violations were the Western-backed foreign mercenaries.
One such notorious incident was the alleged chemical weapons attack on civilians near Damascus on 21 August last year. Recall that the incident nearly resulted in an all-out US military attack on Syria.
Both the New York Times and Human Rights Watch have since slyly backed away from their once-adamant claims that the Syrian army was responsible, as evidence subsequently shows that the perpetrators of that horror – involving hundreds of deaths – were the Western-backed terror gangs.
So what were the alleged demolitions in Damascus, Aleppo and Hama about? For a start, what the Western propaganda complex of human rights groups, media and governments conveniently omits is that the residential areas in question were already vacated by civilians. The innuendo that the Syrian forces were bombing civilians out of their homes does not stand up.
Secondly, the Western-backed foreign insurgents are typically operating by holding towns and city districts under a siege of terror. It is these foreign mercenaries that are the ones creating a humanitarian crisis in Syrian urban areas by cutting off the supply of food and medicines.
This nefarious criminal practice of holding civilians as hostages and human shields was clearly demonstrated this past week in the Yarmouk district of Damascus, where aid convoys finally began arriving to besieged civilians after the stranglehold of the Western-backed al-Qaeda-linked militants was broken. It was also seen in the town of Qusayr when the Syrian army liberated it from the vice of the mercenaries last June.
The same criminal practice of holding civilian communities to ransom is extant in other areas of Damascus, Aleppo, Homs and Hama. There are credible reports of civilians protesting against the militants over their inhumane conditions and being brutalized or killed for daring to protest.
The Syrian army’s demolition of buildings from which civilians have fled under the reign of terror imposed on them by the regime-change Western covert army – buildings which are then turned into sniper nests, explosive dumps and operating centers to further inflict sieges on adjacent civilian areas – is therefore an entirely legitimate national security response.
It is the legitimate right of the Syrian authorities to use such military force to root out the foot soldiers of this Western covert war of terror against Syria.
And it is risible that Western media and so-called human rights groups then turn around and try to blame the Syrian government for “war crimes”.
This is all part of an odious choreography. Set up a “peace process” designed to fail and combine it with heaps of smear against the Syrian government. Add that to reports this week of the US Congress voting secretly for increased weapons supply to the extremists in Syria, and now we have US secretary of state John Kerry threatening Syria with more war because it is allegedly “failing to meet targets for handing over chemical weapons”. (Ironically, chemical weapons that the Syrian army never even used in the first place, but most probably were fired by Western-backed militants.)
The concerted propaganda campaign in the context of “failed negotiations” at Geneva has a foreboding meaning – Western regime-change efforts in Syria are about to be intensified.
Finian Cunningham, is a columnist at Press TV and a Writer on Dandelion Salad. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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