Guardian Watch, Kit, latest, Russia, United States
Comments 25

The Observer Calls on the Benign Empire to Fix Syria

The “Observer view” wants Obama to “knock heads together” and sort out the Syria crisis. The anonymous editorial is not just a government issued press release, and you are a cynical so-and-so for thinking it.

The Guardian editorial concerning the resurgence of violence in Syria is what you’d expect given the paper’s propaganda laden coverage of the war to date. The only surprise is they never directly cite the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights, an “institution” long since turned into a punchline by the BTL comments.

In Aleppo, a hospital was bombed, killing up to 27 people, including doctors and children. The attack by Bashar al-Assad’s air force fitted an established, pre-ceasefire pattern of deliberately targeting civilians in hospitals, schools and markets. What has changed now is that this murderous regime, buoyed by Russian support and reinvigorated by the ceasefire, barely bothers to deny it.

This is classic MSM language. An accusation is made, no evidence is supplied and no questions asked. How do they know it was Assad’s forces? How do they know it was deliberate? They never say. They only mention that the regime “barely bothers to deny” it, an admission that the Assad government DOES deny the attack. Their denial is not published, we are provided with no link to view it. The implication is that lazily denying something is the same as admitting guilt.

In March, Vladimir Putin declared his forces were withdrawing. This now seems to have been a ruse chiefly designed to reassure public opinion at home and defuse international criticism of indiscriminate Russian bombing. As concern over Aleppo grew, Moscow said it would support a temporary, limited “regime of calm”.

It would be good, but ingenuous, to believe Putin is sincere. There is no evidence his broader objectives in Syria – maintaining Russia’s bases, projecting Moscow’s influence across the Middle East, keeping the Americans out – have changed. His bombers may be flying fewer missions, but they continue to shield Assad.

Likewise, Iran’s leadership appears to view Syria, expediently, as just another front in its region-wide power contest with Saudi Arabia and the Sunni Gulf monarchies.

Moscow, Tehran and even our disposable allies are listed as having political motives for involving themselves in Syria – but there is no mention of the root cause of all the unrest. There’s no suggestion of western powers having geopolitical motivations or an Imperial drive for regime change. These are not factors. Russian and Iran exerting influence to protect a legitimate government is portrayed as grubby and self-interested. Again, no questions are asked.

Why are the Syrians in this position? Who walked away from the negotiating table first? Who started shooting first? Where did the besieged “rebels” forces get their weapons?

America is regularly portrayed as being impotent or unwilling to act – and this piece is no exception:

…in terms of practical politics and human decency, Obama must act.

The myth of a reluctant but benign America rousing itself to solve the world problems due to its moral superiority is laughable. America DOES act in Syria. They arm terrorists and rebels to effect regime change. Just like they did in Iran. And Chile. And Indonesia. And dozens of others. Just last week America “acted” by sending 250 more military advisers into Syria – this illegal action is not mentioned at all, despite obviously leading to increased violence on the ground.

The comment section, so rarely open on Syria-related stories theses days, demonstrates just how weary the readership is becoming with this forced narrative:





  1. LES says

    The Guardian still insists in trying to roll rocks uphill Sysiphus-style, and in giving master classes in turd polishing. Having been declared PNG there so many times, I can’t be bothered with CiF any more and leave it to other intelligent comment contributors who have evaded capture.

  2. Michaelk says

    As an afterthought, on the BBC World Service this morning, they had a segment on events in Aleppo. They called the bombing of civilians and hospitals… ‘savage’ a term that would never, not in a thousand years, be used in relation to US or Nato bombing. This alone showed a massive bias at work. They then interviewed another ‘witness’ a Doctor in Aleppo, who was allowed to attack both the Russians and Assad for their crimes against the population. If you think the ordinary BBC and the Guardian are bad, try listening to the World Service!

  3. Michaelk says

    What’s rather disturbing, to put it mildly, is that the media techniques, or propaganda, utilized during the preparation for the attack and invasion of Iraq; the creation of a false narrative about WMDs ect; those techniques have now been perfected and become the norm in relation to foreign policy and our overseas wars. As a rule of thumb, now, today, the truth about any situation is usually the exact opposite of the line presented in our carefully controlled media.

    It’s not just foreign policy and our wars that are drowned in propaganda and lies, it’s come home to domestic politics too, like the latest crisis in the Labour Party over ‘anti-semitism’ and hapless Corbyn, who, let’s be honest, is a weak, inarticulate and ineffective leader, but that’s another story and perhaps irrelevant, any social democrat, regardless of their talents would be too much for our media. Labour now has to launch an investigation into a non-existant internal threat from a witches’ coven in its heart, which kind of admits that one’s there to be found in the first place.

    None of this, the ‘weaponisation of the news’ makes one optimistic about the future. Though there seems to be widespread opposition among the public, which is positive. It’s now possible to launch a ‘media coup’ to topple a politician with barely a shred of evidence that he or she have done anything wrong. So, Iraq has infected domestic journalism. What did journalism learn fromt he Iraq debacle? The answer is simple, nothing, or more accurately they learned how easy it was to fabricate ‘news’ and stories that justified massive and bloody crimes against ordinary people. They perfected their techniques, as shown in Libya, Syria and Ukraine and now the UK too.

  4. John says

    The hospital that allegedly was bombed was one operated by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).
    Until recently, I always thought MSF was a good outfit doing good work on an impartial basis.
    However, more recently, I have become persuaded that MSF are a key player acting on behalf of French interests.
    Odd, is it not, that they place one of their facilities in a dangerous place like Aleppo?
    Would it not make more sense to locate their hospital in a much safer Syrian government controlled area?
    But no, they decide to locate it somewhere which is much more dangerous.
    Their conduct smacks of deliberation, foolhardiness and obstinacy to my mind.
    Am I alone in wondering about just what motivates senior MSF personnel?

    • Seamus Padraig says

      Well, just look at who founded MSF: Bernard Kouchner, a ‘champaign socialist’ who later became Sarko’s foreign minister. Nuff said?

      • John says

        Bernard-Henri Lévy is another French person who pops up wherever trouble and destruction are bound to follow: Libya, Ukraine and Syria.
        French foreign policy is almost – almost – as bad as that of the United States.

        • Richard Le Sarcophage says

          You do realise that Kouchner, the execrable Levy and the undoubted author of this Observer tripe, so redolent of his trade-mark mendacity and vituperation, Nick Cohen (or some clone)are all Judeofascists. This is not irrelevant or ‘biased’-just the truth concerning the prime force driving the destruction of all Israel’s neighbours in pursuit of the Oded Yinon Plan.

    • Eric_B says

      Yes, there are a number of points to raise.

      1) MSF in Syria operate in exclusively terrorist controlled areas without the consent of the Syrian government.

      2) MSF does not notify the Syrian authorities of the location of their facilities (Violation of the Geneva Convention)

      3) MSF does not clearly mark their facilities with a red cross or red crescent (Violation of the Geneva Convention)

      4) MSF locates its facilities close to the front lines of active combat zones. e.g. for all we know mortars are being launched by terrorists right next to the facility (Violation of the Geneva Convention)

  5. Dani says

    Wars started by USA/west are still raging in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan as well in Yemen, though officially US and west only involved in Yemen with logistics and supplying weapons, war is the product of them installing puppet Hadi in 2011 who Yemenis ousted last year and who Saudi and west want to bring back, so they bomb Yemen into submission, And these are only four major wars that US west are involved right now, plenty of other smaller conflicts going on now that they participate in. Now, how about first ending wars, you started, in AT LEAST ONE of these countries before you go out to “help” Syria. Its been 15 years! since they invaded Afghanistan, 13 since Iraq, 5 since Libya and every place is worse since they arrived and no sign of wars ending anytime soon. How are you gonna help Syria when you not only didn’t help any of these countries but you made them much worse. Fu*k I hate these evil scumbags

  6. deschutes says

    That anonymously written Observer editorial is shameless propaganda, actually begging for more American intervention in Syria. It begs for Obama to ‘get Putin on board’? But hasn’t Putin been offering to cooperate with USA/NATO on ISIS terrorism all along–with the USA actually refusing his offers? It seems for the Guardian/Observer editorial staff, up is down and down is up. It is America’s demand for regime change in Syria and its funneling billions of dollars in weapons and even training to the rebels that is causing the war in Syria–but for the editors at the Observer, Obama ‘needs to act’ even more?

    • I generally don’t read editorials. If you hide behind anonymity… Mind you, they do reaveal what the org – excepting some individual reporters – is about. But if you already know it’s privately owned…

      • I like to guess the writer behind the editorial – they usually stick out like a saw thumb – just by the tone I’d say this one is Johnathan Freedland.

        Rusbridger uses honourifics Mr Cameron, Mr Obama etc

        Larry Crane is by far the most left wing and the least in denial about the state of the world economy – he’s also very intelligent which shows through – they don’t let him write many

        Simon Jemkins is an old fuddy duddy – I can spot him a mile off.

        Poly Toynbee doesn’t do them anymore but they come across as drinken polemics

        Katherine Vyner can’t speak English – she get words in the wrong order she attempts honourifics only to drop them the next minute – he logic flawed and her argument is garbled. I’d never seen anything so badly written in the guardian before she came along and I’d even include Bez’s little piece for his Reality Party!

        • I don’t know them! Well done. I am familar with Russbridger, who I believe has moved on. That’s all.

    • Richard Le Sarcophage says

      The arrogance of the mendacity and reality inversion is Regevian in its chutzpah. Perhaps they gave Nick Cohen a day off and got Regev himself to write this swill.

  7. bevin says

    Good work.
    There is little to add to the comments above. The Guardian is pursuing Likud policy objectives in seeking to visit death and destruction on all Arab countries and clear the way for further expansion of the projected Empire of Israel. It campaigned vigorously for the war in Iraq and, as it had particular influence upon those most likely to oppose the war, it probably played a part even more important than Murdoch did in bringing about the immediate deaths of a million or more. And ensuring that millions more would live in poverty among the ruins of their wrecked communities, while generations to come will have their bodies gnawed away by the cancers caused by depleted uranium.
    None of which prevented the scoundrels, who chop logic for killers, from returning to the charge when the opportunity to call for massacres in Libya arose.
    In this Editorial we sense the desperation of a serial killer’s fan club, whose hero is suddenly oppressed by citizen’s patrols and police agents, thwarting his lust for blood and the fans’ dependence on violent spectacles.
    Those responsible for the killings that The Guardian’s writers- and let every name among them be remembered and cursed for the evils they demand of government- affect to lament include those who run the paper and live by licking blood off the pavements of shattered cities.

    • I doubt Boffey has left London.

      Im now fully boycotting the Guardian. By openly taking part in conflating good ordinary Jewish folk with the foul behaviour of the Israeli establishment they have fallen into genuine racism – would we stand for it if they said all black people were Iddy Armin? Would we sit by if the Guardisn were to insist all Asian people were Gengis Kahn?

      I’m utterly disgusted with it and I shall have no part with it anymore.

      I’d advise everyone to recommend to friends and acquaintances to boycott that evil rag asap.

    • deschutes says

      In all fairness I have to disagree with your claim that the Guardian supported the 2003 Iraq invasion. They actually were quite critical of GW Bush regime’s invasion of Iraq. Even the resident cartoonist at the time Steve Bell was mercilessly against Blair and Bush, you can go check his cartoons at the time. But the Guardian has changed since then–and for the very worst: where it used to be critical of GW Bush’s Iraq war, it now is vehemently liberal intervensionist–and extremely so, to the point of actually lying and making false claims in their editorials. Something very bad has happened to this “news” outlet: where it used to be a kinda sorta OK traditionally liberal news rag, it changed into a shrill bullhorn of neo-liberal propaganda against Russia, Syria, Palestine, etc. It is not surprising that Glenn Greenwald stopped working for them and started his own website The Intercept. It would be interesting to hear his take on what went wrong at the Guardian.

      • dahoit says

        Yes,they were excellent back in those days,I became a Guardian Weekly subscriber because of it,(US)And the Bell cartoon with Bliar riding on the shrubs MCy was priceless.
        But around 04,a distinct chill set in,notably their insertion of Tomasky(Zionist)as US editor.
        All downhill till now,a brief respite with GGS presence but since radically wacko with Pussy R and BS from most of its pundits.

    • Richard Le Sarcophage says

      I agree that the Judeofascist war-mongers at the corpse of the deceased Guardian must be remembered, but let’s hope that they might face justice some day for crimes against humanity, for propagandising for aggression, the Supreme Crime under International Law. Such activities got Streicher his just desserts, so one can live in hope.

  8. Eric_B says

    Assad’s planes don’t have night vision or precision weapons. They could not launch a precision strike on a single building at night.

  9. You’re right, it’s becoming tiresome. I wanted to comment on today’s “reporting” from Aleppo (well, not actually from Aleppo but somewhere closer to Aleppo than Farringdon Road) but comments were not enabled. The good thing is that the coverage has an ever increasing smack of desperation. I was amused by the way that the Guardian/Observer’s once cuddly Kurds are now vested with a secret police who make people disappear. I quote: “As the most senior civic leader in Aleppo, Haji Hasan has been trying to make life livable in the most impossible and dangerous of circumstances,” then, later in the article, “Haji Hasan was seized by Kurdish secret police at his home at 9am on Thursday after having made the 10-hour trip back through the badlands of northern Syria.” Even the Islamist website el-dorar al-sharma used the more even-handed language : “PYD militia Detains the Head of Aleppo Local Council.” Reading the piece you could be forgiven for thinking that the whole of Aleppo was in the hands of furry animals who used to work for Blue Peter with nary an Islamo-fascist in sight. The story has the byline “Daniel Boffey in Gaziantep.” Gaziantep, the Turkish supply base for various “rebels” and Daniel Boffey, so-called journalist who used to earn his living making up stories about the Labour Party in the Daily Mail.

Please note the opinions expressed in the comments do not necessarily reflect those of the editors or of OffG as a whole