As the Ghouta campaign continues to unfold, we should expect that both politicians and mainstream media will give us – in the words of philosopher and theologian Reinhold Niebuhr – “necessary illusion and emotionally potent oversimplifications” intended to shape our perceptions of events.
It goes without saying that such “emotionally potent oversimplifications” on Syria have formed the dominant paradigm through which the American public has received its information over the past seven years of war. From the State Department officials to think tank “experts” to the Graham/McCain axis to CNN panelists to the neocon twitterati and all the usual interventionistas who cast everything in terms of Manichean good vs. evil, darkness vs. light, bloodthirsty tyrants vs. noble populace – we’ve had to endure and fight seven years of a constant stream of propaganda on Syria.
This worldview is what BBC filmmaker Adam Curtis accurately characterized as a ‘goodies and baddies’ dualistic vision of global events which keeps the Western public under the illusion that its own political leaders are perpetually driven by concern over human rights, defending the weak and oppressed, and spreading democracy over and against the unenlightened megalomaniac dictators of the world who are simply bent on brutalizing their own people.
The BBC’s Curtis concluded of the “humanitarian” wars that followed in the wake of the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ (especially Libya and Syria) :
The question at the heart of this whole story is – Who was the ventriloquist? And who was the dummy? Maybe we were the dummy? By allowing perception management with its simplifications, falsehoods and exaggerations to create a simplified vision of the world – we fell into a fake universe of certainty when really we were just watching a pantomime.
And now as the Arab Spring unfolds and reveals the true chaos and messiness of the real world – above all the horror of what is happening in Syria – we find ourselves completely unable to understand it or even know what to do. So those stories get ignored while we follow others with clearer and more simplified dramas which have what seem to be obvious goodies and baddies – thank god for Iran, North Korea and Jimmy Savile.
Although the Syrian war is almost over, many Americans still don’t understand what transpired over the last seven years, because the mainstream narrative has been an embarrassing mix of propaganda, half-truths and lies.
Below are three versions of the conflict as presented by Chris Kanthan via Sott.net.
Once upon a time, a country called Syria was ruled by a ruthless dictator named Bashar Al-Assad. He was a cruel man who gassed his own people. His actions caused a civil war in Syria. America and Europe tried their best to stop the devastating civil war, and even generously accepted many Syrian refugees. Eventually America went to Syria, defeated ISIS, and is now trying to restore stability.
This above version is quite popular among many Americans and Europeans and the Western mainstream media.
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High School Version
Oppressed by Assad’s brutal regime, the Syrian people longed for freedom and democracy. One day, people started protesting in a small city. In response, Assad killed many peaceful protesters. However, this backfired and the entire country was engulfed in protests. Soon a civil war broke out, which led to millions of refugees fleeing Syria.
America was appalled and, for humanitarian reasons, decided to help the Syrians who were fighting Assad. When Assad gassed his own people, America intervened and removed all his chemical weapons. Unfortunately, Assad managed to gas innocent civilians again after a few years. Then, America went to Syria, defeated ISIS, and is now trying to restore stability.
The above version is presented in most of the global mainstream media.
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Simply put, the Syrian “civil war” is an illegal, proxy war waged against Syria. In defiance of international laws, many countries have been sending weapons and terrorist mercenaries into Syria for the last seven years (to gain a deeper understanding of who wants to topple Assad and why, please read: Chaos in Syria: Part 1 – Three Motives and Seven Countries)……