Anti-Assad Media War Continues

In-depth Report:

Throughout months of conflict, the mainstream media mocked Assad’s good faith efforts to end it.

In February 2012, Syrians overwhelmingly supported constitutional reform. They did so by national referendum.

Despite opposition boycotts and violence, 89.4% of eligible voters approved it. Another 9% opposed. A slim 1.2% of ballots were invalided.

Numerous reforms became law. Important ones. They included political pluralism for the first time. Presidential term limits and press freedom were established.

On May 7, first time ever parliamentary elections were held. Doing so was a milestone political event. Independent candidates participated.

Turnout was high. Voting went smoothly. Independent monitors called the process open, free and fair. Ba’ath party members won a 60% majority. Opposition party members were also elected.

Western officials mocked constitutional reform. So did the mainstream media. They called credible democratic elections farcical. They scorned what deserved praise.

Vilifying Assad unjustifiably continues. Support peaceful conflict resolution doesn’t matter. Nor does agreeing to destroy his chemical weapons. Whatever he does responsibly isn’t good enough.

On September 14, The New York Times headlined “If History Is Any Measure, the Clock Is Ticking,” saying:

“On Saturday, Mr. Assad had yet to make a public statement endorsing the agreement” to destroy his chemical weapons. “While he is expected to sign on to the plan, so far, he has equivocated.”

False! On September 14, the UN confirmed it “received the formal instrument of accession to the (CW) Convention by the Syrian Arab Republic.” Assad approved doing so.

On September 12, he told Russia’s Rossiya-24 TV he agreed to place Syria’s chemical weapons under international control.

He’ll destroy them entirely. He’ll become a Chemical Weapons Convention signatory. He’s already done so. Asked why, he responded:

“Over 10 years ago, Syria presented the UN with a proposal for a WMD-Free Middle East; this was because the region is turbulent and has been immersed in wars for decades.”

“Thus removing unconventional weapons would be rational in order to enhance stability, at that particular time the US hindered the proposal.”

“One of the reasons was to allow Israel to have such weapons.”

“(I)n principle we strive for peace and stability therefore we do not perceive the existence of WMD’s in the Middle East to have any positive effect.”

“(I)n relation to current developments, Syria as a state genuinely seeks to avert another war of lunacy on itself and countries in the region, contrary to the efforts of warmongers in the US who seek to inflame a regional war.”

Without Russia’s proposal, he added, “we would not have been able to pursue” peaceful conflict resolution. He’s committed to do whatever it takes to achieve it.

“No country should possess weapons of mass destruction,” he said. Eliminating them “would protect the region and the world from devastating and expensive wars in the future.”

Launching them “would create more chaos which would enable these terrorist groups to inflict more destruction and sabotage.”

“This is a genuine challenge since the terrorists do possess these chemical materials and certain countries are supplying them.”

Don’t expect The New York Times or other mainstream media to explain. Managed news misinformation substitutes for real news, information and analysis.

According to The Times, US officials “expect Mr. Assad to balk at the destruction of missile warheads or bombs, which can be used for conventional and unconventional arms.”

He “continues to move his stockpile, American intelligence officials say.” Doing so “creates the possibility that some (CWs) could be diverted or hidden.”

“It is also likely to contribute to delays in the disarmament process because the inspections will require highly intrusive searches of all known chemical weapons sites, current and previous, to determine whether any were hidden or left behind.”

A days earlier Times editorial said:

“The Obama administration has good reason to be skeptical of any promises made by the Assad regime or its Russian backers.”

On September 13, Washington Post editors headlined “Work on Syria’s chemical weapons should not preclude removing Assad,” saying:

Destroying his chemical weapons “look(s) like a huge, if not quite impossible, lift.”

It’s not “clear” how much progress Kerry and Lavrov “made.”

Expect Assad to “embrace the strategy of delay and obfuscation.”

“Any diplomatic solution in Syria depend(s) on (Obama) sticking to” his position that Assad must go.

WaPo editors support lawless intervention. So do other mainstream media.

They ignore core international, constitutional and US statute law provisions.

They endorse wars of aggression. They support the worst of US crimes. They believe war is peace. They lie for power.

They’re pro-war, pro-US dominance, pro-wrong over right, and anti-peace above all else in our time.

Vladimir Putin challenges Obama responsibly. He’s done so all along. He did it in a New York Times op-ed. He wants imperial wars stopped.

He opposes America’s unipolar world. He respects international law. It’s provisions are inviolable.

Putin wrote what needs to be read. He deserves praise for doing so. Mainstream media vilified him.

NBC News accused him of chest thumping. He’s repeatedly called a strongman.

In 1999, he became acting president. He replaced Boris Yeltsin. He served until May 2000.

He was democratically elected president three times. He won convincingly. In 2004 and 2012, it was by overwhelming majorities.

US mainstream media equate him with despotism. They oppose the best of his policies. They do so irresponsibly.

After his NYT op-ed, Wall Street Journal editors headlined “Putin Rules,” saying:

He “may be crude, but he knows how to exploit weakness. And he’s sure acting like he has spotted an easy mark in President Obama.”

“To rub it in, (he) also took to the op-ed pages of the New York Times to tout Russia as a champion of ‘international law’ and ‘peaceful dialogue,’ denounce US military interventions and scold Mr. Obama for speaking of American exceptionalism.”

“(T)he former KGB agent anointed himself Russia’s president-for-life while crushing his opposition, invading his neighbors and enriching his cronies.”

Journal editors were just warming up. They quoted Obama saying he had “constructive talks” with Putin in St. Petersburg. They discussed disposition of Syria’s chemical weapons.

“Judging by his behavior,” said Journal editors, “Mr. Putin will read that as another ‘Kick Me’ sign on Mr. Obama’s back.”

“Giving asylum to Edward Snowden? Kick. Protecting Bashar Assad, then offering to disarm him? Kick. Arming Iran with proscribed missiles? Kick. And that’s merely in the last month.”

Lavrov “no doubt demand(ed) further US concessions for Moscow’s help in solving the very problems the Kremlin helped create.”

A following day Journal op-ed headlined “Vladimir Putin Takes Exception,” saying:

“He twisted the knife and gloated. (He may) have overplayed his hand.”

“(T)he steely-eyed geopolitical strategist has reminded us that he’s also the media-obsessed operator who plays to his base back home by tranquilizing bears, wrestling alligators and riding horses shirtless…”

Challenging American exceptionalism was “ignorant and tone-deaf.”

“America is not exceptional because it has long attempted to be a force for good in the world, it attempts to be a force for good because it is exceptional.”

The idea “grate(s)” on Putin. “Perhaps” he forgot “who won the Cold War and how.” Maybe he envies “the greatness of America’s beginnings.”

New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez (D. NJ) responded to Putin’s op-ed saying he “almost wanted to vomit.”

According to the Journal, Putin’s op-ed wasn’t Krushchev “slamming his shoe on the desk at the UN and saying, ‘We will bury you!’ ”

“It’s not a new cold war (and) not a hot one, but there’s a new chill in the air, isn’t there?”

On September 9, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting‘s Peter Hart headlined “On Syria, Sunday Morning TV Journalists Don’t Need Proof,” saying:

Despite overwhelming anti-war public sentiment, “they either declar(e) their support for (war on Syria) or (express) faith in the case for” waging it.

They wrongfully accuse Assad of insurgents’ crimes. They do it consistently. They do it despite clear evidence absolving him entirely. They support lawless aggression.

CBS Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer was typical. He endorsed war based on lies, saying:

“The president of the United States drew a line in the sand, a red line.”

“At this point, that may be the only good reason left for Congress to give him the authority he now asked for to respond to Syria’s use of chemical weapons.”

“When the president of the United States says something, the rest of the world, our friends and our enemies, pay attention.”

“If we do not follow through, what impact will that have on North Korea or Iran the next time we warn them of dire consequences if they press on with their nuclear weapons programs?”

“More important, how will it be viewed by our strong allies like Japan?”

“We have treaties that promise we will retaliate if they are attacked by nuclear powers. Will they now question our resolve?”

“I don’t like anything about where we are, but in a dangerous world when the United States takes a stand, and then goes back on its word, we’re left in an even more dangerous place.”

“It’s a remarkable call for war,” said Hart. It’s solely based on “maintaining US dominance.”

Waging it violates international, constitutional and US statute laws. Don’t expect mainstream media to explain.

A Final Comment

Israel’s involved in Obama’s war on Syria. Following Geneva talks, Kerry headed for Jerusalem. On Sunday he arrived. He did so to brief Netanyahu. They’re partners in crime.

Kerry assured Netanyahu that Washington isn’t softening on Iran. Reports suggest Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rohani exchanged direct messages.

Perhaps they’ll meet later this month in New York. On September 17, the General Assembly begins its 68th session. Proceedings will continue for days. High-level bilateral meetings are commonplace.

Israel wants assurances that America’s Iran policy remains hardline. On September 15, Haaretz headlined “Netanyahu: Efforts to disarm Syria and stop nuclear Iran will be judged by results,” saying:

On Sunday, he said he hoped a US/Russia deal “to remove Syria’s chemical weapons would result in the ‘complete destruction’ of the arsenal, and urged the international community to apply the same efforts to destroying Iran’s nuclear program.”

“We hope the understandings reached between the United States and Russia regarding the Syrian chemical weapons will yield results.”

“The test of results is also incumbent on the efforts of the international community to stop Iran’s nuclear armament.”

“Here too, it is not words but actions that will determine the outcome.”

“In any case, Israel must be prepared and ready to defend itself against every threat, something that is more important today than ever.”

America’s only enemies are ones it creates. So are Israel’s. Both countries threaten world peace. They risk humanity’s survival.

Focusing on Syria’s chemical weapons ignores the threat these countries pose. They maintain formidable nuclear, chemical and biological weapons stockpiles.

They use prohibited weapons in all their wars. They do it unaccountably. World leaders turn a blind eye. They ignore the enormous threat they pose. They focus instead on Syria. It threatens no one.

On Sunday, Obama lied twice. He said Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons is “a far greater issue for us” than Syria’s “use” of chemical weapons.

He added that Putin is “protecting” Assad. “He has a different attitude about (his) regime” than Washington. He doesn’t share American “values.”

Thankfully he challenges them responsibly. He’s the free world’s bottom line defense against US aggression.

Separately, Kerry said destroying Syria CWs sets a standard for Iran. Washington wants its independent government destroyed. Doing so is longstanding US policy.

The Middle East continues on the boil. America and Israel share full responsibility. Stopping them matters most. Humanity’s fate hangs in the balance.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]

His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”

Visit his blog site at

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Articles by: Stephen Lendman

About the author:

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III." Visit his blog site at Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

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