Published on 26 Jul 2012

Behind the scenes of Syria’s propaganda war

It is now a week since the battle for Damascus was joined and then subsequently lost by rebel forces. But not lost completely. And not lost forever. Fighting still continues in some pockets of the suburbs. And winning the battle is not winning the war as everybody recognises.

The war which is being won however is the video war – the propaganda war. And it seems to be the rebels who are winning it hands down. They may not be succeeding in Idlib, Aleppo, Damascus or Homs militarily, but you would scarcely know that from the videos of this war available to the human race.

In Damascus however, they simply do not get it. All our requests to spend some time with the Syrian army have met with stares of blank incredulity, we might as well ask for snowfall in this city.

Now whether this is simply because of the Stasi-like culture of secrecy with which this entire country is imbued under the House of Assad, or whether it’s a real indication of fatal chaos within the regime, is genuinely impossible to say.

It could well be a lot of culture and a dash of chaos and I suspect that is where the answer lies.

It could be significant strategically. An inability competently to get your message across in a time of war is something that matters, more in this century than any other.

Foreign interference fuelled by sectarianism

And the regime certainly has a case in some respects. Of course there is foreign interference. From Sunni Saudi Arabia and Sunni Qatar – pushing money at the Sunni Syrian rebels 24/7. When it comes to freedom and human rights neither country is at the party, in any sense.

Saudi Arabia‘s violent, sectarian conduct during the Arab Spring uprising has been appalling and so too, the west’s condoning of it. Having invaded Bahrain to repress the Shia uprising there, Saudi – with Qatari help – now funds the Sunni uprising in Syria. Not in the name of freedom of course but in the name of religious and sectarian intolerance at the end of the day – of jihad.

Damascus knows what it means when the two Wahhabist countries of the Arabian peninsular line up their money to overthrow you. And be in no doubt it is not about the spread of love, peace, freedom and democracy as the west would understand it.

Yet the west prattles on about freedom and meekly refuses to point out the sectarian nature of what is clearly happening here, alongside the genuine struggle or freedom.

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4 reader comments

  1. Philip Edwards says:

    Alex,

    Ah yes….finally the “propaganda war.” A bit late, but better late than never.

    Odd, don’t you think how Brit – and for all I know Yank and other European media – keep broadcasting “unverified footage” that coincidentally favours “the rebels.” After which, the ensuing verbals all assume the footage is authentic.

    So….what is the origin of all this footage? Who decides to broadcast it? And who forms the phrases that imply it is authentic? Why should we believe ANYTHING mainstream Brit media bears any semblance to truth?

    I am sure few people doubt Assad is a dictator and should be replaced by a democracy. But many will also want to know about the murderous activities and massacres of “the rebels.” Also, many of us want to know who is behind them, who funds them, and who promotes their propaganda.

    We want to know too about Western involvement and lies and about the physical presence and influence of MI6, the CIA, the Mossad and the French and German intelligence services.

    So far the answers have been one sided. But we have enough historical precedents to know how evil and genocidal the West and Israeki fascism has been in the remote past and in recent years.

    After Syria, who next? Iran? After Iran, who?

    Just tell us the truth. We want nothing more.

  2. Stealth says:

    Gentle artical great comment

  3. John says:

    I have total respect for your reporting here Alex. Its refreshing and what is desperately missing. Your confirm to me that are two monsters in Syria, one of which has considerably more heads than the other.

  4. Stella says:

    Alex, the Syrian regime obviously doesn’t want you to see their brutality, which has been shown since the beginning but the western media ignored it or treated with little respect as unverified. While a pro-Assad spokesman was allowed free air-time to spout Assad propaganda. Now it’s recognized that the regime and the miliias that support it regularly, indeed continually, carry out attrocities, and lie. Why are you so anxious to assist in their PR? And to take an opportunity to attack the Saudis/Qataris? Every country should have been helping protect civilians from the Syrian army and assist the FSA, it’s shame to all the countries that have not helped, and shame to you to just criticize those that did help.

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