"... Syria is not just a civil war, but a propaganda war being fought for competing geopolitical interests. The end-result of this tug of war between pro-interventionist and anti-interventionist narratives has been the victory of neither, and thus, the entrenchment of violence amidst a Syrian stalemate.
Unfortunately, some parties see this stalemate as a strategic boon. Noting “the synergy between the Israeli and American positions”, the New York Times recently reported that: “For Jerusalem, the status quo, horrific as it may be from a humanitarian perspective, seems preferable to either a victory by Mr. Assad’s government and his Iranian backers or a strengthening of rebel groups, increasingly dominated by Sunni jihadis.” In this context, the threat of “limited” military strikes is more about sending a message to Iran and Syria, rather than about decisively defeating Assad — which may be because “the West needs more time to prop up opposition forces it finds more palatable.” Le Monde
The government/academic/media/thinktank world decided several years back that the Syrian Government was altogether responsible for the death and destruction of the Syrian civil war. In pursuit of that view ALL casualties are said to be the SAG's responsibility because it did not surrender to the various kinds of rebels early on. There does not seem to be any possibility of withdrawal from that lofty consensus (group think) now prevalent among the "cognoscenti." At numerous meetings in the capital (Washington) swamp and the other capital swamp (New York) I have heard all the informational "players" sound off on the wisdom of their judgments about the viability of the SAG, its weakness, the opposition of the "Syrian People" to the SAG, etc. When interlocutors are asked why the Alawis, Shia, Christians, etc and many sophisticated, westernized Sunnis support the SAG, eyes roll upward in frustration. One young man actually told me that "he knew what he was doing." He had served three or four years in the army, had left as a captain and currently held a position as the Syria analyst at a major think tank.
I have made it a habit to challenge the epistemology of their data. "How do you know that?" This would be a typical challenge. This kind of question ALWAYS elicits the same kind of response. The response is hostility to the question followed by a grudging admission that the sources of data that are taken as probably true are all on the rebel sides,. The favorite is the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a UK based rebel propaganda organ.The SAG's statements and reporting is simply dismissed as beneath contempt.
An example of that would be the interview that Bashar Assad gave to the BBC this week. The Beeb had pursued Assad for several years seeking this interview. He finally granted the interview and sat with Bowman, the ME editor of BBC, for an exclusive talk. BBC asked in advance if there were any areas of questioning that were "off limits." The answer was that there were none and Assad answered every question within the limits of expression of someone who does not speak English every day. The on-air reaction of Bowman reporting later from the safety of Beirut was completely dismissive. The attitude was that Assad's willingness to participate in the interview was an unaccountable irrelevance since he was obviously lying about every topic of discussion.
Bowman made a great deal of the subject of "barrel bombs," and their bestiality as evidence of a demonic Nazi-like hatred for the Syrian people. Assad asserted that the Syrian Air Force does not use barrel bombs. He said they had lots of ordinary bombs. Why use barrel bombs? This statement was taken as evidence of Assad's perfidy. "Barrel Bombs" are 55 gallon drums filled with explosives and fragmentation junk that are dropped as sling loads under helicopters. I have no idea if the SAG uses barrel bombs, but it seems to me that the difference in effect between that and common 250 or 500 lb. aerial fragmentation bombs cannot be very great. US air power uses large, destructive bombs all the time as do all air forces across the world. Would it not have been a normal reaction to Assad's position for Bowman to ask for access to Syrian Air Force operations in order to confirm or deny Assad's statements? It seems that Bowman did not do that. Why? Was it because he could not afford to learn something that would be outside the consensus? Actually, why not ask for "embedding" throughout the Syrian Armed Forces for the same purpose?
We should face the truth about the media's statements about the Syrian Civil War. They are something less than objective truth. Why is that? pl