Guardian Watch, latest, media watch, Vaska

Convenient memory lapses of the Anglo-American Press

by Vaska

A quick scan of today’s major press outlets in the US, Britain and Israel reveals the Empire’s continuing attempt to conceal the full depth and extent of its culpability for the last three years of bloodshed and destruction in Syria.

To begin with today’s Guardian, which carries an article on Syria that still claims “Officially, Russia has staunchly backed Assad through the four-and-half-year Syrian war, insisting that his removal cannot be part of any peace settlement.“ The major news purveyed in the article are the details of a 2012 plan Russia had proposed to avoid the escalation of violence in Syria, which had by that point taken some 7,000 lives — a proposal rejected by the US, Britain, and the rest of the self-declared”Friends of Syria” group of countries.

Relying on the Guardian, today’s Washington Post also cites Martti Ahtisaari, Finnish diplomat and Nobel laureate, and his revelation that “in February 2012, when the conflict had claimed under 10,000 lives, Russia’s envoy to the United Nations outlined a peace plan that could have led to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s exit from power.”

Reporting the same news, Isreal’s Haaretz similarly claims that “Russia supposedly proposed President Bashar Assad step down in 2012 as part of a larger Syrian peace deal, but was ignored by the West that thought opposition forces would oust the embattled dictator first”[emphasis mine].

Note the hedging and the rhetoric of doubt and uncertainty evident in the phrasing above. In reality, there is, as I will show, nothing of a mere supposition about it.

As early as June 6, 2012, in fact, Bloomberg had reported that “Russia is signaling that it no longer views President Bashar al-Assad’s position as tenable and is working with the U.S. to seek an orderly transition.” As Bloomberg also pointed out over 3 years ago, on June 1, 2012, speaking to the international press, Putin himself had indicated Russia’s commitment to finding a solution which would avert the possibility of a full-scale war in Syria. That solution, as he hinted, could involve Assad’s stepping down:

“We aren’t for Assad or for his opponents. We want to achieve a situation in which violence ends and a full-scale civil war is avoided.”

It is highly improbable that literally everyone at the Guardian’s, Washington Post’s, and Haaretz’s newsdesks suffers from such enormous memory deficits as to have forgotten the original reports on Russia’s flexibility regarding Assad from 2012. It seems much more likely, in fact, that Matti Ahtisaari’s statements are now being offered to the public as breaking news because the UK and the US administrations, in particular, are facing serious international embarrassment — and opprobrium at home — for having unnecessarily prolonged bloodshed in Syria and, by refusing Russia’s 2012 offer, both financially and practically facilitated the death of over 200,000 Syrians in the proxy-war they’ve been supporting there. Not incidentally, this also makes them directly responsible for the greatest refugee crisis of the last 50 years, now threatening stability and security in Europe.

The official Western narrative, pushed by the Anglo-American and EU mainstream media since 2011, has almost invariably claimed Russian intransigence on the issue of Assad. That narrative is now in tatters. The Guardian, Washington Post and Haaretz articles of the last 24 hours demonstrate that what now needs to be air-brushed from our view is the fact that it was always only a narrative – an anti-Russian, pro-war propaganda story the Western press knowingly imposed on the public.

There were always chinks in that story, of course. In June 2012, the Guardian itself had carried an item headlined “Russia backs Assad’s departure ‘if that is what Syrians want’,” with the subheading:

Foreign minister’s comments suggest that Moscow’s backing for Syrian president is weakening

The article opened with

Russia has indicated that it will no longer stand in the way of the departure of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad if that is what Syrians want.

and went on to quote Lavrov saying that “If the Syrians agree [on Assad’s departure] between each other, we will only be happy to support such a solution.”

The current attempt to re-write history – all Ahtisaari has now revealed are some of the actual details of the Russian plan the US and EU rejected in 2012, not the fact that Moscow clearly signalled its flexibility on Assad long ago — stands as just another starkly pointed instance of bad faith on the part of the Western press.

Cover photograph: Douma rubble. Copyright, Mohammed Badra/Reuters, 2012.


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  8. The sun never sets on the crimes of The British Empire

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  10. Bernard says

    Israel’s strategic goal is the destruction of all functioning secular States in the Arab world, and of Iran as well. Israel’s agents control MENA foreign policy in all key Western countries. Israel does not want the war in Syria to end until the Syrian nation has been totally shattered, and that is why Russia’s 2012 proposal was rejected by the West. Unless Israel is made to pay a price for its murderous policy, this will go on.

    • Mark Timothy says

      Your assessment is spot on. It is called the Oded Yinon Plan, which the United States has been carrying out for Israel for at least a quarter century. At the cost of trillions of dollars and millions of lives.
      But not only that. Syria and surrounding regions MUST remain in destructive chaos to keep up the flight of it’s refugees into Europe and other nations of the West in order to destroy the once “white, Christian West.”

  11. The whole western msm and its politico’s narrative is showing how schizophrenic and immoral their case is and has been. since 9/11 the whole show is been about regime change in and around the middle east. The went and invaded Iraq with Iran and Syria in mind . Instead Iraq is balkanized and the regime their is closer to Iran then ever has been in its History, as a state created by the west under the Balfourt and Picot accord when they had already created Isreale without ever telling anybody untill the end of the second colonial war WW2. Just listen to all the neo cons and chicken hawks of the anglo american world. The whole middle east has been destabalised since the first and second gulf wars. All that awe and power that most of us in the west experienced during the second gulf war, was mind boggling and destructive . My question where is the awe and power to oust Daesh. There isnt any its all a con change the narrative but keep the goal regime change and balkanisation of the middle east. Iran deal only happened because the neo cons and the chicken hawks still have the goal regime change. If they dont fit then we will make it fit. Bogus black flags and more lies and deception. Just think back in history 1998. Al quaeda international terrorist organisation enemy of the USA(empire) and disgrased General Petreus in 2015 stating publicly and at the foriegn comittee meetings that would should start allying ourselves with Al Qaeda . You couldnt even right this stuff its so fantastasticle but no they go out and say it. This is where journalism in the western world is failing badly cause even a school kid can see the insanity and the duplicitous nature of the western governments in this whole sharade. I suspect that black flag incidents will start increasing in view of the massive migration that is occurring in western europe its only a matter of time. Expect increase xenophbia and increased fascism in the coming days to months especially cing that their are two significant elections occuring in these months Portugal which appears the communist party of that country is leading the poles and Podemes is leading the poles in Spain. The neo-cons and the neo-liberals will try and do anything to maintain their hold in power thru out the west.

    • Ricardo says

      Falcemartello, in how far would you explain this turmoil under the header “balance of power”?

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