The Western MSM are all a flutter: Russia are pulling out of Syria (sort of). They can’t quite decide if it’s a victory, or a defeat. They don’t know if it’s because they ran out of money, are giving up, or it’s all a big lie – but they all agree on two things: 1) Russia have not achieved anything and 2) This is a massive surprise.
Such a surprise that Putin announced the plan five months ago, in a story printed in the Telegraph. This is what the Western world has come to, I suppose, if a politician SAYS he’s going to do something and then actually DOES IT, this is…surprising. How sad.
The Guardian are firmly of the belief that this is “A Bad Thing” – in fact they are so against Russia leaving Syria, that one almost forgets they were just as strongly against Russia entering Syria in the first place. Because Russia and reasons.
Whether in the petulant and childish summation “written” by Shaun Walker, or this one of their ridiculous “Guardian view” editorials (written anonymously, of course), the battle lines are being drawn: The fight is with reality.
The Walker piece is standard Walker-fare. Long on snide one-liners, short on content. Long on narrative, short on evidence. He describes the withdrawal as a move “analysts never saw coming” – presumably because none of them read the Telegraph. It’s threaded throughout with dishonest and inappropriate things:
…the end forever of the burgeoning bromance between the Turkish and Russian presidents…”
A less creative reporter, one with a sense of shame perhaps, would have used the phrase “worsening of Russia-Turkish relations. Walker is above such things – there is nothing so serious it can’t be livened up with mockery and snarkiness. Not even war. He continues:
Not to mention the repeated insistence that the Syria bombing has not resulted in any civilian casualties, despite ever-mounting evidence to the contrary.”
The link to this “mounting evidence”? It’s a Guardian aticle from 4 months ago – about a family who got bombed. The rebel commanders and American “experts” (the only sources quoted) know it was the Russians because “it happened at night”.
Oh and then this:
But if there is indeed now a withdrawal, it will prevent the Syria mission from turning into a long, drawn-out affair with rising Russian casualties.
Rising…from three. Who were all killed by Turkey.
For while it is true the mission of defeating Isis has not been accomplished…
And here, here we come to the most insidious and important lie. It’s a theme that is repeated in “The Guardian View..”. The headline proclaims:
Russia’s Syria U-turn: no kind of victory”
Which is, literally, as factually incorrect as a statement can be. It is not a U-Turn, observe the Telegraph link above, and it is certainly a kind of victory.
If there is one thing that Mr Putin’s announcement makes plain, it is that Russia’s claim that it was moving into Syria to combat Islamic State”
This has been a favorite line in the press since the Russian operation began – it is a lie. Russia never made such a claim. Sergey Lavrov, on fighting terrorism in Syria, famously said:
If it looks like a terrorist, walks like a terrorist, acts like a terrorist…it’s a terrorist”
The stated aim of the Russian intervention was assisting their ally in combating terrorism and bringing a negotiated settlement to the region – as they have been trying to do since 2012. Additionally, the Russian air force is continuing to bomb ISIS and provide air support for the SAA advance on Palmyra, and then Raqqa. To deny this – when evidence abounds – is to be insane.
More and more we see the Western, neocon narrative being propped up with utterly baseless statements. From Obama’s foolish description of a Syrian “quagmire”, to the ridiculous idea Russia were trying to unseat Merkel by flooding Europe with refugees. The collapse of analysis and rhetoric into hysteria betrays the inherent dishonesty of the position. As a friend of mine is fond of saying: If they honestly believed the truth to be on their side, they would not feel the need to lie.
Maybe, with Vietnam and Afghanistan and Iraq, western journalists have forgotten that wars are not meant to last – maybe years of reporting on American interventions, designed to prolong conflict for the sake of profit margins, have scrubbed out of our collective mind the idea that an action can be brief, decisive and efficient.
The following are a list of facts totally ommitted from the Guardian articles on Syria the last few days:
- ISIS main source of income was the oil trade with Turkey. This utilised huge convoys, which America knew about but did not bomb…for reasons of their own.
- Russia bombed these convoys, crippling ISIS’ oil trade.
- ISIS have been steadily losing for months: first, they lost materiel and ammunition, then they lost men and ground.
- The Syrian Arab Army (SAA), is currently advancing on Palmyra under Russian air cover – the Russian intervention has been described as a “god send” by Syrian military commanders.
- The Syrian government and opposition have signed a ceasefire agreement, something the rebels have been refusing to do for years. It is the same deal proposed by Kofi Annan 4 years ago.
- The refugee flow from Syria is slowing down, with many refugees beginning to return home, far from “weaponising” the refugees.
Huge gains on the ground, destruction of the enemy supply lines, destruction of enemy materiel, extended peace talks, refugees returning home and a ceasefire agreement. This, in the Guardian view, is “no kind of victory”. Which makes you wonder whose side they are on.