A talk I prepared for last night’s webinar, hosted by @JSCPRESS :
In order to fully understand the role of the corporate media as an instrument of destabilisation in the hands of the neocolonialist cartel, led by the UK, US, France and Israel, we must examine the concept of hybrid warfare. This expression was invented by members of US military command. Hybrid war is said to involve “a mix of conventional, irregular terrorism and criminal means or activities – deployed by a combination of state and non-state actors, to include covert action, economic blackmail or coercion, diplomatic duplicity and media manipulation. Hybrid warfare is also referred to as multi spectrum or full spectrum warfare – which can be interpreted as a reference to the US Department of Defence document “Joint vision 2020” published in 2000 which has as its objective, American full spectrum dominance (globally).
My focus is on Syria but the role of the media as identified here can be applied to every nation targeted for “regime change” or US allied intervention in state affairs. In Syria, the media operations have been an ongoing and devastating element of the US Coalition hybrid war strategy, heavily state-financed and intelligence agency-masterminded.
The ten basic principles of war propaganda were succinctly laid out by historian and academic, Anne Morelli, in 2001.
- The aggressor nations claim they don’t want war, the implication is that they want “peace”, they are only “defending themselves” against an existential threat from the prey nation or they are defending the people of that nation from tyranny.
- The “adversary” is solely responsible for this war and is threatening our moral values by their behaviour or endangering humanity, freedom, democracy.
- Our adversary’s leader is inherently evil and demonic. Persuading the public to hate a group of people is difficult, it is more efficient to direct hatred towards the leader of an enemy nation. This leader will be criminalised and Hitlerised in order to enable the punishment ethic to be deployed. The aggressor, the US/UK and coalition member states will portray themselves as pacifists, humanitarians, forced into war by the “inhumanity” & intransigence of the enemy leader.
- The aggressor is defending a noble cause, not their regional interests or supremacist goals – the war is not to steal resources but to defend human beings from a “brutal dictator” and to introduce “democracy”.
- The enemy is committing atrocities and war crimes, the aggressor only commits them by mistake or for the greater good.
- The enemy makes use of illegal weapons – Iraq WMD, Syria chemical weapons.
- The aggressor suffers few losses, the enemy is mortally wounded – this is important to swing public opinion in favour of perpetual war.
- The aggressor has artists, academics, historians, authors and photographers on board manufacturing consent for war, R2P doctrine.
- The cause of the aggressor is “sacred” presented as a “divine” mission, the Bush “crusade against the axis of evil”, the West’s divine right to remove elected leaders from power because they do not comply with US/UK globalist agendas.
- Whoever challenges the aggressor’s propaganda is considered a traitor and must be discredited, if you defend a target nation, you are immediately an enemy of democracy & in the case of Syria, an Assadist.
The corporate media complex is the interface between the state, intelligence agencies and military industrial complex and the public. The media will follow the road map outlined by Morelli, ensuring the success of each element, in particular the demonisation of the leader in the crosshairs and the obfuscation of the underlying reasons for war. Intelligence operations will be covered up and even when they become public knowledge the state-aligned media will protect power from truth.
We saw this with regards to the recent leak of UK FCO documents detailing the huge extent of UK intelligence interference in Syria and Lebanon – In Syria,complex operations providing PR and media support for the mercenary armed groups that have waged a ten year war against Syria and the region, dominated by Al Qaeda. The evidence released in these leaks exposed British media, in particular the BBC, as nothing more than outreach agencies for UK FCO and Intelligence interventionist foreign policy, a policy that has ensured the destabilisation of Syria and the region for decades. UK/US/EU regimes have invested unprecedented resources into a media campaign to precipitate a “regime change” war and to criminalise not only the leader of the country, President Bashar Al Assad, but also Iran, Russia and Hezbollah – the primary allies of this blockaded, besieged and war torn nation.
As journalist, Sharmine Narwani, said, “these are media combatants” and they are just as responsible for the destruction of Syria and the collective punishment of the Syrian people as the armed groups sponsored by the same regimes that tightly manage the colonial media output. These media extremists are effectively lobbying for war and intervention, advocating No Fly Zones that even Hillary Clinton admitted would kill more Syrians. Journalists within the complex who speak out or question dominant narratives are sidelined, censored and de-platformed, independent journalists are smeared, discredited and dismissed as “conspiracy theorists”.
In the recent OPCW scandal, dissenting inspectors who concluded that there had been no chemical attacks in Douma April 2018, have been intimidated, maligned and ignored by the so-called international community. The OPCW has been revealed to be corrupted and compromised, yet the corporate media cabal have combined forces to protect the organisation, to denigrate the inspectors and to deny the evidence presented that their regimes bombed Syria based on a non-existent dossier that was retrospectively doctored to provide justification for UK, US and French supreme war crimes.
The debate on Syria is kept within tightly controlled parameters in order to prevent constructive dialogue. The corporate media exists to promote war, not diplomatic resolution, stability or peace. By delegitimizing the elected Syrian leadership, the media cartel effectively deprives the Syrian people of their sovereignty in lock-step with the United Nations and associated agencies that also support the criminalisation of the Syrian government.
As historian John Laughland said of the UN “it has failed institutionally and constitutionally and is nothing more than an instrument of unjustifiable intervention”. Laughland also pointed out the lack of redress for smaller, weaker nations against weaponised agencies like the UN and criminally negligent media outlets that have the backing and protection of their predator regimes. Non-intervention is the “forgotten doctrine”, globalism is a universal tyranny and corporate media is the manipulator of facts and evidence to influence public opinion, dehumanise target peoples and amplify intelligence agency talking points in order to enforce that tyranny through violence and bloodshed.
I want to focus on sanctions and humanitarian aid as the perfect example of how western media reporting on Syria frames the narrative in favour of their own regime foreign policy agendas, covering up the criminality of the US Coalition sadistic destabilisation campaign:
A recent report in Reuters entitled “Syrian drought puts Assad’s ‘year of wheat’ in peril”which blames looming wheat shortages on climate change – this is framed entirely to ‘disappear’ the real reasons for Syria’s food insecurity and 90% of population living in abject poverty – US/UK/EU illegal unilateral coercive measures , the most recent being the barbaric Caesar sanctions which are targeting the poorest of the Syrian people and those worst affected by the ten year war waged against them by the US coalition proxies.
Sanctions are mentioned in passing in the report by Reuters. What is not mentioned is the deliberate scorched earth policy of US Coalition members, the dropping of thermal balloons by US Occupation Forces under the Trump administration and the occupation of the most fertile Syrian territory by US Coalition contras – the former PKK or so-called Syrian Democratic Forces who steal and trade Syrian wheat outside Syria rather than allow it to enter government-secured areas where it would alleviate the bread queues and enable the state to keep providing subsidised bread to their people.
We have to remember that there are barely any western journalists actually on the ground in Syria, except those who enter Syria illegally via Turkey and who embed themselves with Al Qaeda and affiliates in Idlib. Corporate media will take their reports from three main corporate/military complex owned agencies, Reuters, AP and AFP (Agence France Presse) – so Reuters misrepresentation of the egregious collective punishment of the Syrian people will be copy/pasted into the BBC, the Guardian, CNN etc.
In Syria and Yemen the humanitarian crisis is being manufactured by the US globalist coalition and its aligned agencies, including the UN yet the corporate media will portray it as a disconnected tragedy or exploit it to further criminalise the Syrian government or the Ansarullah-led Resistance against Saudi genocidal colonialism. Here I would argue that the western media cartel is potentially complicit in war crimes and genocide under the Genocide Convention article II (e) – deliberately inflicting on the group, conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part”.
On the same day Voice of America ran with the headline “Somalia, Congo, Afghanistan, Syria among most dangerous for children in conflict”. The dishonesty of the article, including statements from UN representatives is shameful – reporting on “grave” child abuse & conflict-related suffering without addressing the root cause, US-led intervention and economic terrorism, is war criminal apologism.
The media will also exploit the misery inflicted upon the Syrian people by sanctions, war and illegal US Coalition occupation of essential resources and infrastructure to further vilify the Syrian government. Western media claim that government corruption is the root cause of food insecurity, rising food prices, soaring inflation, fuel and gas shortages – this misrepresentation of the facts is effectively killing the Syrian people just as surely as the extremist armed groups the media has euphemistically described as “rebels” for ten years.
Not only is the US Coalition occupying oil fields and stealing the oil or allowing it to be traded by their contra forces, Al Qaeda, ISIS and Kurdish separatist groups – it is using “humanitarian aid” as a means of sustaining the Al Qaeda-dominated occupation of north-east Syria, Idlib. Recent Biden administration demands to keep the Bab Al Hawa crossing open on the borders with Turkey and Syria are being amplified by the aligned media. Why? Because Bab Al Hawa is an Al Qaeda (assorted rebrands) trading post – humanitarian aid enters the crossing and is appropriated by the armed groups who then sell the supplies at extortionate prices to their civilian hostages.
This has been the situation in all formerly occupied regions of Syria – “humanitarian aid” supplied by the UN agencies is hijacked by the armed groups and used to provide revenue, while they deliberately starve civilians and deprive them of essential medical treatment.
Of course, Russia is the villain for vetoing the Bab Al Hawa crossing and previously closing other crossings in Idlib and the north-east – the media will never present the context for Russian and Syrian reluctance to allow these terrorist rat-runs because this is not in the interest of the terrorist-sponsoring corporatocracy they serve. Russia is arguing that Damascus in collaboration with WHO and WFP should be in charge of humanitarian assistance to occupied Idlib, not Turkey.
While the media will express outrage at the deteriorating living conditions of Syrian civilians in Idlib, they will not inform you of the reality or of Syrian-led solutions – that the majority of these civilians are being abused by the armed groups, executed, detained, tortured, used as human shields, their children abducted and trafficked (according to testimony). They will not inform you that Western incubated and financed pseudo NGOs like the White Helmets and offshoots are involved in this abuse of Syrian civilians and are suspected of running organ trafficking rings alongside the armed groups. If you read corporate media or UN agency reports, you will be convinced that the Syrian state and Russian forces alone are responsible for the misery of these civilians.
Effectively, western media ensures the protracted suffering of these Syrian people, including refugees and provides protectionism for the armed groups and their White Helmet auxiliaries who are their go-to source for their Syrian coverage.
What will also not be covered by the predator media class is the fact that the Pentagon is buying $ 2.8bn worth of weapons for conflict zones around the world (many from eastern Europe) – majority of these weapons will end up in the hands of Al Qaeda in Idlib, perhaps supplied as “humanitarian aid”. It was independent journalist, Dilyana Gaytandzhieva who unearthed this latest evidence of US support for terrorist organisations in Syria but it will not be picked up by the western media. An informed public is a public who will oppose war, it is the media’s job to keep them ignorant of what is being done in their name.
Corporate media is a criminal entity with zero integrity with the exception of a small number of journalists within the machine who have not completely sold out. It operates to protect power and to start and maintain wars. It is more than state media, it is a homogenized narrative management cartel, offering PR for war and whitewashing terrorism. Its information monopoly is currently under attack from independent media and Resistance bloc media which is why we are seeing the closure of channels, mass censorship and fascist silencing of dissent.
Vanessa Beeley is an independent journalist and photographer who has worked extensively in the Middle East – on the ground in Syria, Egypt, Iraq and Palestine, while also covering the conflict in Yemen since 2015.
In 2017 Vanessa was a finalist for the prestigious Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism which was won by the much-acclaimed Robert Parry that year. In 2018 Vanessa was named one of the 238 most respected journalists in the UK by the British National Council for the Training of Journalists.
In 2019, Vanessa was among recipients of the Serena Shim Award for uncompromised integrity in journalism. Vanessa contributes regularly to Mint Press News, Russia Today, UK Column, The Last American Vagabond, Sputnik radio, 21st Century Wire and many other independent media outlets.
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